Nicknamed T003, the prototype for portable stationary turret. T003 will serve the role of a cheap platform for testing and implications for range of motion tracking software as well as reconnection. Initially it will be remotely controlled with a wireless joystick (sixaxis). The body will be laser cut from three 12x24 birch plywood stocks with T-joints as major connections. Power mechanism is based of a planetary gears that help to reduce load on the material and also gear down the stepper motors to quarter of a degree resolution.
There were few inspirations but the kick start was from the game Alien Swarm. In the game four players have to collaborate to survive the swarm of bug aliens. At times a extra gun barrel comes handy in defending a strategics location. This is where the inspiration came from, a deploy-able automated turret for defending a location without the need for another user or human being. Since we are not going to fight swarms of bugs aliens any time soon, a more down to Earth practical applications such as a sentry, motion tracking, or guard dog on a private property would be the good enough objective.
The automated turret has to be able to track fast moving objects, but the bottle neck is the recognition software. With that the hardware or the chassis has to be able to move fast enough to respond to software and change in direction. Initially the chassis has to be small and light to allow for such fast response.
This was to be the initial prof of concept made from inexpensive items to build the software with the hardware. Chassis was to just big enough to house the stepper motor and the camera.
The first prototype was never fully assembled due to the design bugs of mounting the smaller gear onto the stepper motor shaft. However the software that was developed for it was latter used on T003. The T002 name is reseed for successful assembly of small turret.
The initial test of the hardware was crude control through the Matalb Joystick interface. Joystick value is read by Matalb and then appropriate and direction is send through serial port (USB) to the Arduino board that send pulse signal with the right frequency. Draw back is that the serial overflow happen to quickly at low joystick values and only one axis can be controlled at a time.
The goal would be to have a stand alone turret without computer. This would be possible through remote operation only. With the color of feature recognition would require more computing power. This is to demanding so as a compromise remote control through blue-tooth joystick will be the future goal.