Coping with delays for real-time gaze control (The Fall and Rise of the Smiths Regulator)
Sharkey, P. and Murray, D. W. (1993) Coping with delays for real-time gaze control (The Fall and Rise of the Smiths Regulator). In: SPIE International Symposium on Sensor Fusion, IV, September 1993, Boston, pp. 292-304.
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In this paper we describe how to cope with the delays inherent in a real time control system for a steerable stereo head/eye platform. A purposive and reactive system requires the use of fast vision algorithms to provide the controller with the error signals to drive the platform. The time-critical implementation of these algorithms is necessary, not only to enable short latency reaction to real world events, but also to provide sufficiently high frequency results with small enough delays that controller remain stable. However, even with precise knowledge of that delay, nonlinearities in the plant make modelling of that plant impossible, thus precluding the use of a Smith Regulator. Moreover, the major delay in the system is in the feedback (image capture and vision processing) rather than feed forward (controller) loop. Delays ranging between 40msecs and 80msecs are common for the simple 2D processes, but might extend to several hundred milliseconds for more sophisticated 3D processes. The strategy presented gives precise control over the gaze direction of the cameras despite the lack of a priori knowledge of the delays involved. The resulting controller is shown to have a similar structure to the Smith Regulator, but with essential modifications.