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VK machine - tons of pics on this website
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Once-bitten
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aerodyne!
I was hoping you would chime in here seeing as your specialties include:

Quote:
electromechanical and microelectronic design and production


Do you have any thoughts on the mechanical swing arm of the VK?

While I may be mechanically interested I'm also mechanically impared...any and all input is valuable to me Rolling Eyes
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aerodyne
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once-bitten wrote:
aerodyne!
I was hoping you would chime in here seeing as your specialties include:

Quote:
electromechanical and microelectronic design and production


Do you have any thoughts on the mechanical swing arm of the VK?

While I may be mechanically interested I'm also mechanically impared...any and all input is valuable to me Rolling Eyes


"I've done... questionable things..." which I'd best keep quiet about. Wink

It should be relatively easy to motorise a prop (as per morpheus13's excellent example), the sensor arm is mechanically simple, micro R/C servos are so cheap these days (sub $10 for decent light duty units), it'd be unusual not to use them. Add in a little microcontroller (Stamp, OOPIC, Brainstem, etc) and you can probably bring the BOM in under $100, starting from scratch. This would let you program in complete behaviour patterns, with light sequencing, bellows speed, fake sensor tracking, etc.

If you wanted to replicate a VK, I'd consider using one of the tiny micro (170mm x 170mm), nano (120mm x 120mm) or pico-ITX(100mm x 72mm) boards now commonly available. These little devices pack up to a dual 1GHz processor, with all common interfaces and outputs. For example, a nano-ITX- based PC has been fitted into an original Nintendo Game Boy. Running WindowsXP, and at a decent speed, too.

A complete system with all hardware (keyboard would need to be hidden inside) could easily fit into a VK chassis. Choose a board with direct TV-out and you could drive a cheap little LCD AV monitor (think eBayed Casio handheld TV). Replace a conventional mouse with a laptop-style USB nipple stick and disguise it as a greeblie. Again, utilise servo control of the sensor arm, and/or mod the drive systems that come with the webcam. I suggested earlier that a Logitech Sphere could be used; this automatically track faces in its field of view. If, like cheap USB vision devices I've played with in the past, the Logitech driver hooks into the standard Windows WDM model, ffdshow (awesome piece of open-source multi-format CODEC goodness) will allow you to process the incoming stream and perform just about any processing you desire, in real time.

So, open up your Deckard briefcase, take out your VK unit, place on the interview table. Whilst test subject is getting comfortable, power on. Optimised XP coming up from standby takes a few seconds. Webcam software launches, sensor arm goes up. Sensor tracks face of test subject, pre-configured ffdshow accepts video stream, zooms in to eye and adds video processing effects. As test subject moves, webcam sensor continues to track face, keeping it in the center of field of view. ffdshow continues to keep zoomed eye on little screen, as per the film. Repeat until test subject confirmed as replicant, human, lesbian, or any combination thereof.

Note; have not personally played around with the Logitech Sphere, so I'm going on speculation and marketing copy. There are ways to fake the same result, and there are ways to do the eye-tracking without using a full-blown PC. Lego Mindstorms NXT and the new colour-tracking addon camera would do it, as would an OOPIC and it's associated auto-tracking camera. It'd just be cheaper and quicker with a miniature PC board. Smile

Actually, fixing a styrene shell over a cheap laptop would probably also do the job, providing it can drive the required weeny monitor. From my perspective, accurately constructing the outer shape of the VK unit is the hard part. It'd be almost trivial to mod a kit, by comparison. Hint, hint. Wink

All of that probably didn't answer your question. Sad
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Once-bitten
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite the contrary...my REAL question was,"Are you the guy to wire up my VK when I have a chasi ready to go?"
I think you answered quite well...now maybe you could explain exactly what it is you told me?
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aerodyne
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once-bitten wrote:
Quite the contrary...my REAL question was,"Are you the guy to wire up my VK when I have a chasi ready to go?"

The simple answer; possibly, depending on current workload. It's something I've always wanted to try, and have the required hardware to prototype up (aside from an actively-tracked vision system) I can investigate the software issues with no difficulty. Also, aside from the eye display screen, it'd be nice to have the other readouts functioning correctly as well.


Once-bitten wrote:
I think you answered quite well...now maybe you could explain exactly what it is you told me?

