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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:21 pm

Hi Mike,

After 3.5 hours of syncing my image with Google Drive I quit the process, because Google Drive does not indicate how far syncing has progressed and I had no idea if there was still any real progress. I then started an upload via the Google Drive web page, which does indicate upload progress. In my case it showed that it would take some 10 or 11 hours, amounting to a painfully slow 0.1 MB/s upload. It is probably my ISP that does not like uploads. Of course I stopped this process too now that you provided the fixed April 3 image, which I am currently flashing.

Would you please replace the April 2 link on the http://www.after-sight.com/support/ page by the April 3 one? (*) For reasons of trust I'd rather refer people to the image via your web page than directly via some non-descript Google Drive link.

Thanks!

Peter


(*) Just noticed that you did, thanks.

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:54 pm

That is one of my main gripes with google drive. I have considered, and will probably switch to dropbox if/when fundraising is successful.

I will do a thorough review of the options at that time, but I do recall that dropbox was very good about letting me control the rates, and also show progress. The last time I used it anyways.

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:41 pm

mikey11 wrote:That is one of my main gripes with google drive. I have considered, and will probably switch to dropbox if/when fundraising is successful.
Often the bottleneck is the local ISP that you use, or your type of internet connection. You can test upload and download speeds with sites like http://www.speedtest.net, and in my case (I'm still on ADSL at home) it was according to this test 13 Mbps download (i.e. just under 2MB/s) versus only 0.8 Mbps upload (indeed the 0.1 MB/s that explains the 10 hour upload estimate). I could far more quickly upload to my local NAS over Wi-Fi, but that does not help in getting it in the cloud on Google Drive. I think that using Dropbox would not help here with a quicker upload of the Raspberry Pi image.

Peter

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PaulMace
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:15 pm

Paul of Paulz Trainz www.paulztrainz.com

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:26 pm

It is a good development, but not particularly relevant for us, it seems. The Facebook app with its vocabulary of 100 words does not run on Raspberry Pi, while we have the Teradeep app running on Raspberry Pi with a vocabulary of 1000 words and phrases. You could point the After-Sight device's camera to a Facebook news feed image on a screen and see how it performs against Facebook's own app.

Peter

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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:28 pm

With all good luck, we will have the possibility of expanding the vocabulary to 5000. Of course it would be best to leave it selectable as we have discussed the possible advantages of a lower number of categories in the past.

I really hope that I can be wildly successful with fundraising and start building custom networks. I was scoping out the latest nVidia cards (Pascal) just released for this purpose.

I think this would be a great way to build networks that are really great at limited tasks. For instance, using a network just trained on text combined with a histogram of oriented gradients, one could probably rebuild some of the best closed source networks that can read text (as my previous explorations into OCR came up with dismal success rates on things like road signs).

Or, if one was planning on going to the zoo, a network populated with exotic animals, perhaps even able to identify different poses, or the male/female versions of animals like peacocks/peahens...

On an unrelated note, I got some camera glasses that I ordered ages ago. The $15 ones. I actually quite like them except for the narrow field of view. They are more comfortable and have an OK build quality compared to others.

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:47 am

Hi All,

Today I ran an experiment to see if The vOICe WebRTC app would run on Raspberry Pi (i.e. using the After-Sight RPi 2 device). The vOICe WebRTC app is meant to serve as a future-proof "universal app" that runs inside a browser on most if not all platforms such as Windows, Android, Linux and so on. It is entirely based on web standards such as HTML5 and WebRTC. Thereby it is in fact more universal than Microsoft's UWP universal apps. I had already tested and found that The vOICe WebRTC app ran in for instance Firefox on Android, Windows, and ubuntu Linux. It should also run on for instance Microsoft HoloLens within its Edge browser. Performance is less than that of native apps, but that is the trade-off against supporting many different platforms. Anyway, I started with installing IceWeasel, the Raspberry Pi version of Firefox, using the recipe at http://elinux.org/RPi_IceWeasel:

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install iceweasel
Then, with the Xming X Server for Windows running on my PC, I just launched IceWeasel by typing "iceweasel" in my PuTTY console window, and entered the URL of

The vOICe WebRTC app (The vOICe web app)
http://www.seeingwithsound.com/webvoice.htm

into the IceWeasel browser window. The browser would then ask permission for using the camera connected to the Raspberry Pi (named "Ai" for my Logitech C270 webcam, "USB PC Camera" for the TX-25 camera glasses, and "USB2.0 Device" for those $15 camera glasses that Mike mentioned), and The vOICe would start sounding the live camera view. This worked fine with the Logitech C270 and unbranded $15 camera glasses, but the TX-25 seemed to not refresh the camera view after the first frame. However, we already know that the TX-25 is a very quirky device. In short, the proof of concept has been successfully delivered that The vOICe WebRTC app can sound the live camera view on the After-Sight Raspbian Raspberry Pi device. It is definitely not intended as a viable alternative for raspivoice, but for now just as a fun demonstration of cross-platform app development.

