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EnduranceRC

Virtual R/C driving project

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Hello,

I am currently doing a project that revolves around an r/c car and a pan/tilt camera. I figure this might be an interesting topic for this forum so I hope this is an appropriate place for such a discussion. I would like to hear what you guys think of this so please post any questions, feedback, suggestions, etc..

Anyway, here are the stages of my project:

1. Mount a pan/tilt (servo based) system on an r/c car platform and use it to control a wireless camera.

2. Interface an r/c car with a PC game steering wheel and pedal system.

3. Intergerate a headtracking goggles system to move the pan/tilt system.

So far I have completed stages 1 and 2.

I am using a pan/tilt platform from linxmotion.com. My first version was just built using servo tape to connect 2 servos. Everything is controlled via a 4 channel futaba 4yf radio. The first 2 channels control steering and throttle and the other 2 control the pan/tilt. A wireless camera mounted on the pan/tilt. The radio has been interfaced with my PC computer via the USB port. I can tell you guys more about this if anyone is interested because I dont want to be accused to spamming. Anyway, I have written some software that takes the signal from the pc steering wheel and then sends it to the transmitter on the proper channel. Right now, I have the pan/tilt matching the steering servo so that when you turn left, so does the camera. Stage 3 will take this further.

So, what do you guys think? I can post a few videos or pictures if anyone is interested.

Thanks!

Phil

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Cooooooooooll !

I like it, I have a car with a cam mount that pan/ tilt when I move the headset, I don't really play with it, I'm stuck to plane. I want to complete it this winter, so your project interested me. I have a steering and pedal for simulaqtor, it should be a cool project to make it work together. I don't know how to program like you do, so I will not e able to help you, But I have the equipement to try it on my side with your help.

http://video.google.fr/videoplay?docid=-70...163291427&hl=fr

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EnduranceRC: Sounds like you're almost there actually. Have a look at this thread: http://www.rc-cam.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=870 "Kilrah" makes a head tracker that can mount to your VR glasses (or ball cap, etc.), and plugs directly into your RC transmitter, to give real time head tracking to your pan/tilt servo mount.

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EnduranceRC,

It sounds like you're already working on the exact project I had plans on starting. Could you give me some specifics on the equipment you're using? Especially the Camera, reciever and headset.

Thank you,

Driscolldb

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Sorry for not replying in so long, I've been working hard on this project!

Take a look at my project log here: http://www.endurance-rc.com/driver_log.html

I posted pics and some info about each stage.

The log is a little outdate though so here is a video of my updated progress: http://www.endurance-rc.com/pcwheel.wmv

In the video you can see the demo of the wheel and pedals used to control the car.

I plan on using a head tracker goggle system from www.3dvisor.com. The goggles have built in headtracking and video. I have heard that these are the best goggles you can get for under $1K.

I didnt want to spam but the project is based around a USB to transmitter interface I created called the PCTx: http://www.endurance-rc.com/pctx.html

It allows you to send commands directly into your trainer port enabled transmitter. This makes it very easy to take any input device and use it to control the transmitter. What is also cool is that I am able to use 1 4channel transmitter to control the whole setup.

I looked into the head mount gyro made by rc-tech.ch. It seems pretty expensive though, almost the same price as the whole headset I plan to use.

Stage 3 is ready to go now. I should be getting the goggles in the mail any day now....

Is anyone interested in software like this? One good thing about this solution is that a lot of special hardware is not needed (aside from the goggles). All standard radio gear and vehicles are compatible.

Edited by EnduranceRC

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Hey guys

Any chance it would be possible for some of you to do a very detailed guide/howto on how to get this to work and how to do it and so on?

Being all the way from europe, getting things from the states aint exactly easy.

And I am really interested in how to get this to work, and I think it would be great fun to race with.

Was really hoping to find a guide, that would do both camera with pan and tilt, and perhaps with alternate stering ways, like you did with your steering wheel and pedals, but that is a bit off, I am really wanting the camera with real-time transmitter to a screen or headset.

Hope someone can help

Cheers

/Tommy

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Sorry for not replying in so long, I've been working hard on this project!

Take a look at my project log here: http://www.endurance-rc.com/driver_log.html

I posted pics and some info about each stage.

The log is a little outdate though so here is a video of my updated progress: http://www.endurance-rc.com/pcwheel.wmv

In the video you can see the demo of the wheel and pedals used to control the car.

I plan on using a head tracker goggle system from www.3dvisor.com. The goggles have built in headtracking and video. I have heard that these are the best goggles you can get for under $1K.

I didnt want to spam but the project is based around a USB to transmitter interface I created called the PCTx: http://www.endurance-rc.com/pctx.html

It allows you to send commands directly into your trainer port enabled transmitter. This makes it very easy to take any input device and use it to control the transmitter. What is also cool is that I am able to use 1 4channel transmitter to control the whole setup.

I looked into the head mount gyro made by rc-tech.ch. It seems pretty expensive though, almost the same price as the whole headset I plan to use.

Stage 3 is ready to go now. I should be getting the goggles in the mail any day now....

Is anyone interested in software like this? One good thing about this solution is that a lot of special hardware is not needed (aside from the goggles). All standard radio gear and vehicles are compatible.

It's a cool project. Are you sue the headset you want to buy have a video input, it's look to be design for computer, not video.

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It's a cool project. Are you sue the headset you want to buy have a video input, it's look to be design for computer, not video.

Vrflyer:

You are correct, the headset only has VGA inputs. I plan to use a NTSC to VGA converter in order to use my el chepo wireless cam. Later on this will probably be replaced by a WiFi camera and the video will be routed through the computer.

The wireless cam also has a microphone but I really do not know how well it works. I might try mounting it outisde of the plastic camera case. Id really like to hear cars coming when Im driving around the street. In your videos it seems like the mic works pretty good, is this so?

