[Henry Tonoyan] has started getting into OpenCV and digital control system projects. He needed a decent webcam that could do higher than standard frame rates. As it turns out, the PS3 Eye is actually a pretty capable little camera. Now that it’s kind of obsolete, you can have it for as little as $7 from places like Amazon!
The PS3 Eye has a standard USB interface, and after messing around with it a bit in Linux, [Henry] was able to adjust the frame rate settings for his application. He’s using a library called video for Linux with an application called qv4L2. It’s capable of 60fps at VGA, which we admit isn’t amazing, but at $7, we can’t complain — if you drop down to QVGA (320×240) you can go up to 120fps.
From there you can play around in OpenCV to your heart’s content.
Seeing as the Eye has been out for over 7 years now, it has been used in quite a few hacks since then. From an actual eyeball tracker (seriously), to an interactive projection globe with touch tracking to even a physical tower defense game.
If you’re tired of playing flash games with a mouse, perhaps you’ll draw inspiration from this project. Arthur built a multitouch interface that uses objects as part of the control scheme. In the image above you can see that the game board for a tower defense game is shown on the display. There is a frustum-shaped game piece resting on the surface. Just place that piece where you want to build your next tower, and then select the tower type from the list.
The controller itself is pretty straight-forward. The surface is a piece of acrylic topped with some light diffusing material. A projector shines through another acrylic window on the side of the unit, reflecting on a mirror positioned at a 45 degree angle. As for the multitouch detection, the hardware uses a series of UV LEDs along with a modified PS3 eye camera. [Arthur] chose the reacTIVision software package to process the input from the camera. Check out a couple of videos after the break to see the hardware, and some game play.
Continue reading “Multitouch Tower Defense Uses Physical Towers”
Here’s a quick and dirty kinetic sculpture. It’s a track for a steel marble to roll around in with a magnet on a rotating wheel to pick it up and start it over again. Not every hack has to be a beautiful masterpiece, they just need to be fun. Of course, if this were an incredibly complicated piece it probably wouldn’t have ended up in a links post.
[AlexP] has been involved in the NUI Group and in writing drivers for the PS3 Eye. This time around he’s got eight of them running on one computer at 60fps. Security cameras come to mind but this could be useful in a lot of projects. We’d be interested in seeing what you come up with. [Thanks Kyle]
If you have a problem with folks peeing on your stoop then this is the answer. [Hannes Nehls] put together a urinating-drunkard deterrent by placing a humidity sensor in the (achem…) trouble-spot and a small tube above. When they pee on the sensor, it pees right back on them. Video available if you click through to the link.
If you’re a little shaky when it comes to understanding and working with amplifiers this tutorial is for you. It’ll walk you through the basic concepts, then apply that knowledge in a simple op-amplifier circuit.
It’s always nice to end a links post with something creepy. These faces are made from a cast of the artist’s face. They sing a trio of nonsense and it’s the life-like movements combined with the obviously mechanical backend that tingles our spine. But they’re really just a novelty and not the real thing. [Thanks Browneyedalbino][via Powered by Nerd]
[Dave] sent us these fantastic instructions on how to hack a rear projection tv to be a multitouch interface. They’ve converted a 67″ inch TV by adding a couple of PS3 eye cameras and an infrared laser plane. There’s lots of great information, like how to replace the lenses on the PS3 eye cameras and how to create the custom fittings needed to make it all fit nicely. You can download the code, but it is Mac only. They claim that this is the first conversion of a commercial rear projection TV to multitouch, but we know better. You can see a video of it in action after the break.
Continue reading “Rear Projection TV Multitouch”
If you’ve ever wanted to play with tangible tracking systems quick and cheap, you might be interested in this super quick tracking surface for trackmate. Trackmate is open source software for physical object tracking. Making a surface for it isn’t that hard in the first place but this one is probably the easiest. All you really need is some Plexiglas, some c-clamps and a web cam. The whole thing packs into a backpack or over the shoulder bag. This would be perfect for live performances.