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A 350mg, Omnidirectional 6DOF Optical IMU/Optical Flow Sensor

A 350mg, Omnidirectional 6DOF Optical IMU/Optical Flow Sensor

In a previous post, I demonstrated that the ArduEye platform could be used to prototype a 6DOF vision system for optical flow odometry. The goal is to make a vision system for the Harvard University Robobee Project.


After the success of the prototype, the next step was to design a board that was as small and light as possible. The result is shown below:



The ArduEye prototype (left) and the finished sensor (right)



Main components of vision sensor


robobee4-187x300The vision system consists of two back-to-back Stonyman vision chips, an Atmel ATMEGA 328P microcontroller, an oscillator (16Mhz), and a voltage regulator. The chips have flat printed optics (as described previously) with slits in order to take one-dimensional images of the environment. Even better, the Atmel has the Arduino bootloader, so the sensor is an Arduino clone and can be programmed through the Arduino IDE. The entire system weighs approximately 300-350 milligrams and has dimensions of 8×11 millimeters.


The following video shows that motion along all six axes can be distinguished. Some axes are stronger than others, and the Y translation, in particular, is weak. However, the results are promising and with a little optimization this could be a useful addition to a sensor suite.


I’d like to gauge the interest for an integrated Arduino clone vision sensor similar to this, but maybe not as compact and minimal. This would be most likely a one-sided vision chip with optics and an Arduino clone processor integrated on a small, single board. The size would be about that of a penny and weigh a half a gram. The user would have control over which pixels are read and how they are processed through the Arduino environment.



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