Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Lucas C. Parra


eye control, eye tracking, performance, quadrocopter, Natural User Interface (NUI)


Natural user interface is a fairly new concept in the field of human-computer interaction. It is the idea of using every day natural human behaviors and actions to control a device. An example of a natural user interface is touch control technology in smartphones, tablets, and new laptops. The interaction is more direct when compared to artificial input devices like a keyboard and mouse. Though natural user interface devices might not perform as well as standard input devices for certain applications, for other applications they are now the de facto standard. A new user interface that is poised to be the next natural user interface in human-computer interaction is eye-control, or the ability to control an interface with just the user’s eyes using technology that has been around for a long time called eye trackers. The problem for much of the existence of eye trackers is the cost. Most modern commercial eye trackers cost anywhere between $10,000 and $40,000, and that is too expensive for regular consumers to buy and use. In this paper, we build a low cost system for eye-control using an open source program called ITU Gaze Tracker. In the process, we developed an interface which allows a user to pilot a Parrot AR.Drone quadrocopter using just their gaze. In this explorative study, we explore the performance of this eye-control system to keyboard control in the operation of an AR.Drone around an obstacle course. We collected certain performance metrics like lap completion time,



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