Peter


Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
http://www.seeingwithsound.com

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:50 am

I met with the CNIB and CCB representatives (Canadian blindness organizations), and delivered the latest hardware. We had a good session covering the use and operation. It took about 3 hours to adequately give a basic rundown.

I recommended that they investigate the training materials on seeingwithsound.com to get their feet wet, and to get a better idea of skill development.

These were all quite positive interactions.

The negatives are that battery life is out of control on the pi v 3. I have no choice but to build some throttling options into the settings menu. I intend to pull this off within the next few weeks. They are getting sub 1 hour before the first low battery warnings come one. For reasons previously discussed, we know those warnings come on early, but it is still unacceptable. I didn't realize it was that bad, but I also didn't have a lot of time to integrate the pi 3, get it configured, and get the update function going before distributing...

I am looking at disabling keyboard input as a default as it has a 100% cpu usage thread dedicated to it. I expect if people want it, I can have an image prepared for them where it is on by default, or they can SSH in and edit the config file.

I will be lowering clock speeds to see how that helps. I don't have a ton of time for the tests right now, but I can create a cron job like I did in the past when I was looking at the consumption when it was just the vOICe and distance sensing.

I'm hoping to do a bit of throttling and get back to the 3-4 hour range as a minimum, and maybe even have a low performance setting to see what I can get as a top end for battery life.

I just got my aftershockz bluetooth headphones yesterday model AS500. I can't use them with the pi yet, but I have been playing around with other BT devices. I like the BT model much better than the wired. I get a slight headache after four-five hours from the tension of the band, but they are quite nice in every other respect. the tension of the band seems to avoid a lot of loss of low frequency sound that I experienced with the wired AS400 model I have been using til now.

I can't wait to get BT operating on the new pi 3 and get an easy pairing routine figured out. It's going to be fun! I'm a little shy on funds at the moment due to the trip to visit the reps, but I'm hoping I can find enough to get devices to the core contributors in the nearish future.

I hope everyone is experiencing a pleasant spring season. The last traces of snow/ice are just receding here, and the lakes will soon be free.

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:27 pm

Hi Mikey11,

Hmm, good luck with the battery life. We need at least 4 to 5 hours for real use but then again it depends on what people do. If someone uses it to navigate from his car to his office, then the 1 hour battery life is not a big issue.

It is summer here with day time temperatures in the lower 40s. I am referring to degrees Celsius. I have not tested the unit under such conditions but may do so when I have a few minutes.

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:32 am

mikey11 wrote:I met with the CNIB and CCB representatives (Canadian blindness organizations), and delivered the latest hardware. We had a good session covering the use and operation. It took about 3 hours to adequately give a basic rundown.

I recommended that they investigate the training materials on seeingwithsound.com to get their feet wet, and to get a better idea of skill development.

These were all quite positive interactions.
Hi Mike,

Thank you for presenting to the CNIB and CCB! I hope it will ultimately lead to a training programme with talented blind users who can demonstrate their newly acquired visual skills to the world. It is often amazing how long paradigm shifts can take when training effort is involved. The battery issue is unfortunate, but I'm sure you'll conquer that one.

Something else: I learned on Twitter of a blind user of a Raspberry Pi device (not the After-Sight device) who had problems getting the Raspberry Pi camera module to work even with the latest After-Sight device image. I do not have the camera module so cannot test, but the information on how he finally got it to work might be useful for a future image. His response to my inquiry, "i needed to modprobe bcm835-v4l2 then use -s2 in the config. Works like a charm after putting the cam in properly", amounts to applying "sudo modprobe bcm2835-v4l2" and having the (default) "configraspivoicecamera = -s2" in aftersight.cfg. So maybe we can ensure that with a future image the Raspberry Pi camera module will be recognized out-of-the-box?

