I had registered for IBM Day a while back, and had planned to present my 3D printed LASER rangefinder project for the same. The date for the presentation was 24th September, two days after the midsems for most people (mine ended earlier). One of my AGV mates, Shaswat Datta was the one who agreed upon demonstrating the thing with me. The plan was clear, Datta’s midsem ended on 22nd and that was when we were to start the work. And that’s exactly not how things unfolded. We, as two procrastinating lazy human beings decided to let time slide, and nothing was done on the 22nd.
But an eventful evening and a nightout later (23rd), we just had the thing up and running. A combination of PCL integration, ROS communication, actual image processing code revamp (the original one sucked) and awesome makeshift fabrication led to this (the powerbank pictured serves no goddamn purpose at all 😛 . I had taken it apart for another one of my projects)
And bloody hell, it was working just fine! We actually tried to fit the best possible line for the data using R, and to our own scientific (lulz) minds’ surprise, it was a really nice fit. Setting the constants determined through regression in the code, we got a nice PointCloud2 data getting published on each iteration, which looked more or less like the environment, and the distances were quite accurate too.
There were obviously some pitfalls too. My room has my own WiFi router, so the IPs assigned were more or less in a similar range of values. So there were no issues in ssh-ing to the Pi and doing the analysis. But it was not the same case with the institute WiFi. So there were a lot of issues, we rectified them a half an hour before the demo.
Speaking of the lectures by IBM researchers, they were booooring, and just diminished my ambitions of becoming a full time researcher by a tiny bit (Still want to be one, though). Ours happened to be the only UG team on the competition, and there was a humongous difference between the amounts of efforts put in by us and the other teams(1 nightout vs. maybe months). The demonstration of ours went quite well to say the least, and the judges were impressed by what we were trying to achieve and the low cost of our product. But it’s the efforts that count, and we were content to get appreciation from professors and participation certificates. And yeah, I’m a fan of good free food too. 😛
All things taken, it was a good time spent to make the makeshift LIDAR and maybe someday in the future, these efforts do pay off. The IBM day ’16 was indeed worth it. To end this, take a good look at this pic of gawd Datta presenting the project in all his glory (I don’t like getting clicked 😛 )