Hands-off Cursor Control

Loftie Ellis (MSc), Lloyd Louw (MSc)

Background

There are several systems available for quadriplegics to help them use a computer without involving their hands. Speech control is making huge progress but is not perfect. Other systems make use of sophisticated technology, and our approach is to see how far one can get with using the simplest of systems. This means that only the use of a webcam is allowed. A rather simple facial recognition system based on eigenfaces is used to recognize and automatically login the user. After login the cursor is controlled using the motion of the eyes. Left- and right clicks are performed by left- and right blinks of the eyes.

The system performs well, as illustrated by the video.

Some technical detail

The face and eyes are detected using the well-known Viola-Jones algorithm. The eye blinks are recognized using a SVM, requiring a training procedure, as seen in the video. Note that is is not a gaze tracker, instead the cursor is moved by detecting the motion of the eyes.

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