Thanks,

Peter


Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
http://www.seeingwithsound.com


References: https://twitter.com/bskf4hav/status/723706080317026304
https://twitter.com/bskf4hav/status/723849405510635520

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun May 01, 2016 7:25 pm

FYI, just spotted a new IJAEMS paper titled "Raspberry Pi based artificial vision assisting system for blind persons" at the PDF URL http://ijaems.com/uploads/issue_files/1 ... ersons.pdf
Use of Teradeep is of course miles ahead of the OpenCV-based basic shape recognition. The authors must have been unaware of our work, or chose to ignore it.

Peter


Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
http://www.seeingwithsound.com

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu May 05, 2016 4:10 pm

on an unfortunate note, a wildfire is currently raging near the home where I was doing most of my work. I can't go back, and it's sounding very likely that everything will be consumed.

This includes much of my equipment/supplies, including my 3D printer and a computer.

So for the time being I probably won't be doing much, and may be set back on the order of months by this, as I expect I just won't have time, and sorting out the other details is not going to be easy.

There is still a slim chance that mine will be spared, but it's not looking good right now.

On the bright side, although 88,000 people have been evacuated, there have been no deaths due directly to the fire.

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu May 05, 2016 4:17 pm

Mike,

The main thing is that you are safe. Let's hope the equipment survives.

Pranav

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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu May 05, 2016 6:58 pm

I'm very sorry to hear that, Mike! The news about the huge wildfire in Canada also made the Dutch media today. I can only hope that you are lucky and that the weather will change in time to help stop the fire. Even with good insurance there are so many things that just cannot be replaced or that take a lot of time and effort to replace. Keeping fingers crossed for you.

Peter

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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon May 16, 2016 8:14 pm

FYI, from Engadget: Raspberry Pi Zero gains camera support, keeps the $5 price http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/16/rasp ... ra-module/ I wonder if its CPU is anywhere close to what is needed to run raspivoice effectively.

Peter


Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
http://www.seeingwithsound.com

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:08 pm

Hi all,

I had a strange issue with the battery yesterday. I had plugged in my camera and the unit would reboot everytime I tried to access the camera. Everything would work when I had the pi plugged into AC power. I connected an external battery pack and I have my portable setup back but is there an issue with the battery? How should I test this?

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blindzagm
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:51 pm

Another note - still trying to sort out glasses/head-mount - but, using a normal webcam, yesterday was seeing if it would operate/work aiming out of a car window, with window closed, and think biggest issue is reflection, so think would need to try it on different forms of car glass, try different angles, etc., but, might also be affected by/depend on camera's lens, any forms of polarisation, glare cancellation, etc. etc.

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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:37 am

Pranav,

I have never had the issue you are experiencing. It does sound like an odd power issue. I have noticed some problems if the camera glasses I use (which have a battery of their own) are not fully charged. The glasses can place an additional power demand on the system.

As irritating as it might be, I would like to trade you units. When I next manufacture, I would like to ship you a new one and have you ship me the old one. I do not know when this will be. I'm at a low ebb in terms of energy, money, and time availability. When I'm more certain of doing my next batch I will get in touch.

Evaluating failure modes is going to be an important long term activity even if it isn't a very glamorous one.

Ways to test? I'm not sure as I haven't seen the behaviour.

If your glasses do have a battery ensure they are fully charged first. If the problem goes away, it might be this simple.

If you have someone handy with electronics and a voltmeter, there are numerous contacts on the power management module which will tell the story definitively and they are clearly labeled. I would say look at the internal battery voltage, and check the internal battery connector.

The battery should be about 4.2v when fully charged. If it doesn't get above 4V, that might explain some things.

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blindzagm
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:18 am

Couple of small suggestions/questions relating to physical form - firstly, the power toggle switch being a push button might allow it to be activated accidentally if, for example, the unit was packed away in something like a moon-bag, and if you were, thus, not making use of the ultra-sound detector. Besides that, am thinking about maybe trying to attach a belt clip to the back of the unit, but, still thinking about this one. And, lastly, know it sounds silly, but, my biggest issue with unit at the moment is lining up pwer cables properly/correctly to then insert them, either to recharge it, or to have it run off external power from something like my mobile phone charger - not really an issue all the time, but, there are a couple of other indentations, etc. around that area that you have to ignore before being able to get it to line up properly - just think that might be an issue for some people later on/in long term, but anyway.

