Location tracking using IR throwies

[Joe] and his team hacked together some location tracking using IR throwies for their final project. The challenge they undertook was to find a way to track the orientation of a sculpture in the form of a rotating metal cube. The end result dips its toe into the augmented reality pool but the methods are what interest us.

They wanted this to work day or night so contrast would be a major issue if working completely with image manipulation. Having a simple way to pick out the corners of the monotone block would make this process a breeze. They ended up using magnetic throwies that have an infrared LED which can easily be picked up by a webcam no matter what the ambient light issues happen to be.

After the break you can see these guys out in the wild testing the system. We’d like to note the diffusers used in the project. We’re used to seeing ping-pong balls as diffusers but this is the first time we’ve noticed Styrofoam balls being used.

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