Author Topic: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to  (Read 3264 times)

Wetstuff

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1510
    • View Profile
    • Wetstuff
LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« on: January 31, 2019, 06:02:46 AM »
https://www.designboom.com/technology/mit-roboat-laserscape-amsterdam-canals-01-30-2019/?utm_source=designboom+daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MIT+uses+driverless


There's all this 'self-driving car' and automated factory conversation, but since I like water - I pay more attention.

Jim
Sunova Skate XL .. Blue Planet MultiTasker ..   Atlantis Venom

RideTheGlide

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2019, 06:41:26 AM »
That's pretty cool. A few years ago, I did some side work on a speculative project ("we're all going to be millionaires" - didn't work out that way). The guy I worked with had someone stake him to buy all the hardware and we just put in time. He built what was basically an electric jet ski that could be thrown in the water and go to a man overboard automatically. The target market was commercial fishing boats in rough cold water. They can't turn around quickly, it's easy to lose sight of the person in the water and time is at a premium because of the cold water.

I did the control boards using Arduinos. There was a beacon that just transmitted coordinates from a GPS when activated, a main control box that could joystick control the AV (plus some other functions mostly for testing) and the AV itself. They all communicated with data radios that were supposedly good to 6 miles. It was an interesting project even though it went nowhere. It could have if the investor had taken a low ball offer.

I used a GPS and tilt compensated compass on the AV plus motor controllers on twin props adjusting speeds to turn it. Some math with the coordinates gave me the bearing. When I got really close, I would go into what I called lawn mower mode, going fairly slowly back and forth across the area when the coordinates of the AV and beacon indicated I was very close so that I would get close enough so he could grab it and pull himself on without hitting him at high speed. That worked pretty well in testing.

As far as current and wind, the continual course adjustment would result in a slight arc that was direct enough not to worry about trying to tweak it.

This was fine for open ocean, but the real problem was detecting obstacles on the surface if there were waves. Both below and above water sonar bounces off the face of waves. Figuring that out was still on my to-do list when we folded the tent...
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 06:47:29 AM by RideTheGlide »
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

TallDude

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 4794
  • Capistrano Beach native
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2019, 10:58:28 AM »
I'll wait for the foil version ;D  Seriously, it's cool to see the inception of something. Then years later jump on one in Amsterdam, or where ever.

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 22361
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2019, 08:16:25 PM »
I'm building a height control system for my 78 GMC moho using LIDAR. I tried cheaper infrared and ultrasound detectors, but they're too sensitive to interference. Lidar is rock solid, even at the very short range I'm using. The GMC's have airbag suspension and originally had automatic height control. the original height sensor and the compressor system was staggeringly complex, including regenerative air dryers, automatic calibration, and automatic mode switching for parked, driving, and leveling. Wild shit. I'd restore that system if it was present, just for the technical challenge, but previous owners tore it out and installed a simple manual compressor system. I'm restoring the original functionality with ESP32 IOT controllers and Lidar. Just a few billion dollars worth of tech to do something GMC did completely analog 47 years ago.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

RideTheGlide

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2019, 03:12:36 AM »
I'm building a height control system for my 78 GMC moho using LIDAR. I tried cheaper infrared and ultrasound detectors, but they're too sensitive to interference. Lidar is rock solid, even at the very short range I'm using. The GMC's have airbag suspension and originally had automatic height control. the original height sensor and the compressor system was staggeringly complex, including regenerative air dryers, automatic calibration, and automatic mode switching for parked, driving, and leveling. Wild shit. I'd restore that system if it was present, just for the technical challenge, but previous owners tore it out and installed a simple manual compressor system. I'm restoring the original functionality with ESP32 IOT controllers and Lidar. Just a few billion dollars worth of tech to do something GMC did completely analog 47 years ago.

