Project FancyName Returns!

So, let’s have our first update on Project FancyName.

The state of the union is fragmented.  I used my handy-less-than-dandy 3D printer to pit out a modified copy of a pair of glasses frame.  It looked neat, and was almost right.  I did some horror-show CAD butchery on this once-beautiful design and voila! part of a frame for the myvu. Of course, since I can never let myself have nice things the frame is not quite right and I need something to hold the HMD bits into it anyway.  Quick Robin to the- hey wait, you’re not Robin!


Robin, take this down; “Note to self, hire some security!”

With that out of the way I dug out some handy-dandy cardboard from a random package for.. Looks like boot insoles, and my trusty JBWeld.  Well, sadly due to illness, the part of JBWeld will be played by his cousin JBKwik.  It’s like JBWeld in every way, just not as awesome and sets up in about four seconds or whenever you blink, whichever comes first.

Pictures will follow when/if it becomes less hideous.  (or once I’ve tested that the HMDs are infact right side up, there’s only so many mistakes I’m prepared to chronicle).

<Spooky voice> Beyond the frame </Spooky voice>  I’ve been goofing around with Emgu CV.  Sadly I don’t know anyone who plays with computer vision, so even the Wizard Tim was unable to help me this time.  Since neither a hammer nor a Holy Hand Grenade are likely to help me find things, it was time to learn new skills!  Huzzah! my (least) favourite part!  As it turns out Emgu is essentially pure distilled awesome, so not even I can screw it up horribly.

Since I am hoping to use the artigo’s Teeeny tiiiiny brainpower to run this show, there are limits to what I can make it do.  I know, I know, Raspberry Pi was designed for this sort of thing, I’m doing it wrong, blah blah blah.  Did I listen to you when you told me not to touch that flyback transformer?  No!  My heart started beating again (after a while, well it felt like a while).  They call it a flyback bacause if you brush your bare arm against it even slightly, you… fly back.

Meanwhile, back on the topic at hand, I decided to Mess around with SURF.  Why?  Boardshorts are all the rage dude.  And it lets me catalogue images of things to match up in my field of vision later.  It also lets me do the same for people’s faces!  While that isn’t a problem yet, I have 3 kids who think it’s funny when I bump my head.  A few more bumps and I might shake something loose.

And that is how it was, what it is, and why purple-speckled gumballs from Indonesia can’t be trusted.  More later if it works!

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Project FancyName

I’ve been tooling around with this one for a while.  If you’ve ever met me you know I can lose anything simply by putting it own on an uncluttered surface directly in front of myself.  For other people this is hilarious, for me it is one of the most frustrating things in my life.  And I have 3 children under 5 years old.  I know from frustrating.

So, what am I going to do about it?  I’ve played around with Emgu CV, which is a c# implementation.wrapper of OpenCV.  If I can’t find what’s in front of me, then damnit my computer will.  Since I’m also a packrat when it comes to all things electronic I have just the thing.  Well just the things I can bodge into the thing anyway.

Battery : ArtiGo : Myvu Crystal (connected via random VGA to RCA connector box): random webcam and a Wii nunchuck via Arduino (for blog cred) to control it.

There are a few caveats, naturally, due to the state of my junkyard.

1) the myvu crystal is broken, fortunately just the casing around the eyepiece, but it bears mention.

2) the ArtiGo wasn’t designed to run windows 7, and I’m not entirely sure it’s up to the task of image processing.  Screw it!  What have I ever left running it’s designed function (not counting hardware that belongs to the wife)??

3) the battery comes from a lovely Chinese manufacturer whose name I don’t know, and who’s instructions are entirely in… Cantonese I’m guessing because it doesn’t look like what I think Mandarin does.  But I’m a culturally illiterate white guy, what the hell do I know from Chinese?  Also, I suspect that the mAh rating is pure fiction, or at least mathematically unlikely.

4) when fully assembled the headgear will look ridiculous.  I both understand and accept this.  I’m a tech and a hack, not a designer.  there are people I pay for that sort of thing.

5) I lied.  There is a whole other set of hardware for a wrist-gadget, but that part is for Later.

6) I like cheese.  Not sure if it’s relevant, just throwing it out there.

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What have I been up to?

Forgetting about this blog, that’s what!  I can’t promise to do better (both because nobody reads this and because I’m occasionally realistic).

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Holy Crap! I have a Blog?!?!

So (not that anyone reads this) but apparently I have a blog!  I blame my treacherous little brain for not reminding the rest of me in a timely fashion.


Quick bit of advice:  When you hear yourself thinking that you should just put item X somewhere safe so you can fid it later, get an axe.  It’s a damn dirty lie.

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To Do list

So far, a lot of the design stage has been finalized.  I’ve looked at a lot of different methods and right now I think the closest option to what I want for LED control is probably by combining the TLC5940 from Texas Instruments with an ATMEL micro-controller, probably actually an Arduino.

For testing purposes getting the OS design portion going I’ll try a new build on the ArtiGo from Via that we got in the 2009 Spark your Imagination competition.

The Video camera is likely to be an Intel Pro webcam I’ve had kicking around forever and the display will likely be an LCD monitor/TV.

LEDs are RGB jobbies, common Anode.  Already on order 😀

Now all I need is to cast some tiles so I can find a good transparent/translucence level and get to work on the physical build of the Board and some sample TLC5940s from TI to arrive so I can be sure they’re what I need.   After that? Why the horror of multiplexing!  Actually I’m trying to figure out how to multiplex without losing the PWM or making the refresh stupidly long…

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Blog is up.

So. This will contain the trials and tribulations of my entry for the Spark Your Imagination contest.

I hope it’s helpful to somebody. I know it will be to me.

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