Jacob

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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:26 pm

I have an Adafruit Pi spy camera which has a tiny camera with 11 inch film ribbon cable. This functions fine with adaptors to screened HDMI cable (adaptor to R-Pi flat cable at either end of HDMI).
I am mounting this in a tubular stylus which could be the secondary camera to an After-Sight system.
With precision colour detection via The vOICe and other facilities as offered by modern cellphones, a finger-pointed camera offers huge opportunities for close up working and domestic / arts and crafts tasks.
The camera is not cheap and hacking with such flimsy tackle is not for the faint hearted. I will be enclosing the delicate bits in a strong tube, and relying upon firm fixing of the HDMI sockets , one on the Pi casing and one on the camera tube. White LED illumination is useful at the business end.
Old cellphones and laptops are a source for the basic csi camera and there are drivers to be found.
Is it feasible to directly connect a salvaged CSI camera to the Raspberry-Pi ?
I am aware that there are RFI issues with sending system clock signals over long unscreened cables. Is there also a need for level shifters in-line and so on?
What exactly is going on with the extra buildout components associated with Pi camera and Ada spy camera?
Any contribution that might reduce the physical diameter of the sensor would be welcome.
johnf

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:48 pm

blindzagm wrote:Couple of small suggestions/questions relating to physical form - firstly, the power toggle switch being a push button might allow it to be activated accidentally if, for example, the unit was packed away in something like a moon-bag, and if you were, thus, not making use of the ultra-sound detector. Besides that, am thinking about maybe trying to attach a belt clip to the back of the unit, but, still thinking about this one. And, lastly, know it sounds silly, but, my biggest issue with unit at the moment is lining up pwer cables properly/correctly to then insert them, either to recharge it, or to have it run off external power from something like my mobile phone charger - not really an issue all the time, but, there are a couple of other indentations, etc. around that area that you have to ignore before being able to get it to line up properly - just think that might be an issue for some people later on/in long term, but anyway.

Jacob
PL] Hi Jacob, I have similar issues with the power connector and the push switch. It can activate easily when in a bag.

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:50 pm

mikey11 wrote:Pranav,

I have never had the issue you are experiencing. It does sound like an odd power issue. I have noticed some problems if the camera glasses I use (which have a battery of their own) are not fully charged. The glasses can place an additional power demand on the system.
PL] I am using cameras from elpcctv.com. The cameras used to work earlier without any problems. They do not have internal batteries.
As irritating as it might be, I would like to trade you units. When I next manufacture, I would like to ship you a new one and have you ship me the old one. I do not know when this will be. I'm at a low ebb in terms of energy, money, and time availability. When I'm more certain of doing my next batch I will get in touch.
PL] I appreciate your situation. I will gladly trade units. You need to know what is going on.
Evaluating failure modes is going to be an important long term activity even if it isn't a very glamorous one.
PL] Of course.
Ways to test? I'm not sure as I haven't seen the behaviour.

If your glasses do have a battery ensure they are fully charged first. If the problem goes away, it might be this simple.

If you have someone handy with electronics and a voltmeter, there are numerous contacts on the power management module which will tell the story definitively and they are clearly labeled. I would say look at the internal battery voltage, and check the internal battery connector.

The battery should be about 4.2v when fully charged. If it doesn't get above 4V, that might explain some things.

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:21 am

Hi Mike,

For your information. Last month, Intel (Paul Guermonprez) published an article "Smart glasses to help the blind, with Pivothead LiveModPro and Intel Edison" at https://software.intel.com/en-us/articl ... tel-edison, with a YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blk3kecrG6Y

Just skimming through the list of install packages suggests a great deal of overlap in software infrastructure with our Raspberry Pi based system. In other words, it might not be hard to port raspivoice to this wearable setup. My main concern with the combination of Pivothead camera glasses and "LiveModPro" Intel Edison extension card would be effective product lifetime: I expect the Raspberry Pi to be available on the market for much longer. Battery life will also be an issue, and perhaps overheating. Still, it is nice to see these parallel developments.

Peter


Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
http://www.seeingwithsound.com

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:07 pm

Two new photos of the After-Sight Raspberry Pi setup for The vOICe as used in Russia, at https://vk.com/wall-96731906_142

Peter

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blindzagm
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:41 pm

Ok, while haven't gotten my hands on them, yet - will get them from my friend who helped out with eBay purchase next weekend, the actual spy-glasses with a webcam embedded in them have arrived here in South Africa: HD 1080P sport sunglasses. Now just need to make sure know all the tips and tricks will need to work with in terms of, hopefully, being able to get them to work with the after-sight unit.

Jacob

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