I’ve been hard at work making a proof-of-concept demo of a IMU feeding rotation data into a 3d program. In order to proceed with my idea and plan, I first have to prove that it works, testing the IMU under various conditions of speed, vibration, magnetic interference and long-term stability.
I found that the easiest way to test all this is to have instant feedback when I change the different parameters.
So I built this little box that houses the IMU, the VirtualCom chip, a Webcam and a USB Hub to join them together. This is by no way indicative of what the final box will look like – there will be no webcam and the data will be recorded on board onto an SD card. On the photo above you can see the webcam, and the microphone that came with the webcam (I didn’t want to remove it, so I just made a hole for it), and 2 rubber feet to avoid scratching the lens. The blue light indicates power and the green that the webcam is on.
I made a program using OpenCV for webcam capture and OpenGL for drawing. I overlaid some static geometry over the webcam footage that responds to the input from the IMU and I captured the result (which was a very interesting experience itself). You can see from the following video just a sample of the output.
Now that some sort of proof is done, that gives me the confidence to move onto the next step: designing the custom hardware. I will continue to do further tests and improvements in the meantime.