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R/C Related Electronics DIY DIY R/C Electronics for tinkerers and the budget minded


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Old 02-26-2010, 02:27 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Since I haven't made 3 posts on this forum, I can't send private messages.

I am the Ryan who got your friend a job here! You should come visit us sometime, we would be glad to give you a tour.

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Old 02-26-2010, 02:33 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Very cool project, Thanks....!
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:40 PM   #23 (permalink)
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If the sun does get in the way, one way around it would to pulse the IR led in such a way that your software would look to see which IR source is pulsating, and choose that source, rather than the brightest one. If we get really clever, we could even allow telemetry to be transmitted down to your pc, so you can tell things like battey voltage, amps, temp etc.. If you then made a unique signiture on the data stream coming from the IR led you could have more than one of these devices, but each one ONLY tracking its source, and not any other .
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:57 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Finally, this is SO cool!
I have been waiting for someone to come up with this, I fly alone, it would be my dream come true if I could shoot pictures of myself flying.

(Was kind of hoping you could buy old Russian missile tracking systems off the ebay now but that dont seem to happen yet )
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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I am definitely going to try this. However, I don't want to use a camcorder, I think I will try to do the same thing in a lighter weight, with a HD digital camera, so that I can use smaller servos and make a more compact stand. Making this more portable would be the next step once you can get proof of concept in the air!
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Old 02-26-2010, 03:02 PM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Not only that, the wii-mote can be made smaller by deconstructing the casing and taking out the unnecessary weight.

As soon as this can be made light enough, I'd like to try and port the software over to a pocket PC or something of the like, and put the LED on the pilot, and mount the camera to the heli!
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:37 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Does anyone have the resources or know-how to turn this idea into a marketable product?It seems there is plenty of interest. I was just making it for my own use, but lots of people would prefer to buy a kit or ready-made product rather than cobble something together.
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Old 02-26-2010, 05:58 PM   #28 (permalink)
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http://www.computer.org/portal/web/c.../CERMA.2009.79
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:02 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Cool, but are they selling it?
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Old 02-26-2010, 06:20 PM   #30 (permalink)
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You need an HDR CMOS imager (think massive dynamic range with logarithmic sensitivity, like the human eye) to avoid the sunlight issues. Then you should be able to track a high contrast target (black body & emitter) through space.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:32 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Finding out who has the knowhow to make it marketable depends a lot on what you would consider marketable. What parts do you want to be included? What is your vision for what the product looks like? One obvious thing is the wood base doesn't look very saleable.

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Old 02-26-2010, 08:43 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I think it would be a kit including everything but servos, camera, and Wiimote (assuming the Wiimote works out well). I think it would be difficult to reproduce the camera and tracking algorithms in the Wiimote at a reasonable cost, but the other electronics should be embedded.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:52 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Have the software do a "scan" of the area using the pan and tilt servos while recording existing IR objects and their positions in the environment. After the scan is complete, the system can goto active track mode, and avoid the existing IR objects (like the sun)


Alternatively, this guy has made some good progress on visual tracking systems:

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXONp8Q3KGY[/ame]
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:16 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Newer imaging technologies will eventually make the sun irrelevant, and cover everything from indirect starlight to direct sunlight. HDR is a disruptive technology with the potential to change the way we view our world.



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Old 03-12-2010, 08:24 PM   #35 (permalink)
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The good news: My infrared LEDs finally arrived in the mail.

The bad news: I hooked up three of them and took them out in my driveway in daylight to see if they could be seen by the Wiimote from a reasonable distance. They actually didn't even work outside from a short distance because the Wiimote was constantly distracted by other IR sources (objects heated by the sun). It may work better out at the flying field when all it can see is the guy, but I don't have much hope.

Looks like the only way this could possibly work anymore is to have a visible light webcam track the helicopter just as a moving target. I may work on that, but it's more difficult than the original plan.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:58 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I think it can work. But you might need the IR to strobe at some specific frequency. Then you can filter out the IR light that is not at the desired frequency.

Here is some inspiration
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FoxTrax

Update: I also found this interesting project using RF triangulation: http://cricket.csail.mit.edu/
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:48 PM   #37 (permalink)
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That's would work, but do you have any idea how difficult that would be to actually implement on my own with only access to Wiimote or normal webcams? That's the kind of technology that is used for missile seekers. Not exactly homebrew hobbyist stuff.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:17 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Keep in mind that the wii remote is only sampling at 100 samples per second or less. Your strobe rate has to be half the sample rate (or less). Also, since the target is on the move, you have to figure out which IR dot is your target (per frame) and which is noise. It gets ugly quick.

Its my belief that visual tracking is the only way (other than RF telemetry of real time GPS position from target to tracker, which might actually be easier and more robust)



BTW (and off topic), yesterday I did the most kick ass network topology and IT infrastructure demonstration of my life using:
  • a digital projector
  • a Wii remote
  • an IR LED on a 4 foot stick with an on-off switch
  • a copy of Wii white board (new window)
  • Charts, Graphs, and more via Spiceworks.
It gave a whole new definition of the term "point and click"
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Old 03-13-2010, 10:56 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Fascinating project. I just picked up a Maestro USB controller for different purposes last week and am really impressed with it. In 6-12 months you guys will see some cool RC heli schtuff with it, I promise.

Anyway, I agree with Jim Lerch about visual tracking, although IR field tracking works wonders too. Remember that the military (including spinoff NASA) has a ton of research money into this problem and they use radar for larger metal objects, visual and IR field tracking for in-flight missle guidance and other flir tracking. Wilywampa is right in that it's a huge step between fundamental indoor IR WiMote tracking and outdoor "bogey fast mover" targeting (and ideally also zooming).
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:19 AM   #40 (permalink)
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C'mon, don't wuss out now, just imagine what a chick magnet you would become when you show up at the field with a 55' long puck truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilywampa View Post
That's would work, but do you have any idea how difficult that would be to actually implement on my own with only access to Wiimote or normal webcams? That's the kind of technology that is used for missile seekers. Not exactly homebrew hobbyist stuff.
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