Author Topic: Tech Journal  (Read 1071 times)

Faust

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Tech Journal
« on: March 01, 2012, 10:51:46 am »
I will go into more detail on this later but because people are complaining about how quiet it is here I'm going to start updating this thread with what I know: Hardware. I won't be posting anything sensitive to the projects but I want to go into detail where I can.

Over the last year I've been working on an indoor location system to track firefighters while they do their training. This is fun and excruciating location is a really difficult one to use. In short the higher your resolution the more difficult it is to accurately say where someone is. For this project we need down to 0.5m accuracy with the ability to distinguish between multiple people huddled together.

Without going into the gritty of it (NDA) we kitted out the test site with an array of sensors that give us the location of people going through, proximity and pressure sensors were used to give us these location. This style of location system has been done before but it's problem is it cannot distinguish between people. We've done it optically using a kinect style approach and not to toot my own horn I am pretty damn happy with the results, we locate and identify people and ID them within the test grid with a perfect accuracy for up to four people, any more than that and the optical system doesn't hold up but that's something we are working on (the main limiting factor is the Sheer amount of data generated from the optical system so the more machines you have to crunch the numbers the higher your resolution can go).

One of the other projects that we are working on that we are really happy with is a multitouch exhibit for a space/science museum. The emphasis being on collaboration and several users interacting at once, something that isn't often done well with these things.

Pictures to come.
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Telarus

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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 10:58:00 am »
Cool, I saw you post the firefighter tracking system a while back on (FB? G+?).

Looking forward to more.
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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 03:51:15 pm »
very interesting, faust!
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Faust

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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 11:12:40 am »
Here's a photo of the multitouch table we're working on. That's one of the guys  I work with on this.



The application I've made for this is a solar system game for kids:
When the game is loaded there is only the sun sitting alone on the screen, in a basket beside the table are cutouts of the planets and the kids have to put them on in the correct order (mercury, venus etc). when they place the correct one on the table it appears and gives a little blurb about the planet.
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Oysters Rockefeller

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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 02:44:39 pm »
Here's a photo of the multitouch table we're working on. That's one of the guys  I work with on this.



The application I've made for this is a solar system game for kids:
When the game is loaded there is only the sun sitting alone on the screen, in a basket beside the table are cutouts of the planets and the kids have to put them on in the correct order (mercury, venus etc). when they place the correct one on the table it appears and gives a little blurb about the planet.

That is awesome.
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Faust

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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 10:23:02 am »
Has anyone around here used the arduino platform at all? (I know ENKI did, RIP).

It's a nice platform for rapid prototyping of A/D, sensors/actuators and controllers. I've played about with them for some fun applications.
I saw on Hackaday a proximity controlled motor used for blind navigation. What you have is a glove with two ultrasonic nodes on the front, and a motor strapped to your arm that vibrates as you approach something.
I want to adapt that to put it in clothing on my back. Eyes in the back of the head and all that, no one can take you by surprise.

The nice thing about this is a lot of sensors come prepackaged to give out data on the I2C line so a great many sensors are plug and play with it. If anyone has any ideas for potential uses for sensors I've got:
ultrasonic proximity, magnetometers, inertial measurement units, pressure mats, heart monitors, temperature sensors, RFID readers and tags, and various wireless nodes (Xbee).
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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 09:38:10 pm »
Has anyone around here used the arduino platform at all? (I know ENKI did, RIP).
Still do, sometimes.

Quote
It's a nice platform for rapid prototyping of A/D, sensors/actuators and controllers. I've played about with them for some fun applications.
I saw on Hackaday a proximity controlled motor used for blind navigation. What you have is a glove with two ultrasonic nodes on the front, and a motor strapped to your arm that vibrates as you approach something.
I want to adapt that to put it in clothing on my back. Eyes in the back of the head and all that, no one can take you by surprise.
There is an arduino clone called the Lillypad specifically for clothing embedding (along with things like conductive thread, sew-on waterproof buttons, connectors that double as snaps, etc.) Downside is that the Lillypad doesn't (and can't) have 'shields'.

As a side note, there's a well known (in the amateur robotics community) problem with sonar when the material it's supposed to reflect off is fabric (or really, anything soft or porous -- what you might expect from acoustics). Still, it beats IR.

Quote
The nice thing about this is a lot of sensors come prepackaged to give out data on the I2C line so a great many sensors are plug and play with it. If anyone has any ideas for potential uses for sensors I've got:
ultrasonic proximity, magnetometers, inertial measurement units, pressure mats, heart monitors, temperature sensors, RFID readers and tags, and various wireless nodes (Xbee).
Wireless is good if you want an ad-hoc sensor network. Sure beats sewing up expansion ports :P. It sounds like what you have is more geared toward biometrics, though (I only skimmed the OP, so if you mentioned it, I didn't notice)... trivial to use heart monitors and temperature sensors to monitor sick people, or people who are sensitive to extreme situations, or people who are actually in extreme situations (like soldiers or firefighters).

hirley0

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Re: Tech Journal #7 Vo
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 10:14:23 pm »

Still do, sometimes.




