Author Topic: Automatic target tracking  (Read 1434 times)

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Offline kissandra79Topic starter

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Automatic target tracking
« on: November 05, 2011, 02:22:04 PM »
Hi. I am trying to make a device that will automatically track and shoot a moving target using a paintball gun. The target will most likely be a small ball thrown into the air.

I would like to do the entire project in such a way that it incorporates elements of C++, ROS(Robot Operating System), Arduino, Control Systems and Image algorithms for tracking the target. I would like to do it this way.. because I would like some experience using ROS and have fun at the same time.

Here is an overview of how I think that the entire system might work. This is something that I am trying to pull right out of the top of my head. So I could be wrong. Or there might be a better way to do it.

1. A camera acquires an image of the moving target.
2. This information is sent to the computer which is running ROS.
3. ROS does some calculations.
4. Based on the results of the calculations, ROS sends position control information for the paintball gun to an arduino.
5. Arduino controls the motors that turns the turret and pulls the trigger of the paintball gun.

I am from an IT background. So programming and embedded systems are my skills. Im not so good with electronics and mechanical engineering. I realized that the best way for me to go about doing this project is to get the mechanical and electronic components as a kit instead of trying to make them myself. But ofcourse, I intend to write the entire control code, in ROS, and in the arduino...myself.

I have already mentioned the scenario in which the device will be tested. There will be a paintball gun mounted to a pan and tilt system. And this paintball gun will be targeting a moving ball. I am not good with mechanicals as I mentioned earlier. But it is obvious that a pan and tilt system that has to target a moving ball, needs to be a little faster and also be able to move the weight of the paintball gun with ease. And I believe the pan and tilt system will have to shoulder the weight of both the camera and the paintball gun. So I assume that this pan and tilt system must be sturdy and vibration free without any jerky movements. I imagine the ball to be a sphere with radius 2.5 cm.

I searched on google for a pan and tilt system that might be able to do something like this. But most of the information just flys over my head and sometimes I can't seem to find the information that I need.

Could someone please tell me, if there are any places where I can buy a pan and tilt system that can accommodate the requirements of this project? I can afford to spend 250$ if need be...

Offline hoosier122

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Re: Automatic target tracking
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2011, 01:20:47 AM »
I wouldn't buy anything until you simulate this by making a program in C (or whatever language). You just want to figure out the logic. It's going to take some basic geometry and algebra.

Also think about targeting a moving object...is it moving at a constant speed? How many dimensions is it moving? If you aim at a moving object from 50 feet away, you'll need to program your machine to anticipate how far your target will have moved by the time your projectile impacts it.

Sounds fun.

Offline hoosier122

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Re: Automatic target tracking
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 03:41:46 AM »
Have you already given up?  :-\

Offline BishopMG

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Re: Automatic target tracking
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2011, 07:18:59 PM »
If you have trouble building the hardware I'd suggest getting help from someone who's handy with it. Partner up even online. I'd love to participate and will attempt to use my limited skills to help you design the mechanical/electronic parts and as I am very familiar with C I can also anticipate some of the logic being used to control the circuits. Don't give up just yet, and post some specs and maybe the budget? some idea of dimensions? I finally made the account and would love to contribute.

 


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