Engineering student builds robot to play Guitar Hero
Bill Manor, robotics instructor at Minnesota West, suggested Nikrin incorporate a PresencePLUS P4 OMNI vision sensor with a right-angle lens from Banner Engineering. Manor had such a vision system in his possession, as Minnesota West had purchased it at a discount through Banner as a start-up education kit.
Students have used Banner vision sensors in many projects over the yearsto inspect containers, for example, as they come down a conveyor, Manor said.
To develop his Guitar Hero robot, Nikrin used a mannequincomplete with Minnesota West sweatshirt, hat and painted fingernailsand installed the camera lens as the robot's left eye, which would be positioned toward the TV or computer screen. The robot, named Roxanne, identified the notes to be played by using an Edge vision tool, which detects, counts and locates the transition between bright and dark pixels in an image area.
We set-up five Edge tools that ran horizontally across the screen, one for every fret, and positioned the tools to focus on the notes at the bottom of each, Nikrin said. The Edge tools sent a constant signal as the five vertical fret lines progressed, and when a bright white dot appeared in the middle of a dark colored circle, the Edge tool allowed the sensor detect it.
Jeff Curtis, Senior Applications Engineer at Banner, worked with Nikrin and Manor to ensure the robot's processing time was fast enough to keep up with the video game. Once a note was identified, communicating this signal efficiently depended upon a heavy amount of programming, as well as Ethernet technology applied through a Modbus register. A PLC was programmed so that it constantly looked at the vision sensor's register. Once the Edge tool senses a note, the PLC notices the change in the register, and the logic in the PLC fires a solenoid that activates the robot's finger. Just as a human player would react, the robot's finger then presses down on the appropriate note on the guitar. This set-up resulted in 9 ms processing speed.
PresencePLUS P4 OMNI
To ensure consistent, accurate operation, the team needed to ensure Roxanne could play within a range of lighting conditionsas she would be relocated from classrooms to gymnasiums for demonstrationsas well as confirm the robot was correctly oriented with the monitor displaying the video game. They solved this problem by using a Locate tool, an edge-based vision tool that finds the absolute or relative position of the target in an image by finding its first edge.
We honed a Locate tool and gave it a fixed pointa piece of reflective tape on the PC monitorto focus on, Curtis said. This ensures the Edge tools are in the proper location to detect each note as it comes along and allows for any slight vibration in the application environment that could result in some deviation. If the robot starts to sag a bit, for example, it can still play.
Using this technique, Roxanne has, on Medium mode, hit 100 percent accuracy at times, and it averaged 98 percent accuracy during the remainder of Nikrin's tenure at Minnesota West. She could achieve up to 95 percent accuracy on Hard mode and 80 percent accuracy on Expert mode, due to the increased mechanical requirements of the robot's fingers required. Today, Roxanne still engages current and prospective Minnesota West engineering students, and Nikrin looks back on it with both a sense of accomplishment and a hefty dose of gratitude.
Throughout the process, I was impressed with Banner's dedication to their products and customers, he added. Bill and I both thought that they went above and beyond to help with a school project, which might seem trivial to some companies.
View a video of Roxanne's performance.
About Banner. Banner Engineering is the world's leading manufacturer of fiber optic assemblies, photoelectric and ultrasonic sensors, vision sensors, wireless networks, electronic machine guarding systems and precision measurement systems.
For further information, contact Banner Engineering Corp., 9714 Tenth Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55441. PH: 888.373.6767 (Toll-free North America), or 001.763.544.3164 (International). FAX: 763.544.3213. Email: [email protected] E-commerce: www.bannerengineering.com/buyonline; Web: www.bannerengineering.com.
MMP announces Model MMP LA3-12V-5-A-SP-100 linear actuator
This design from MMP utilizes an ‘All-Steel” drive pinion, thereby increasing the force capacity, while maintaining the 5:1 Reduction Ratio...
Binder introduces M12 connector cord sets
The M12 cordsets are ideally suited for the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical industries where a washable connector is required.
PAC announces the ISL FZP 5G2S OptiFZP freezing point analyzer
The OptiFZP is designed to offer productivity with reliability and accuracy with an interface on a 7” color touch-screen allows users to start a...
C3D Labs announces launch of C3D Vision 2016
This software component from C3D Labs works with polygonal 3D models. Scenes are split into segments and then represented by graphics. Each segment...
Schaefer introduces C/B 3500 series of DC-DC, AC-DC converter modules
The C/B 3500 Series provides a solution for the most extreme environments including military, transportation, alternative energy, and process...
Lighting Controllers – The Hidden Power Behind Automating Machine Vision
By Peter Bhagat, Gardasoft Vision
The ability of industrial vision systems to monitor, regulate, check, analyze, sort and classify with high...
VDMA: Germany sees record machine vision sales in 2015
In 2015, the German machine vision industry achieved record sales of 2 billion euros – a rise of 9 percent compared to the previous year. Sales...
SKF automates factory with Egemin automated storage system
With the new system, SKF can organize the logistics of its bearings, lubricants and seal products more efficiently and economically. The completed...
Axiom automates B2C Europe with 100 destination packet mail sorter
The new sorter has automated B2C Europe's parcel and pack sortation, enabling the company to sort up to 8,000 packets an hour. This has given the...