Researchers implement Mikrotron camera to create pupil tracker for eye research.
Researchers have developed a low-latency monocular pupil tracker using hybrid FPGA-CPU computing. The pupil tracker was built with off-the-shelf components with the aim being at improving both its performance and cost. It consists of an optical system with infrared illumination that relays the pupil of the eye onto a Mikroton CMOS camera connected to an FPGA in a computer with a powerful CPU. The device was evaluated with a Mikroton EoSens 3CL camera with extended-full configuration CameraLink interfaces when capturing 8-bit depth images to achieve the maximum download data rate. Three optical setups were used in testing with an approximate 18 mm square field of view tilted 45° with respect to the optical axis, and correspondingly tilted image plane. Pupil tracking was successfully demonstrated in a normal fixating subject at 575, 1250, and 5400 frames per second.
The device is suitable for applications that require real-time eye movement compensation such as retinal imaging, retinal functional testing, retinal laser treatment and refractive surgery. It can help doctors using ophthalmoscopy to diagnose and monitor eye diseases including glaucoma, diabetes, and high blood pressure, or in evaluating symptoms of retinal detachment. The device also helps to reduce latency and image blur in ophthalmoscope images.
The project was funded by Research to Prevent Blindness and National Eye Institute. Mikrotron GmbH, established in 1976 and located just outside Munich, Germany, provided the high-end imaging solutions for the project.
The use of the pupil tracker has many advantages. It provides better light safety than using a single LED, reduces latency and image blur, and provides precision comparable to or better than that of current pupil trackers. It is suitable for applications that require real-time eye movement compensation such as retinal imaging, retinal functional testing, retinal laser treatment and refractive surgery.
The device is a great advancement in the field of opthamology, and will be a great help to doctors in diagnosing and monitoring eye diseases. It will also help to reduce blur and distortion in scanning ophthalmoscope images, making the detection of eye disease easier.