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Ha ha. I was the last to post in here.
I am now one of the directors at the Preston Hackspace.

We are just about to move into our first space.

Check out our site for more info.

Do you still meet? No posts since July. I just moved to Preston. Was a member of the London Hackspace when I lived there. 

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I have setup a GitHub account for the Preston HackSpace

We can talk about access rights once we understand better how to  administer the account with multiple users.

From what I know of GIT, I think it is better to limit the direct access to this account to two or three people. Any new projects can be initially uploaded by these individuals and then all further development is done by members through forking the repositories and then making pull-requests to have their patches integrated into the main fork. But lets discuss at a future meeting.

For those of you who may not have seen the google groups post, I have booked the snug for our next meeting (for Free, courtesy of the continental) . We have it for one hour to ourselves so we can hold some tech talks / presentations.

It is booked from 7.30 to 8.30 and the continental will provide the projector stand. 

Chris: Are you still OK to bring a projector?

In order that we can make the most of our 1 hour and put some order to what will hopefully be more than one person talking, we need a couple of volunteers to make a presentation. I am willing to give 20 minutes (probably on python, but I have not decided yet).

If you would like to talk, please can you let me know by Sunday. Then we know if the speakers need to fill 20 or 30 minute slots. Be brave and give it a go!!


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The code for the Web Cam Face Tracker is now on the Preston HackSpace GitHub page.

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Progress so far on the Preston HackSpace Project for BarCamp

Andrew is working on a more substantial frame. See later in my post.

I have quickly hacked together a lego frame to support a mini servo so that I could test my code so far. I will put the code up on git hub so you take a look and submit any patches you might like to add.

The code is still a bit buggy at the moment. I especially want to improve the picture while the camara is tracking a color.

I have add the abilityc for the servo to speed up as the colour starts to move away from the centre of the image and slow down again as it moves to the middle. This acts as nice software based shock absorber to limit the amount of wobble on the camera.

If anyone wants to add patches I have some other ideas to improve it.

1. When the tracked object is lost for any reason or the servo reaches its limit the code is set to bring the servo back to the center. It would be nice if it hung around for a few seconds to see if the object comes back into view.

2. We need to add the code for the y axis to match what the x axis is currently doing.

3. Improve the quality of the displayed image/replace the current opencv code. We should still use opencv but need a better example. This was just quick and easy to get running.

4. On the hardware side Andrew has pulled together the mechanics for driving the x, y axis but we neex to incorporte that in somthing that makes it look slick. See Andrews video first then lets discuss ideas.

I will post the github link once I have uploaded the code.


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Preston Hackspace meeting Tuesday 4 June.

Tonight was a successful meeting although only 4 us manage to get there. Andrew managed to bring a lot of electronics kit and a laptop on his pushbike.

Due to the heat we soon moved out of the conservatory and into the snug behind the bar.

We got out Andrews Arduino and procceded to setup the flashing LED test script as is required by international law.

We then did the obligitory servo sweep. If nothing else just to test which sevos Andrew had not previously fried with some mad experiment.

We then moved onto the best part of the night getting Pyfirmata working. So after another beer, installing python which required some negotiation skills to talk Chris out of downloading Python 3.3 we managed to get another LED flashing of which Andrew shot a video for prosperity.

We also discussed the question of which project we should work on for BAR camp in July. We agrred on putting our new pyfirmata skills to the test and creating a object tracking webcam. It will be a webcam connected to two servos for x&y axis movement. Its movement will be controlled by a python script running opencv. This will output data to instruct pyfirmata to control sevos connected to an arduino to move the camera. I am going to try and mode the code to only track a bright yellow object like a high vis jacket.

I will mod the python code that I already have and Andrew is going to start work on the hardware to connect the sevos and camera together.

The plan is to keep communicating on google and divy out the work further once the two of us have a plan of attack for our respective parts of the project.

Looking forward to the next meeting and hope that I can bring an example of the python code for the project.
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Video of it working

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Testing pyfirmata and a Pint
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