How close to screen-accurate do you want to get? How much money and/or ingenuity do you want to burn? I suppose that's what it always comes down to in projects like this. As you yourself know. Wink

P.
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aerodyne
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took a break for coffee and did a 5-minute test:



http://propsummit.com/upload/363/test2ffdq85.avi

World's cheapest webcam held in hand, 320x240 input, poor light, poor subject (who feels like a 4-year-old replicant), live video capture via ffdshow; no post-processing or composition was performed.

Left half of the picture is untouched, showing right eye. Right half is 'zoomed' with ffdshow enlarging my left eye. Split-screen is for comparison only. For a VK machine you'd use decent hardware and display the 'zoomed' eye fullscreen; with luck, the same effect will be possible with a face-tracking webcam. I'll ask around and see if I can borrow one to test.

It'd probably be best to start a new thread if this goes any further. Didn't intend to hijack this one. Embarassed

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Once-bitten
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow...great stuff! Have you considered a programmable sound chip that can give us the same sounds of the movie VK?

Yes, these things take time, energy, money and people in the know.

Short of saying that I want to be project lead on this
I do have a few contacts and can probably come up with a fairly accurate chassy design. I know there are any number of places that can vacuform duplicates of it once I have a shape.

As these things go, information will undoubtedly trickle in as interest grows. The main thing is good communication and a willingness to share what we've got, short of serving up the whole enchilada before it's really cooked... Wink

Feel free to PM me with material you feel is of a "break-thru" nature and I will do the same.
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MsGeek
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might want to consider using Linux instead of XP. If you managed to get everything working, this would mean the modified "distro" of Linux powering the VK unit could be freely distributed without worry of angering Microsoft. Linux has libraries for voice recognition and text-to-speech. The "distro" would not necessarily have to even be distributed for free as in free beer either...you could charge money for it.
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aerodyne
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MsGeek wrote:
You might want to consider using Linux instead of XP. If you managed to get everything working,

'If' being the critical issue. An XP-based PC platform is just something I'm more familiar with, and the odds are if you have the spare hardware to embed in a VK machine you'll have an XP license to go with it...

MsGeek wrote:
this would mean the modified "distro" of Linux powering the VK unit could be freely distributed without worry of angering Microsoft.

No modification of XP would be required, just bloat removal and boot optimisation.

MsGeek wrote:
Linux has libraries for voice recognition and text-to-speech. The "distro" would not necessarily have to even be distributed for free as in free beer either...you could charge money for it.

Voice recognition and T2S are not required for this. There'd be no reason to charge for the software used; it's all open-source apart from the OS. Media Player Classic and ffdshow take two minutes to configure. Any actual effort expended will go in to making the webcam track a face before the eye zoom is performed. That's the tricky bit. The fun is in finding out. Very Happy
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jfuste
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cannot believe all I readed in the previous posts! WOW! A *real* VK machine with camera, face recognition, zoom, sound, movement...

I WANNA ONE OF THIS!!!! PLEASEEEE!

1. jfuste - A complete VK kit (HERO MODEL - Briefing case included)



(just kidding, but if this kit ever appears to be possible, count me!)
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Once-bitten
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aerodyne,
I think I have come up with the perfect avatar for you...after reading all your posts a second and THIRD time trying to understand them!
What do you think? Very Happy


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oldzey
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reaction time is a factor in this, so please pay attention. Now, answer as quickly as you can.
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Once-bitten
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking more along THESE lines:

Tyrell: The facts of life. To make an alteration in the evolvment of an organic life system is fatal. A coding sequence cannot be revised once it's been established.
Roy: Why not?
Tyrell: Because by the second day of incubation, any cells that have undergone reversion mutations give rise to revertant colonies like rats leaving a sinking ship. Then the ship sinks.
Roy: What about EMS recombination.
Tyrell: We've already tried it. Ethyl methane sulfonate as an alkylating agent a potent mutagen, It created a virus so lethal the subject was dead before he left the table.
Roy: Then a repressive protein that blocks the operating cells.
Tyrell: Wouldn't obstruct replication, but it does give rise to an error in replication so that the newly formed DNA strand carries the mutation and you've got a virus again. But, uh, this-- all of this is academic. You were made as well as we could make you.


Anyway, I'm glad to see some interest here. I'm just hoping more people jump in with good information!
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aerodyne
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once-bitten wrote:
What do you think? Very Happy

Flattering, but I'm just little people. Wink

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Once-bitten
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But also Extraordinary People, revel in your time! Very Happy
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