I was asked if it was feasible to automatically size aquatic animals using stereo vision. After doing some feasibility work, it quickly became a homework project out of hours. Stereo sizing has been done usually using disparity maps and blobs, this is a slightly different approach and its very exciting, with some amazing work taking place between me and a colleague in Canada – thanks for your help Doug!
Over the weekend I was asked to produce an updated version of the concept of Marine Instant Wild (see previous concept, here) and here we go… this is getting really close to becoming reality and is a very interesting project with so many challenges from both an engineering and software/technology perspective.
So after an epic house move that didn’t quite go to plan I finally got a chance to head into London Zoo to catch up with Alasdair to hook up some kit.
After just a couple of hours and a few problems (like the lack of a MicroSD card, which was soon rectified) we had the hardware we are prototyping with up and running and taking some pictures.
We even had time to try out some motion detection software on board the Arduino itself and you can probably see Alasdair jumping about in the image on the laptop.
This is a major step forward because from here we can start capturing images and use the Xigbee’s to transfer data across a network, we’ll then get a feel for constraints in the speed of taking the image, saving it and transferring it, the quality of the image and power consumption. It’s a little ad-hoc but this type of rapid prototyping I think will at the very least give us something tenable we can show both internal and external parties and shape a more structured development program.
I finally see the fruits of my labor in a really nice enclosure for a top client of mine the Tropical Marine Centre. They wanted to stand out from the crowd with there 6 figure (£) exhibition stand at InterZoo, Germany.
They went really high tech and implemented 3 I.T. projects being:
- An iPad application for showing off brochure information on there state of the art lighting range
- An Arduino based ultrasonic sensor to detect distance at equate this graphically to the user to show light intensity of their top product
- A “Technology Center”, an interactive iPhone application that reads their product barcodes and shows full product information, whilst creating a twitter like feed on their home page showing user activity and what people were looking at
This project was continuation of the splash screen already developed. This phase saw a full stock control system and e-Commerce system implemented using the open source project OpenCart.
Customised pages were created so that OpenCart admin function could be easily used in a scenario where bulk updates could be made.
Stock control aspects were also created as so inventories could easily take place in the warehouse with an iPad and specially formatted web pages.