I want one.
i do TWO

schemetic? :fnord: _detail/project 

this is BOTH & OFFER TO SELL US$ & an offer to buy TWO. WORK out the
detail?$
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 10:24:13 pm by hirley0 »

Faust

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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 10:25:27 pm »
Has anyone around here used the arduino platform at all? (I know ENKI did, RIP).
Still do, sometimes.

Quote
It's a nice platform for rapid prototyping of A/D, sensors/actuators and controllers. I've played about with them for some fun applications.
I saw on Hackaday a proximity controlled motor used for blind navigation. What you have is a glove with two ultrasonic nodes on the front, and a motor strapped to your arm that vibrates as you approach something.
I want to adapt that to put it in clothing on my back. Eyes in the back of the head and all that, no one can take you by surprise.
There is an arduino clone called the Lillypad specifically for clothing embedding (along with things like conductive thread, sew-on waterproof buttons, connectors that double as snaps, etc.) Downside is that the Lillypad doesn't (and can't) have 'shields'.

As a side note, there's a well known (in the amateur robotics community) problem with sonar when the material it's supposed to reflect off is fabric (or really, anything soft or porous -- what you might expect from acoustics). Still, it beats IR.

Quote
The nice thing about this is a lot of sensors come prepackaged to give out data on the I2C line so a great many sensors are plug and play with it. If anyone has any ideas for potential uses for sensors I've got:
ultrasonic proximity, magnetometers, inertial measurement units, pressure mats, heart monitors, temperature sensors, RFID readers and tags, and various wireless nodes (Xbee).
Wireless is good if you want an ad-hoc sensor network. Sure beats sewing up expansion ports :P. It sounds like what you have is more geared toward biometrics, though (I only skimmed the OP, so if you mentioned it, I didn't notice)... trivial to use heart monitors and temperature sensors to monitor sick people, or people who are sensitive to extreme situations, or people who are actually in extreme situations (like soldiers or firefighters).

We actually have a couple of lillypads at work, never looked at them but they were picked up specifically because of how easy they were to integrate with clothing.
As you said soldiers and fire-fighters temperature and heart rate are hard to use in extreme situations. The best area to sense from is with a chest strap because inside the insulated uniform has a more constant temperature. Texas instruments do some lovely heart/temp/accelerometer straps that are elasticated so you always get a tight snug fit.
When I was playing with some Chinese ultrasonics I did have trouble picking up material surfaces, but with some of the sparkfun ping))) boards which separate the transmitter and receiver nodes I've never run into any trouble picking up material.

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Faust

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Re: Tech Journal #7 Vo
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 10:40:36 pm »

Still do, sometimes.




I want one.
i do TWO

schemetic? :fnord: _detail/project 

this is BOTH & OFFER TO SELL US$ & an offer to buy TWO. WORK out the
detail?$

You mean this? http://brmlab.cz/project/brain_hacking

I want to order the ASRG helmet, there are a hell of a lot of applications I could put that into.
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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 11:57:05 pm »
I remember when the best way to do neurofeedback as a hobbyist was to use the OpenEEG instructions. Now it's probably cheaper, easier, and safer to get an NIA unit...

(Unfortunately, nothing I've seen has pointed to an EEG setup suitable for mobile use [for instance, BCI control for a wearable computer]. The NIA has all its processing circuitry in a big metal box, and OpenEEG is so paranoid about frying something through all the diodes that they warn you to keep the box grounded and not to touch your computer while using it [desktop machines have historically used their cases as a ground, and the difference in charge between the EEG case ground and the computer's ground has a small but nonzero chance of causing some charge to leap through your electrodes and into your skull on its way to your finger instead of moving along the outside of your skin like a well-behaved charge])

Faust

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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 08:27:34 am »
I remember when the best way to do neurofeedback as a hobbyist was to use the OpenEEG instructions. Now it's probably cheaper, easier, and safer to get an NIA unit...

(Unfortunately, nothing I've seen has pointed to an EEG setup suitable for mobile use [for instance, BCI control for a wearable computer]. The NIA has all its processing circuitry in a big metal box, and OpenEEG is so paranoid about frying something through all the diodes that they warn you to keep the box grounded and not to touch your computer while using it [desktop machines have historically used their cases as a ground, and the difference in charge between the EEG case ground and the computer's ground has a small but nonzero chance of causing some charge to leap through your electrodes and into your skull on its way to your finger instead of moving along the outside of your skin like a well-behaved charge])

That's silly I get more of a shock off touching my ipad when its charging off my laptop. There's a big ground difference between them. I like the design of the helmet though, it's almost discrete enough to be concealed in a sweatband.
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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2012, 12:01:54 am »
They were almost obsessively safety-conscious -- not that sticking electronics on your head is an inappropriate situation to be safety-conscious about.

Some of the unofficial side-projects involved self-amplifying electrodes (so that you don't need contact goo) -- which is arguably fairly dangerous, since it involves running large (by extracranial EMF standards) currents toward your head and doing things with them in amplifier units actually attached to your head. If you let the blue smoke out of your op amps, you'll probably smoke your skull too (or at least convulse a bit and gain short term amnesia).

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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2012, 07:53:23 pm »


Holy crap that guy looks a lot like me when I had my hair longer.

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Re: Tech Journal
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2012, 07:58:41 pm »
He certainly does! Eerie!
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