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									     Automated Football Launcher:
Methods for Completing Autonomous Football
       Passes using Motion Tracking
Carmine Milone, Joe Milone, Alex Heydari, George Yue, and Joe Fyneface

                   Georgia Institute of Technology
            School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

                           March 17, 2010
           Project Overview
• Continuously track a moving object using web-
  cams to deliver a football accurately
• Apply technology for football teams in order
  to reduce work load for trainers
• Estimated development costs at $80,000;
  initial cost of a prototype system will be
  approximately $1,500
  Automated Football Launcher Components

                   Phidgets
Logitech Orbit                    Two 12V DC
                 Motor Control
  Web-cam                           Motors
                    Board




Compressed       Phidgets Relay   Pan/Tilting
Air Launcher         Board         Platform
           Design Objectives
• Continuously track a moving object using web-
  cams in real-time
• Analyze the path of the object to determine
  the launching angle and direction
• Utilize a motor control algorithm to attain a
  specified trajectory
• Launch a football triggered by a relay board
Summarized Design Flow chart
             Current Status
• Web-cam tracking program completed
• Motor control and relay board code written
  and tested
• Compressed air launcher and platform are
  under construction
           Logitech Orbit Web-cam
• Resolution: up to 1600 by 1200 pixels
   – Currently using 640x480 resolution for better
     performance
• Color depth: 24-bit true color
• Frame rate: 30 FPS
   – 15 to 20 FPS when detection algorithm is running
• Interface: USB 2.0
    Phidgets HC Motor Control Board
•   Controls up to two DC motors
•   Updates data 50 times/second
•   Can provide up to 18A
•   Utilizes USB connection
         Motor Specifications
• Type: DC Gear motor
• Voltage: 12V
• Current: 14A-19A
  – Currently programmed to utilize 7A
• Controlled using Phidgets HC Motor control
  board
Pan/Tilting Platform
    Phidgets Relay and I/O Board
• Relay board:
   – 2 relays for switching AC/DC
   – Up to 240VAC at 10A
   – Up to 100VDC at 5A
   – Will open/close air valve
• I/O board
   – 8 analog inputs
   – 8 digital inputs / outputs
      Compressed Air Launcher
• 6 in. diameter PVC pipe
   – Can be interchanged with a 3 in. diameter PVC
     pipe
• 135 psi
• 3 gallon air tank
• Controlled with Sprinkler valve
          Technical Approach
• Calculate the offset between the center of
  the web-cam's frame and the object’s position
• Translate the offset into a motor control
  launch angle and direction
• Predict the object’s final position and launch
  the football timely to the specified location
Web-cam Tracking Algorithm
     Tracking using Blob Detection
•   Web-cam searches for a specific color
•   Code written in C# using .NET framework
•   Utilizes DirectShow library
•   Accesses pixel data directly from memory
Web-cam Tracking Demo




   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=162fvelALGU
                Motor Control

•   Coded in C#
•   Tracking determines degrees of rotation/tilt
•   Use small movements as a unit of translation
•   Keep velocity constant
         Trajectory Algorithm

• Use kinematics to determine angles of the
  platform



           θ


               H
                       Alternatives
• Linx RF modules were developed and tested for tracking
   – RSSI / Triangulation tracking methods were designed
• Did not work as intended due to destructive interference
• Lower frequency RF modules are being considered
          Challenges / Problems
• Building the compressed air launcher and platform
• Implement a web-cam algorithm to detect objects over 30
  yards away from the launcher
   – Lighting constraints
• Lack of commercial football launcher
• Develop RF modules for tracking
                          Marketing
• Estimated System cost
   –   Logitech Web-cam: $100
   –   DC Motors and control board: $200
   –   Moderately powered computer: $500
   –   Air compressor launching system/platform: $700


   Total: approximately $1500
                Schedule
• 03/29/2010: Finish building platform
• 04/07/2010: Complete compressed air
  launcher
• 04/16/2010: Integrate all components
• 04/30/2010: Complete system testing
• 05/06/2010: Final Demonstration
               Future Work
• Consider more complicated tracking methods
  such as RF frequency modulation
• Integrate with the Jugs Football Thrower
• Create a hopper system to automatically feed
  and reload multiple footballs
            Project Summary
• Two candidate methods to track an object
  have been compared and evaluated
• Optical tracking has shown promising results
  while RF needs more development
• Optical tracking performs reasonably well if
  the object is within 30 yards
Any questions, suggestions, or
        comments?

								
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