Turkish Journal of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences




Patients with motor neuron disease and most terminal patients cannot use their hands or arms, and so they need another person for their all needs. However, the mental functions and memories of such patients are generally sound, and they can control their eyes. Using an eye-gaze tracking technique, we have realized a real-time system for such patients. The system controls a motorized electrical hospital bed (EHB) by eye gaze with 4 degrees of freedom, using a low-cost webcam. Contactless systems that require calibration cannot be used for EHB control. The system developed in this work does not require any calibration process and it is contactless. These properties are the most innovative part of the proposed approach. To begin, the system detects the eye region and computes the iris centers. It then tracks the centers and moves a mouse pointer on a screen with the eye gaze. The specific movements of the mouse pointer are evaluated as position changing requests and the completed movements of the mouse pointer change the EHB position electrically. The communication between the computer and the EHB is provided by a relay control card driven by Arduino Mega. The system works under day/artificial lighting conditions successfully with or without eyeglasses. The system was tested with 30 volunteers on the EHB safely and was completed with 90% success (the exceptions being people with slanted eyes).


Calibration-free eye tracking, electrical hospital bed, eye-based mouse control, real-time eye-gaze tracking

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