To track moving objects, such as fruit flies, with a high resolution camera, I combined a 3D realtime tracking system developed by my colleague Andrew Straw with a pan/tilt head that I built and instrumented. I used ROS (Robot Operating System) to develop a controller and DLT calibration routine for the system. This made it possible to follow, and focus on, moving objects over a large spatial volume.
Movie: Wide field view shows a rod with a bright red tip at the end. The 3D tracking system tracked the red tip, and a PID controller directed the pan/tilt/focus unit to follow the tracked object (video shown in the inset).
Fly movie: Demonstration of tracking a freely moving fruit fly using the same system.