Edited by EnduranceRC

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The wireless cam also has a microphone but I really do not know how well it works. I might try mounting it outisde of the plastic camera case. Id really like to hear cars coming when Im driving around the street. In your videos it seems like the mic works pretty good, is this so?

No, the sound of the motor is soo high, I heard a lot of distorsion, so I added a resistor somewhere in the circuit. You will not heard the others cars comming.

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No, the sound of the motor is soo high, I heard a lot of distorsion, so I added a resistor somewhere in the circuit. You will not heard the others cars comming.

I was afraid of that. What about when the vehicle is not running, how does it sound then? Maybe building some sort of funnel (ear) would help. I really just want to be able to look and hear when crossing the street since I wont be around to actually see a car coming.

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looking for software that interfaces the headset and gyros and contols the cameras

used in the R/C video photography. what is being used?

what is the aprx. total cost for the whole setup?

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guardian,

I'm using some custom developed software written in C++. It has not been written yet though, only a test application. This application reads in the headset movement and then sends the commands into the PCTx.

As for cost:

Headset: $550.00

PCTx: $50.00

4 channel transmitter w/servos: $120.00

Low-End Wireless Camera: $50.00

Headset and Game Wheel Control Software: ???, not finished yet

PC Game Wheel: $110.00

R/C Car, battery's, ESC, motor: ???, whaever you want to spend really

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I got the head tracking visor in the other day and I have coded up a rough implementation to track yaw and pitch. I still need to do a lot of tuning but you get the picture. You can see a short video of the pan/tilt following the motions of the visor here:

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Sweet! I love it! One question, though. Are those the awesome new OLED display goggles by Emagine?

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The goggles seem very nice to me. The picture was blurry at first but its not so bad now that I figured out how to properly adjust the headset. Text is not easily read but video looks nice.

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EnduranceRC,

Thank you for the overview. Prices are w/in reason. Hope all goes well with you C++ program, looks like you are almost finished, cool!

I am currently looking at equipment on E-bay. If you find time please list a good source for the gyros and transmittrers. thanx

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The goggles seem very nice to me. The picture was blurry at first but its not so bad now that I figured out how to properly adjust the headset. Text is not easily read but video looks nice.

Is it really OLED, I want to know more on that

About the mic, the motor on my car is locate at the back and is very noisy on my both car, the mic will not work I think. It's not easy on a r/c car, I had think of a second cam looking back and a push button switch to take a brief look back to see if other car are coming, but i never tried it. mirror will not work, we need high resolution headset that not still invented.

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guardian,

If you find time please list a good source for the gyros and transmittrers. thanx

This headset his built in head tracking support. Im pretty sure it uses accelerometers to estimate the position. I think a accelerometer+gyro combo would be the ultimate in head tracking. On a side note, I wonder what the nintendo Wii controller uses?

Vrflyer,

Is it really OLED, I want to know more on that

Yes the headset is OLED. I'm getting a little more used to the headset now and once you get it setup just right you are in business. I dont know what the picture quality is like on your headset so I cant compare but I would say that my video feed actually looks better, if not just as good, as on my PC screen.

What model headset are you using?

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Actually, I think that an accelerometer and magnetometer would be the better option for head tracking. A dual axis magnetometer wouldn't suffer from drift, and they are a heck of a lot cheaper than gyros. Just have a reset button to re-center it incase you hand it to someone.

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The problem is that a magnetometer only works well when flat unless you add more sensors to calculate a compensation... at least a 3rd axis.

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I think that an accelerometer and magnetometer would be the better option for head tracking.

I've been hanging onto that hope so that I can finish my headtracker (first discussed here: rc-cam HeadTrack-R. It is still waiting for a cheap tilt compensated compass. I am a patient guy, so one will come along one day.

A few months ago I thought there was some hope. The $70 SiLabs tilt compensated C8051F350 based compass demo board seemed like a dream come true. My goal was to port the hardware design over to my board. However, once I had the compass board in my hands, things went south in a heartbeat. There is so much data averaging that fast real-time movement is not possible (it updates about 1Hz, with lots of errors). And, the tilt compensation was not very good. I doubt I could have rewritten their code for better performance (I figured the experts behind the design put their best foot forward).

I also considered a PC gamer type 6DOF headtracker. The IR based TrackIR-4-Pro had my attention for awhile, but it does not look like a good candidate. The USB interface would have been a hardship. But even worse, it appears that much of the processing is done in the host PC, rather than in the headset. I almost bought one just to see how well it would perform in sunlight, but later decided that would not get me anywhere even if it did well outdoors.

Long story short, the gyro solution seems to be practical and is relatively low cost. At least for now. :)

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The honeywell HMC6352 was what I had in mind, it's an integrated solution so it has the uC core and ADC already built into the unit. It does 20hz updates, should be fast enough. The only thing is that you would probably want to perform a calibration every time you go out to make sure that it works at the new location.

Sparkfun has them for 44.95

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_i...roducts_id=7892

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It does 20hz updates, should be fast enough.

All you need now is to find a way to add good tilt compensation, without reducing the effective frame rate, and it could be a winner. If you start the project please create a dedicated discussion on it.

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All you need now is to find a way to add good tilt compensation, without reducing the effective frame rate, and it could be a winner. If you start the project please create a dedicated discussion on it.

Yeah, I'm just not looking forward to all the math involved.... :(

I'll probably end up with those Emagin glasses as they are 800x600 with head tracker built in for only 550 USD. They're usb only, but it's nothing an app won't fix.

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Vrflyer, what model headset are you using?

My Headset come from I-glasses, it's old. I saw many headsets cheaper on E-Bay with the same casing, but mine cost $600 for 2D, I buyed the 3D version for $900.

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