Another thing that has changed since are last visit is tapestry with the map of Europe. The AR overlay was achieved by defining markers (the position of a number of specific features) on a photo of the original to build a model. These markers then had to be recognised by the FROG using incoming information from the antenna’s camera so that these could used to aim the overlay. The same set of markers was defined in the overlay and these had to match up to the features in the tapestry (the target) so that the overlay would be correctly positioned in the resulting overlay projection. All of this is necessary as, due to its autonomous social navigation, the FROG may stop at a different location in the hall on each separate tour.
Too many ripples in the tapestry at any time could mean that the feature markers cannot be recognised. Of course, there are several solutions to compensate for differences in the folds in the tapestry between tours. This would take some time to implement and as we have some more pressing matters for this session a quick solution was chosen. This involves using the whole tapestry area as a target instead of specific points on the target. Not as elegant as it could be but certainly a neat solution for a proof of concept.
FROG is back at the Royal Alcàzar in Seville. A lot can happen to your tour in a couple of months. A grand refurbishment means that the entrances on one side of the toilets have been blocked. This was where the FROG announced: “The toilets are over there!” while driving to the next point of interest. So, a quick recode was necessary. Should you be in Seville at the moment and should you visit the Alcàzar, you can find toilets near the cafeteria in the gardens.
Piggy has evolved! He is back in the on-site lab keeping an eye on what’s happening to his friend FROG.
And what is happening? Hardware enhancements and improvements on the demo mission.
Paulo Alvito and Carlos Marques have been working together to place 2 new fans, adjust the position of the projector (so that it no longer touches the window in the shell), reinstate the function of the Electronics Power Button (UPO had put in an override to power down the UvA cameras) and install a new device to power down the Dalsas and the lasers, and touch up FROG’s paintwork. You’ll find Piggy on the corner of the desk where he can survey his domain.
Later, Carlos will install a new, small controller board on the docking station. Using sensors, this will detect the robot when it enters the docking station and consequently turn on the power to the docking station. As soon as the FROG leaves the docking station the controller will turn the power off again. This is an important safety measure. The docking station will be left unattended in the shop at the main entrance to the Royal Alcàzar where (obviously) visitors (and therefore children) can enter at any time.
We arrived at the Alcázar this morning to find that our lab in the Tennis Court had been taken over by a film crew – the film crew of the TV series Violetta, no less! This was not exactly according to plan but as always the Royal Alcázar came up with a quick solution – a temporary lab for us until after filming.
Yet another beautiful room…
Violetta has a large crew and, it would seem, a larger group of uniformed security guys with walkie-talkies. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let us take any photo’s while they were filming so we’ll just have to watch the series to see them in our lab. But, here’s one of the security chaps with a mobile as well as a walkie-talkie.
FROG has appeared on what is considered to be the most viewed television channel in Europe – TF1! A French film crew came to talk to the researchers during an integration and experimentation week at the Royal Alcázar in Seville:
FROG has a new friend. Piggy just arrived one morning to help the researchers. Was he a mascot or a spirit guide? We may never know! But somehow when things got exciting Piggy was heard to snort an encouraging: “oink-oink!”.