Saturday, March 29, 2014

Audio Wave Shield

We received this a few weeks ago but I had a lot of fun putting it together so I had to share it. The audio wave shield came completely dissembled and had to be soldered together. I soldered everything onto the board and I had to do my first ever surface mount solder!
This shield will allow us to have the audio alarm that we wanted saying the location of the movement. We should be able to program it to say a number of things for the Police ALERT's user interface.
Front View of the Audio Wave Shield

Back View

Rev Two Casing

We just got the casing for the next revolution of the Police ALERT. There was a huge cut down in the size to make it more suitable to the top of the patrol car. Thank you Sisneros Bros for all your help!
Rev Two Casing Design

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hardware Update

Today, Mr. Edington took our new casing design to Sisneros bros to make. It should be ready as early as tomorrow! He will also be making a trip to Socorro to make a few versions of a pyramid mirror for preliminary testing.
Also, Dr. Grow is looking into having some of his students machine shop our concave conical mirror designs out! They only need to determine how to give it the reflective quality.


While competing at Science faire this past weekend my board's safety inspector happened to be Melissa Barker! I mentioned her in a previous blog and I was able to talk more in depth with her and her colleagues about the project! I also had the opportunity to speak with an Albuquerque Police Department officer who mentions the McGrane convention for police street awareness. Unfortunately it was too late to set up a booth for us at the convention but it is great to know there are opportunities out there!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Science Fair at UNM

Four SODA InvnenTeam members wearing awards won at UNM science fair.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Science Fair

Six of our team members successfully competed in the UNM regional science fair this past weekend. Chloe, Maria, and Victoria qualified for state and will be competing at New Mexico Tech in two weeks.

Elementary Botball Competition

Two of our team members helped host the New Mexico Botball competition for local elementary school students at The University of New Mexico Valencia Campus.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Solidworks Progress

Solidworks Progress

Hello, I have made more progress on Solidworks. I have made a model of the new housing system, and I have also made more mirrors. The mirrors I have made include new tear drop mirror that were designed using different equations to get the right curve. I have also made a bowl shaped mirror to reflect from the cone mirror into the camera.

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Apologies

Hello blog followers, sorry we haven't been blogging as much recently. We have been busier then ever! We have made a lot of progress on the Police ALERT though which I'll try to catch you up on.


  • Sisneros Brothers are in the process of making an updated version of our outer shell. This will lower the profile of the device. 
  • We recently got our audio shield in the mail and we plan to have audio alerts corresponding with our visual ones.
  • We also recently got an arLCD shield which will allow us to set up a touchscreen user interface for police officers to customize the detection range.
  • HUGE break through in the curved mirror design! We developed a way to test a curved surface's reflectance using derivatives and the basic law of reflection. All that calculus homework finally paying off!
Outreach/ Fundraising:
  • Parents have started serving school lunches as a fundraiser; last weeks made a profit of $250.
  • We presented to Nu Star Energy and received a lot of great feedback. They were also able to put us in touch with Melissa Barker from OSHA who is going to set up a presentation time with American Society of Safety Engineers for us.
  • Nu Star Energy is also going to do a pizza night fundraiser with us.
Zack recently posted an in depth look at where we are at programming wise. 

  • A few of our team members recently went to Lubbock Texas to compete in FIRST Robotics.
  • Eight of our team members are competing in the International Science and Engineering Faire which is taking place on March 28th.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Software Progress

     At this point, software wise, we have put together a functional algorithm that will point in the direction of movement using our fancy LED board that we put together. This was done by using the motion detection method of frame subtraction.

     Frame subtraction is a relatively simple concept. By saving each frame as a matrix that has a value for each pixel, motion can be detected by subtracting the frames and looking for differences in pixel values. We do this with the video in gray scale, which simplifies the process because we aren't worrying about color. Once motion is detected, a bounding box is placed around the area of the motion. Using the bounding box, we can look at the area of the motion and decide if it is large enough or small enough for us to care about. This helps with ignoring false positives. After motion is deemed significant, we use some trigonometry to find out which quadrant the motion is coming from. From there, we can send that information to the LEDs so that they will light up in relation to the motion.

     This is a pretty significant milestone. Now that we are detection motion with our hardware, the next biggest thing is working with the wireless communication so that we can test a more accurate prototype. This will be done using an Arduino board and some wireless communication modules called xBees. The difficult part of this will be getting the ArduPi libraries working on the RaspberryPi, although it seems the difficult part of all of this is getting libraries working on the Pi.. Once those libraries are up and running, we will be able to write code that will split up the task of detection and visual indication. The Pi will handle the computation, and the Arduino will handle the LEDs.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

FRC - Lubbock, TX

This weekend five of our team members went to Lubbock to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition.