Over the past week or so I have acquired a Pandaboard to run the project on, and organised a Microsoft Kinect and an iRobot Create (a Roomba without the vacuum cleaner compartment) for the main components.
I have spent some time setting up the Pandaboard and installing an Operating System. I have opted to use an ARM desktop build of Ubuntu 12.04 for buycbdproducts time being as it is relatively straight forward to use and people have previously got a Pandaboard running it and interfacing with a Kinect via the open source drivers. As such I figured that while it is a fairly heavy-weight Operating System for the task in hand – especially from a performance/power-consumption point of view – it is a known working configuration and is a great place to start and learn the process of getting it working.
I have tried to install and run the drivers, however while installing one of the libraries the system crashed and eventually had to be manually restarted. This left it in a partially upgraded state which did not find my somewhat heavy-handed restoration attempt pleasing. I am now back to square one and need to reinstall Ubuntu on the SD card and try again.
One of the key motivations in setting up this blog was so that I could document the work on my Individual Project (part of my 4th year degree program at the University of Bristol). For this I am making a low-power, autonomous litter bin. This will use a Kinect (or similar device) to identify groups of people who would potentially generate litter and move towards them; avoiding crowds or moving people. While implementing this I intend to investigate low-power machine vision solutions in general and how the Kinect might be usefully leveraged in such an application.
The fundamental aims for my project are as follows:
- A low-power, Kinect-based, computer-vision solution.
- Real-time, autonomous decision-making.
- Robust, unobtrusive behaviour.
- Human behavioural analysis to intelligently detect potential litter generation.
From a hardware point of view I intend to use a Roomba (a robotic vacuum cleaner that has an API available to control it) as the wheeled-base for the project and a PandaBoard to perform the processing.
I shall update with more detailed information in the coming weeks.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I wasn’t happy with my, then current, theme, Gridiculous. The browser compatibility issues were the main problem, but I also wasn’t 100% happy with the theme itself.
Since then I have learnt quite a bit more about how themes in WordPress are written and I have subsequently written my own in the form of a child theme built on top of the twentytwelve theme. This has the advantage of both being a relatively plain theme (so easy to customize) and, having been written by WordPress themselves, a pleasure to modify. Since it’s a child theme it will update as twentytwelve is updated so it should be fairly robust. I was surprised at just how painless the whole procedure was: the bulk of the rewrite took me just 6 hours with a small amount of planning before hand and a bit of messing around uploading it afterwards. I’m very happy with the end result and feel far more comfortable editing these themes now so I should be able to fix any problems as they arise; as I’m sure they will!