Robotics and Biology Laboratory

Distance estimation using fixation and event camera



Juan Antonio Gómez Daza

Aravind Battaje

Oliver Brock


Humans navigate and interact with the 3D world robustly without complicated 3D sensors like lidars, but 2D sensors in the eyes. If compared (rather naively) to widely available camera sensors the human retina has vastly diminished capabilities, such as resolution, refresh rate etc. How then can humans interact with the 3D world so robustly?

One way is to exploit regularities in the 3D space unlocked by actively moving in specific ways. Gaze fixation is a specific movement of the body and eyes, and it can be shown to be a very useful behavior for extracting relevant 3D properties of the world. Gaze fixation is the act of looking at one object at a time under movement.

On the other hand, event cameras---also inspired by human vision---can sense visual movement efficiently, especially tiny movements. Gaze fixation and event cameras, both mimic human embodiment in certain ways, and can help a robot interact robot in the 3D world as effortlessly as humans do.

Description of Work

Fixation movements have been reproduced on a robot and the effectiveness of distance estimation to fixated object has been verified using frame-based (RGB) sensors. Distance estimation relies on measuring tiny movements on the visual sensor surface, and event cameras can provide this data effortlessly.

In this thesis you will,

  • Understand how fixation unlocks robust 3D properties of the world
  • Study how a fixating event camera can be used to directly measure 3D distances
  • Compare its performance to the baseline method with RGB sensor

Contact: Aravind Battaje, Oliver Brock

How to apply

You can find all the necessary information here.