You made me look...
https://www.hackster.io/mjrobot/iot-made-simple-playing-with-the-esp32-on-arduino-ide-0fe58c

Cost of admission is pretty low if you are a techno dweeb with breadboards, power supplies and sensors to play with lying around. I have a little toy AV - literally; I put an H bridge motor controller and a steering servo in a dirt cheap RC car - that I can control with BT messing around with sensors. Yet another speculative side project that didn't get off the ground was a robotic runway inspector; the actual unit the maker had was big brushless DC motors run by an ESC, but I wrote the propulsion and steering code where it was easy to switch between the toy, which I could use at home, and his unit for field testing. Anyway, it might be kind of interesting  to adapt it to using the web for instructions/routes. I was playing around with the Sharp distance sensor. You can get all sorts of lower level info from it, like back scatter, to try to figure out what you are looking at - like smooth/rough and how reflective on top of how far away it is. Kind of a poor man's LIDAR, but not nearly as fully functional. But that smart camera module that could learn shapes was gaining some ground when I was last messing with it.

Might give me something to do while I can't paddle...
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

supthecreek

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 6538
  • Sunova is a Zone sponsor and I am their spokesman
    • View Profile
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2019, 03:25:46 AM »
Interesting vid Wetstuff.... interesting to watch the "live" readings turn into continually updated objects in relative 3D optics.

Wetstuff

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1510
    • View Profile
    • Wetstuff
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 09:30:02 AM »
I envy you RTG, I'd love to be able to program c'hit. I am working on a 'crawler' for the marsh that will crush Phragmites out front of my house.  I have about 3-4 acres of them that wreck our view. A friend who builds racecars will make the chassis and rig the hydro-drive for me.  My last one -a roller- was too tall and I would get chucked off into the mud when it dipped into a hole.  I would love to make the new one R/C and saving ~200lbs to haul my azz also.  I could probably do walk-behind controls, but that's not fun...


Jim
Sunova Skate XL .. Blue Planet MultiTasker ..   Atlantis Venom

RideTheGlide

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2019, 05:02:34 PM »
I envy you RTG, I'd love to be able to program c'hit. I am working on a 'crawler' for the marsh that will crush Phragmites out front of my house.  I have about 3-4 acres of them that wreck our view. A friend who builds racecars will make the chassis and rig the hydro-drive for me.  My last one -a roller- was too tall and I would get chucked off into the mud when it dipped into a hole.  I would love to make the new one R/C and saving ~200lbs to haul my azz also.  I could probably do walk-behind controls, but that's not fun...
Sometimes I am about ready to be done with programming. 40 years professionally.

But Arduino is kind of fun and different. I did some some discrete device firmware ~30 years ago but all I could do was purely the software side. All the stuff like sensors had to be built chip by chip with all the right resistors and capacitors, address decoders and what not. You needed a real EE and you couldn't just mess around. With the Arduino, and other similar microcontrollers, you can. You can get sensors for $5 or so for all sorts of things - distance, temperature, proximity , compass, GPS (a bit more, but still some choices around $20 and I have "harvested" some from other devices for very cheap). Motors that you can run to provide locomotion or precise movement. All sorts of stuff and it's all pretty easy to wire up - power, ground and maybe 1 to 3 wires to communicate with. Tons of code all over the net to help you get started.

The out of the box RC stuff is pretty easy to deal with. With that or with the microcontrollers, you just share ground with the scary high voltage motors and send low voltage "instructions" (pulses, actually) to the speed controllers or servo logic (for things that move back and forth, like steering). When I get shocked it's like 7.5 volts with very little amperage. It usually doesn't even smoke sensors if you wire them up wrong. That's what makes computer chips work - smoke. As soon as you let it out, they stop working.  ::)

You should post up some pictures of this thing you are making.
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

surfcowboy

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 3525
    • View Profile
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2019, 06:35:20 PM »
Yeah guys. It’s easier than ever to learn to program now. Check your local maker space or stem center and take an arduino class. Super fun and surprisingly easy, especially since you’re “doing something” and not every thing is theoretical.

Good winter projects if you’re up North.

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 22361
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2019, 06:36:55 PM »
The ESP 32 is like Arduino plus radios (BT and wifi) and a bunch more, and it's a lot more powerful than most Arduinos--dual core, 32 bit is more or less standard.  When I first looked at the it was AT commands, C or assembler (ugh) but now you can program it with the Arduino IDE, C++, and Micropython. For all I know by now you can probably program them in AWK. OK, maybe not. Reasonably small in most implementations. I feel like every time I stop doing this stuff for a few months everything gets smaller, faster, cooler. ESP32 also has ten touch sensors, 18 channels of analog to digital converters, two digital to analog, most have temperature sensors, a hall effect sensor, ethernet, all the usual motor PWM stuff, voltage regulator with 3 and 5v out and tons more. A whole frickin' kitchen pantry full of crap on a dinky little board. You can do a hell of a lot with not much connected to it.


