Here is a panorama of our final prototype of ‘connected worlds’ we developed as part of our artist in residence program.
This was just before the space was opened up and it was filled with energetic kids of all ages.
We’ll post a video soon showing some of the highlights.
Testing Near IR absorbing ink
This ink is a sample from Epolin. As you can see the ink is barely visible on the plastic cutting board but appears a dark/mid gray to the camera. The ink is solvent based and designed for silkscreen application. Its appearance in the bottle is a dark green.
The ink is the Spectre 340 which has a peak absorption of 859nm . The Spectre 310 might be even more optimized for the IR range of the Sony M183.
We’re interested in the properties of this ink ( or something similar ) for use as a floor coating. This would allow us to have a floor painted white ( suitable for projection ) but appear dark to an IR camera ( good for increasing contrast for video tracking ). Other uses could be for printing QR codes that are invisible to the human eye but visible to an IR camera. From the last image in this post it looks like this might be the reason why Microsoft requested the ink from Epolin.
One more thing to note. The fumes from this ink are very strong!
From Epolin’s blog. A test done for Microsoft Corp.
Setting up Puppet Parade at NYSCI
Farming Interactive Installation Prototype
Here is some video of our second prototype at NYSCI. The prototype is a farming installation where you use your body to water your crops and then harvest them with a chopping motion. There is an RFID enabled truck which empties the silo of the collected crops, which can then be delivered to another installation.
Updating the harvesting app with the ability to water the crops. This required a rear facing IR camera as well to track the silhouette ( the swiping was being detected by a kinect mounted from above ). We’re using IR lights at the base of the wall to backlight the subject.
Kinect Tracking Video
This is what the Kinect camera mounted above the screen sees. We needed to mount it in this way so we could easily see when someone’s arm was outstretched in front of them.
Testing Harvesting Installation - Work In Progress
A quick test video showing harvesting working using swiping / chopping gesture. Still a lot to implement, but already we’re having a lot of fun playing with it.
Getting setup for testing the harvesting prototype.
A Genie is a nice alternative to a projector mount!
A sketch of a harvesting / farming installation where children plant and grow crops and then harvest them. The harvested food is a resource which can be shared with the other installations.
A sketch illustrating the idea of dual worlds which share resources between them. This would allow children to split into teams to try different approaches to resource management and see how their decisions compare.
We would also have an installation dedicated to showing the global picture with a future dial to jump forward in time and see the results at different timescales.
Sharing resources across multiple installations - prototype test.
Testing sharing resources between two installations. The system can detect and identify boxes ( our cargo trucks ) and add resources from one installation and have the trucks transport the resources to another installation. Note: This is proof of concept and doesn’t represent a final installation. We’re using computer vision for the identification in this prototype but a more robust and flexible solution would probably involve rfid.
our prototype ‘smart truck’
Sanitation Truck Test
A test using a kinect to identify a sanitation truck being placed against the wall. The rubbish is then collected by the truck, disappearing from the projection.
A little look inside our inner workings. This is a sketch of some ideas for demonstrating interconnected installations based on sharing resources. A little bit crazy, but potentially a lot of fun too :)
Quick initial experiment using openFrameworks and box2d to collect and share resources. The user can control the claw and pick up resources and send them to different parts of the system. Experiments in progress! :)