Mat Janson Blanchet's academic works

It’s milling time

Posted on February 21, 2018

Advanced Practices in Video, Performance and Electronic Arts

Milling machine buttons

In order to move forward with the kinetic cabinet, I chose spend time drilling holes in the brackets instead of spending more time grinding. What’s really nice is that the metal shop has a milling machine with which you can position the drill bit to the thousandth of an inch!

Milling machine closeup

The brackets being quite long, I had to do a few passes just to be able to drill twelve holes. Each time the bracket needed to be moved, the zero point had to be reset, which took time from the process.

Also, each of those holes needed to have a dip in which the gear bushings can sit.

Milling machine at night

Once all the bushing holes were drilled, I needed to drill the holes for the motor brackets, all 48 of them… That went well into the evening, but at least, all holes on the bottom bracket are now done!

Camera and blob detection

Pi camera - first test

Where the prototype was using an infrared sensor to detect movement and trigger motor reactions, the cabinet will instead use a camera. The IR sensor I used have a short range—some 12 inches—so a camera is ideal for the installation.

I have been trying a few things already. A few years back I used Jitter and Max to detect optical flow, which worked great. I tried to use PureData and Gem to do the same, but that turned out to be a lot of work for nothing. Then I went with Processing and the OpenCV library. Optical flow did not work in the way I needed, so next I will look into tracking blobs.

A person moving across the camera’s view and being tracked like I did hands over IR sensors is likely to be the thing I need. More on that as I progress.

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