Sensors are getting insanely cheap since a number of Chinese hobbyist companies started doing kits of sensors on breakout boards with I2C. Each company is trying to outdo the other. 40 sensor boards for 15 bucks is common.



Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

RideTheGlide

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2019, 07:00:03 PM »
The article I linked earlier said under $10 for the DIP ESP 32. I have cheaper Arduinos but they are slower with IO ports that are easy to wire to but nothing really built in. I connect BT or data radios and sensors on the breadboard. I end up daisy chaining breadboards. I can be a little less than organized when that starts happening and end up with a nasty mess like the one on the aforementioned toy car AV:
(EDIT - upper center is one of the harvested GPS units I mentioned earlier. I cracked open a USB GPS that came with an outdated version of MS Streets I got for about $5 and soldered leads to power, data and ground. It's amazingly accurate)
This is not one of the dirt cheap little Arduinos, but not a whole lot more.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 07:13:42 PM by RideTheGlide »
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 22361
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2019, 09:48:15 PM »
My breadboards are equally ugly. I used XBees for the rudder/autopilot project, but they are spendy overkill, so I  did a few projects with super cheap (less than a buck) 433mhz transmitters and receivers, but they have no handshaking--you have to do all the checking in software. Not hard, but I ditched those in favor of the nRF24L01 transceivers which are nearly as cheap and much more sophisticated. You can even connect them in a mesh, or simpler yet for a project I'm working on that needs two transmitters talking to a central receiver, connect two controlled with a collision protocol that works just fine. Most of the wireless stuff I'm doing in my GMC motorhome was prototyped with these. But now there's ESP32 which means I might have to redo all that stuff. Low energy Bluetooth is ideal for lots of stuff. And anything that requires more bandwidth and range can be WiFi.

Strange world. Stuff that would have taken months to build with discrete components is now trivial, and things that would be super expensive and power hungry now cost nothing and run for weeks on a dinky battery.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

RideTheGlide

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 549
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2019, 05:47:23 AM »
xBee is what we used on the rescue jet ski thing. The one that is supposed to 6 miles. I never tried more than a mile but that was fine. I also played with those no handshake data radios, making up my own protocol. I would send a bunch of 'U' characters in a row as a preamble as it is a series of perfectly timed spikes high and low that is not likely to be random static. They constantly stream crap "data" the rest of the time and the range was pretty limited. It would be better with an ESC and brushless motor instead of that uni toy motor. The nice thing about BT is that I use a little phone app that lets me assign commands to buttons so I could make my driving remote easy to use by placing them around the edges and put a little terminal window right in the middle where I would stream out all sorts of diagnostics. I implemented a little command processor so I could request values like GPS coordinates, heading from compass, etc. One thing I wish they had is multi threading. My code gets complicated as I do everything in the loop and make it a state machine caching the milliseconds every time I do something then return and don't do the next step too soon and get stuck. For example, that Sharp IR sensor is really accurate because it does a bunch of internal processing before returning a value. If you do a blocking read, it will take 100 ms. If you go do other stuff and come back and read it after 100 ms have passed, it's immediate.
2016 Naish Glide 14x30 GTW
2017 GoPlus 9'9" x 6" iSUP (generic low end all around)

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 22361
    • View Profile
    • Ponohouse is for sale. Great house but it's time for new adventures
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2019, 10:26:36 AM »
See what you started wetstuff. You don't throw bait to geeks. They'll take it every time and add their own pile.
Ponohouse is for sale: http://www.ponohouse.com
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

SanoSlatchSup

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 834
  • San Clemente
    • View Profile
Re: LIDAR - in a way I can relate to
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2019, 02:04:57 PM »
This thread seems like it would be extremely interesting....as soon as someone translates it into "tech moron" for me. :-[ :D
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 02:07:54 PM by SanoSlatchSup »
Me: 6'1"/200...5'11" & 6'0" Chelu Foil Boards...9'6" Bob Pearson "Laird Noserider"...9'6" Costa Azul Wide Body...14' Lahui Kai "Manta"...8'0" WaveStorm for when proning urges still hit, and 7'3" Chuck Glynn foil board backup.