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£341
pledged of £2,000pledged of £2,000 goal
9
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 12 2014
Tom WalkerBy Tom Walker
First created
Tom WalkerBy Tom Walker
First created
£341
pledged of £2,000pledged of £2,000 goal
9
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on May 12 2014

About

Introduction

I have always wanted to build my own robots. Not the small kind we see today that can fit in the palm, but Star Wars bots I watched as a kid in the 1980’s. My first proper robot was a R2D2-like droid with beeping dialect. And of course I gave him an arm so that he can serve me drinks after a long day at the office. My second robot was built to look more like an iRobot. 

In making both these robots, I had the need to manage my image processing and overlay robot data directly onto my robot’s webcam image. There are graphical tools on the internet for creating high tec. HUD animations, but these are applied to pre-recorded movies. Image processing for robotics is all about working with live image streams and keeping the frame rate high – animations and shading can affect performance if not properly managed. I also needed flexibility in terms of HUD layout and content so both my robots could use it. And so I developed a general purpose HUD application.

When you watch the video notice how the RHUD components change to reflect what's actually going on - they are not just for show.

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QUESTION: I’m not a programmer and I don’t have a robot, can I use RHUD?

If you have a PC running Windows 7 SP1 and a webcam then you can use RHUD. RHUD itself does not actually capture images or do any image processing, so I will include sample applications (see Roadmap) that demonstrates how RHUD, webcam device and colour blob detection all work together. Take a look at the video below to see how objects are defined and stored in the database.

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You can also customize RHUD without the need for programming skills. There is a configuration file that changes the graphical style. I've created a few different styles which you've seen, here's another:

Watch the end of the video and you will see this custom RHUD in action. Note: Some components need sensor data to be functional.
Watch the end of the video and you will see this custom RHUD in action. Note: Some components need sensor data to be functional.

 QUESTION: I am a programmer, can I create a HUD like those found in Iron Man and Star Trek.

If you are familiar with the C# programming language then you can extend and customize my base classes in the usual object-oriented way. If you are not familiar with C#, you may know that this is one of the easier to learn programming languages. You will need to install Microsoft Visual Studio Express .Net 4.0 C# (freely available on the internet).

Project Roadmap

My end goal is to offer a complete robot solution, including hardware and software as demonstrated in the video. This can be a robot head with stereo vision, like my C1 robot, or simply a pan-tilt mounted camera. As this is my first Kickstarter project, I decided to break this task into two manageable stages.  

STAGE 1: Software only (this Kickstarter project).

The software can be used with your own robot or simply as a cool webcam viewer that has image processing capability. No programming is needed for the latter, and I've added an extra reward for people who don't want programming capability. 

For programmers, I've created several source code projects. They are designed from a tutorial perspective, with each project building on the previous:

 Layout Sample - This sample shows how to layout RHUD components. 

 Webcam Sample - This sample shows how to display webcam images in the RHUD. I’m using an EMGU webcam driver which supports commercial PC webcams including IP addresses. 

 Servo Sample - This sample shows how to control servo motors using a PC mouse. By clicking the mouse pointer on the screen, a pan-tilt mechanism can be controlled. I have interfaces for Phidgets and Pololu servo controllers. 

 Color Image Processing Sample - This shows how to detect colored blobs in a webcam image. It also shows how to automatically control a pan-tilt mechanism, permitting automatic object finding and motion tracking. 

STAGE 2: Hardware and additional software (beyond this Kickstarter)

The content below is provided only as an indication of the kind of topics I will address as part of a more complete robot solution involving software plus hardware. 

 Image Processing (extended) - I have code for face detection, object recognition using contours (not just color), and motion detection. All of these need to be integrated with RHUD. 

Object recognition and proximity detection from stereo image analysis
Object recognition and proximity detection from stereo image analysis

 Speak Sample - This sample shows how to turn text into speech which is output to PC speakers. 

 Listen Sample - This sample shows how to listen for voice input from a microphone, and how to not listen when the PC is speaking. 

 Behaviour Sample - This sample is what brings all the other samples together and enables human-robot interaction and more complex robot automation. 

If there is anything I haven't made clear, or if you want to know if I intend on providing other features, please don't hesitate to contact me. These projects will only succeed with your support.

Risks and challenges

The application is close to being ready for beta testing. I have a few things that need to be done, like removing all non-essential code and adding helpful comments. I also need to prepare some documentation on how to use the sample applications and how to customize the HUD. I've assigned a few months for these things and for deciding on a licensing policy.

(Sound effects: http://www.freesfx.co.uk,http://www.soundjay.com, and Sidney Turner)

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 1.27

    My end goal is to make a smart, low cost robot for selling on Kickstarter. Any help appreciated!

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    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    Intro Access to RHUD comprising runnable application and documentation. This is intended for non-programmers. (Binaries only, no source code).
    For those who have already selected a reward, thank you! If you would prefer this reward instead, let me know and I will refund the difference when/if the project is successful.

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    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 25

    Early Access to RHUD application, samples and some documentation. This offering is aimed at C# programmers who would like to beta test the product.

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    Pledge £40 or more About US$ 51

    General Access to download RHUD application, samples and documentation.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About US$ 318

    Customize RHUD to your specification. (Please discuss your requirements with me before selecting.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)