JRM Vol.33 No.2 pp. 301-312
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2021.p0301


Development of a Remote-Controlled Drone System by Using Only Eye Movements: Design of a Control Screen Considering Operability and Microsaccades

Atsunori Kogawa, Moeko Onda, and Yoshihiro Kai

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tokai University
4-1-1 Kitakaname, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa 259-1292, Japan

October 30, 2020
February 3, 2021
April 20, 2021
robot, drone, control system, eye-tracking device, quality of life

In recent years, the number of bedridden patients, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients, has been increasing with the aging of the population, owing to advances in medical and long-term care technology. Eye movements are physical functions that are relatively difficult to be affected, even if the symptoms of ALS progress. Focusing on this point, in this paper, in order to improve the quality of life (QOL) of bedridden patients, including ALS patients, we propose a drone system connected to the Internet that can be remotely controlled using only their eyes. In order to control the drone by using only their eyes, a control screen and an eye-tracking device were used in this system. By using this system, for example, the patients in New York can operate the drone in Kyoto using only their eyes, enjoy the scenery, and talk with people in Kyoto. In this drone system, since a time delay could occur depending on the Internet usage environment, agile operation is required for remotely controlling the drone. Therefore, we introduce the design of the control screen focused on remote control operability and human eye movements (microsaccades). Furthermore, considering the widespread future use of this system, it is desirable to use a commercial drone. Accordingly, we describe the design of a joystick control device to physically control the joysticks of various drone controllers. Finally, we present experimental results to verify the effectiveness of this system, including the control screen and the joystick control device.

Proposed drone system

Proposed drone system

Cite this article as:
A. Kogawa, M. Onda, and Y. Kai, “Development of a Remote-Controlled Drone System by Using Only Eye Movements: Design of a Control Screen Considering Operability and Microsaccades,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.33 No.2, pp. 301-312, 2021.
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