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1 year ago

29 August, 2016

Michael Crouch Innovation Centre UNSW

Organised by:

---OpenCV Workshop---

Presented by Nathan Adler, B Eng Mechatronics, vision systems software engineer.

With more powerful computers, affordable digital cameras and open-source image processing algorithms, the pace of the development of computer-based vision systems has never been faster.

Get started with one of the most powerful and useful open-source libraries with over 2500 optimised algorithms for still image and video processing!

CREATE will be running two workshops over two weeks at the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, starting on Monday the 29th of August from 5pm to 8pm. Workshops will be run in C++, with an emphasis on simple and practical implementations of vision algorithms.

Bring a laptop with OpenCV installed, so you can follow along with the workshop examples and write your own OpenCV implementations. Installation instructions are currently being compiled in our Google Drive OpenCV Workshop resources folder (see top of description). We recommend installing OpenCV 3.1 onto a Linux machine, but Windows and Mac are also suitable.

Assumed knowledge: C++ (basic understanding sufficient). C knowledge alone will mean that you may understand most of the code but could have trouble following along. If you have never done any programming before at all, this workshop is probably not for you.

---Vivid 2017 Discussion---
Vivid Lights Sydney is an annual display of lighting projects and installations as well as a place for people to exchange ideas on new and upcoming technology.
Over the coming month, CREATE will be hosting a series of discussions and design activities to plan out our proposal to Destination's NSW for participation in Vivid Lights 2017.

---Soldering Workshop---
For those who were unable to complete ther soldering of their light badges in the introduction to electronics workshop, we will have helpers around in the workshop area to help with the rest of the soldering.

---New project announcement: DRC (self-driving car racing)---

Back in June, CREATE entered the droid racing challenge (DRC) hosted by the Queensland university of technology (QUT) in Brisbane. This was a competition where several toy-sized self driving cars would race around a track. The basic idea is to modify a toy remote control car with a computer system and camera replacing the radio control system. Competing against teams from several other universities, ultimately we came first! The project was a lot of fun, and CREATE is now using the DRC as an excuse to start a new, large project based on this: We want to start several teams, each building their own vehicle. And then in June, we'll try to send the best team up to Queensland to compete in the 2017 DRC.

The goal of this project: To have fun, to apply your engineering skills to a something big, to learn new things about robotics and design, and to get a bit of a head-start in the 'self driving car' tech meme. We're also starting quite a few months early, which will give you low-stress time to experiment with exotic or sophisticated control systems or unusual design approaches.

The main challenge of this project is the software, but there is of course still the necessity to have a robust mechanical and electrical design for your system.

This is suitable for people of all skill levels. Of course, your car will work better if you're commited to learning how to control it better, but it is totally possible to make the car move around with intermediate arduino knowledge; and the experience will only become more rewarding if you become more familiar with messing around with relatively sophisticated computer systems. Topics to research: Arduino and the pixy camera, and the raspberry pi running openCV through a webcam.

The basic idea is that we'll have a facebook group, combined with a weekly meetup on Monday evenings, where all the teams will come along and discuss their problems, get advice, help each other, use the MCIC's tools, and later on race against each other. CREATE doesn't have much involvement with your team, we just help start things and give you a bit of a hand if you get stuck. During the intervening week we recommend that you research topics, buy parts, work on your design, and communicate with your team. You'll have several months to do work on it, so you can work at whatever pace you feel like.

During this first monday meetup (Monday, Week 6), there will be a brief introduction and I'll bring along our vehicle to show the sort of design we used. Of course there will also be an OpenCV workshop, which I absolutely recommend to stay around for. To get started and to begin to sort out the teams, join the following facebook group at this link. Sometime in Week 6, I'll assign people into teams if you haven't found a team already, and feel free to drop out or join in as time goes along. For now that facebook group will be the main way we keep each other updated.


So if you're keen to design and build your own self-driving racing car, join the facebook group and come along on monday nights! You'll regret not giving it a go.