BobBigMac

Looking for collaborator to prototype basic electronics for RPi project

I’m looking for someone who knows how to breadboard some stuff (I tried, but seems I’ve forgotten everything from my Electronics GCSE 15 years ago :)) to get an output from my simple Raspberry Pi based stereo-webcam project. I’m very much a software guy, struggle with hardware at the best of times :)

Input into Pi is Minoru stereo webcam (it’s super cheap), which is then processed quickly to a simple depth-map (about 12-15fps atm) by OpenCV in Python to generate a linear array, currently outputting via PiFace to the few LEDs on the board.

Some sample code for the image processor can be found here¬†(it’s built with the Pi and Minoru in mind, but should work with minimal tweaks on any Linux setup with 2 webcams, though if not stereo cam you’ll have to fudge to calibration a bit for some idea how it works). I have some improvements specific to this usage (outputting middle row, scaled to LEDs on PiFace) on my Pi but I’m out on the laptop at the moment so can’t pull it to commit.

What I’d like to be able to do is output to some kind of haptic feedback from the GPIO to ‘display’ via vibration against the skin (thinking in hat-band or wrist-band) to blind people of potential obstacles/objects in their way (with potential later development to include OCR for reading signs and/or text). Like with LED output, only needs to be a 1 dimensional array. Depth map is not perfect, but my LED output suggests it’s enough for basic environment awareness (wouldn’t be useful to a PiBot, but should be useful to a human).

My intent is to keep the project open and simple, and not to expand to something like the Kinect4Blind or AuxDeco, which imho are needlessly complex and impractical. I just want to be able to publish some simple code, and a circuit diagram, so blind people can get themselves a Raspberry Pi, a stereo webcam, and build their own ‘guide’ tool that runs off a single battery, for at least a few hours.

Originally planned to use dampened piezo transducers, so I have a bunch of those lying around, but found that generating an alternating tone is trickier than I thought and don’t know enough about timers/crystals to get them doing their thing. Backup plan is to use small cellphone vibration motors connected in parallel but I can’t generate a reliable enough tone at a low enough voltage to run off the GPIO so I think it needs to some kind of power handler (not really sure) to run them off the battery, but to control the power they consume based off the depth map grey-value.

Ideally looking for someone in Manchester (so we can meet up sometime) though any input is appreciated, as this is just a side project for me (short on time) I figured rather than sit on it and never get a demo running, I’d open it up and see what anyone else has to say :) I can allocate some funds for components and such, though ideally looking for someone to work with as an open project than for a ‘hire’, so skills trade (I’m heavy javascript/node guy) would be handy too.

I’m liking the Pi for this project because of the very lower power consumption, the ability to run Python on the command-line (improves OpenCV processing speed a little) and the general portability, the accessibility, price and the ease of expansion with additional features later. Not looking to make a ‘product’, just to get the ball rolling on an free/open hardware/software project.

All input welcome. I’m on twitter @bobbigmac or email me: anything at this domain.com :)

In short:

Need a simple module connecting on GPIO so Python code on Raspberry Pi can push a vibration strength to each of a 1d array of (n) vibrator motors (ideally 15+ vibrators/piezos).

The last cake recipe you will ever need, if you`re male

Mix roughly equal sugar, butter, eggs and flour¬†until lump-free thick custard consistency… ~1 minute with a mixer, 3 by hand. Add whatever flavour/chocolate/nuts you like.

Bake in a tin at 180c (375f) for about 20 minutes (time it with a Simpsons/BBT episode) or until it looks like cake. Don’t nuke it, it will taste like shit.

Eat cake. (If you burn it, don’t feed it to your girlfriend… eat it, then make another at a slightly lower oven temperature. Clean your oven, you will burn stuff less and the cakes will rise more).

Add jam and cream on special occasions. You will never need another cake recipe :)

HTML5 for Illustrators

HTML5 can do some amazing things, and it’s easier than ever before.

Bomomo: http://bomomo.com/

Colour Cycling: http://www.effectgames.com/demos/canvascycle/

Liquid Particles: http://spielzeugz.de/html5/liquid-particles.html

3D Grapher:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/demos/detail/3d-grapher/launch

Photon Garden:

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/demos/detail/zen-photon-garden/launch

Sketch Toy: http://sketchtoy.com/53879073

Canopy:

http://onecm.com/projects/canopy/

Typography:

http://tympanus.net/Tutorials/InteractiveTypographyEffects/index2.html

Fabric.JS:

http://fabricjs.com/kitchensink/

And just to take this to the extreme:

Or So They Say:

http://xplsv.com/prods/demos/xplsv_orsotheysay/

image

I Need a Rainstorm

It’s been a long time since it really poured… since the window panes were battered by a torrent and the sky flashed a blinding light… the restrained fright as thor thundered on by.

Bring on April, bring on the rain.

:)

5 Good Reasons NOT to Use Internet Explorer

  1. IE is crap (I was going to expand and describe all the technical reasons like html5, css3, etc… but it’s just not necessary).
  2. You look like an idiot to all your friends
  3. The logo is hideous (still)
  4. RED FLAG!!! “Microsoft" Internet Explorer (they have not made anything good since PowerToys ‘95)
  5. IE6 is a brain-munching unkillable zombie (and NOT in a good way)

:)

10 reasons I am not using Pinterest

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. Google+
  4. Tumblr
  5. Producteev
  6. Evernote
  7. Google Reader
  8. Google Alerts
  9. 150+ emails/day over 12 inboxes
  10. SMS, Phonecalls, Pidgin and Skype

TMFI ;)

Investing in good developers is such a good bet at the moment, that if you have money and you happen to find a talented developer who seems to like you and wants to work with you, you should give him/her your money to build something, anything

Winning the Lottery!
Recently I’ve been trying to come up with a simple algorithm for testing the relational quality between “keywords in a set” and other “potential keywords in the set”… Unfortunately my database of keywords is about 45,000 entries (and about 350 million relationships), so wasn’t really quick enough to test my various ideas.
Enter the lottery (UK)… Only 49 numbers, and ~1650 drawings of data to compare, each in sets of 6 (ignoring bonus ball), but it lets me test the principles I’ve been playing with, so I’m happy :)
Want to win the lottery? I wouldn’t mind, though I don’t play, I just found it interesting to chart. Was also interesting to see the balls above halfway tend to occur with eachother more frequently than the ones below… who knows, maybe they are slightly heavier, or their position as last into the tumbler has some influence on their likelyhood of exiting first… who knows ;)
'IF' previous results were any indication of future results, I'd play the row/column numbers matching the dark green numbered entries in the body of the grid, but they're not, so don't get your hopes up ;)

Winning the Lottery!

Recently I’ve been trying to come up with a simple algorithm for testing the relational quality between “keywords in a set” and other “potential keywords in the set”… Unfortunately my database of keywords is about 45,000 entries (and about 350 million relationships), so wasn’t really quick enough to test my various ideas.

Enter the lottery (UK)… Only 49 numbers, and ~1650 drawings of data to compare, each in sets of 6 (ignoring bonus ball), but it lets me test the principles I’ve been playing with, so I’m happy :)

Want to win the lottery? I wouldn’t mind, though I don’t play, I just found it interesting to chart. Was also interesting to see the balls above halfway tend to occur with eachother more frequently than the ones below… who knows, maybe they are slightly heavier, or their position as last into the tumbler has some influence on their likelyhood of exiting first… who knows ;)

'IF' previous results were any indication of future results, I'd play the row/column numbers matching the dark green numbered entries in the body of the grid, but they're not, so don't get your hopes up ;)

Video billboard besides Karl Marx’ statue in Revolution Square :/ Not sure he’d approve ;)

Video billboard besides Karl Marx’ statue in Revolution Square :/ Not sure he’d approve ;)