Archive for the ‘Programming tutorials’ Category

Arduino + Processing – 3D Sensor Data Visualisation

Arduino 3D scan

So following on from my previous posts about visualising sensor data in Processing, I’m now looking at drawing 3D representations of the data recorded from the Sharp IR sensor – although can be any kind of range finder.

I started by rigging 2 servos, one to pan left to right, the other up to down. The latter is limited to only 60 degrees of movement. I’m going to represent each servo position in a grid to start with, so a grid 180 wide (x) by 60 tall (y). The distance measured from the sensor will form the z index position so how far/ close a point will appear.

The setup is pretty much the same, Arduino records and sends the sensor data to the serial port buffer along with the X and Y position of the servos. Processing then picks this up and populates an array. Now this time I’m using multi-dimensional arrays, that is one array that stores other arrays. I could make just one array of 10800 items (180 * 60) but its far more efficient to make an array of 180 items, each item being another array of 60 items to store the distance measured. So for every 1 degree I move left to right, I record the 60 positions of the up/ down servo and the reading taken.

To visualise this I started drawing squares using the QUAD_STRIP shape to produce a grid layout (image at the top of the post). Of course because I’m actually using polar co-ordinates (degrees) instead of cartesian (x, y) then what the sensor is reading can’t really be translated to a flat grid. Because when it measures something vertical the measurements will all be different and when translated to my flat grid, it would make anything vertical look slanted. Trouble is now we’re trying to view something in 3D space so it doesn’t look all that great – so I’ve added in some animation to rotate the object slightly, looks fine when you zoom in close enough to one section but otherwise it’s just a random shape.

There are 2 ways around this, firstly we can convert our co-ordinates to cartesian. Or we can alter the grid used to display our data, the shape needed is basically a 60 degree arc thats lathed 180 degrees – so it kind of looks like a tyre wall. The radius used to draw our 60 degree arc is calculated by the distance taken from the sensor.

Arduino 3D Sensor Data Parts

SRF05 Ultrasonic range finder or Sharp GP2Y0A02 IR sensor (basically any kind of distance sensor)
Arduino Deumilanove w/ ATMEGA328
Breadboard / Prototyping board
Jumper/ Connector wires
2x Servos (has to need no more than 5v supply)
C shaped Servo brackets (If anyone can make these cheap enough let me know!)

Arduino 3D Plotter Circuit

Using the below posts you should be able to figure out how to wire the sensor and how to use the servos. I use digital pins 9 and 10 for the servos and analog pin 1 for the sensor reading.

Arduino SRF-05 Tutorials
Arduino Servo Tutorials
How to use the Sharp IR range finder

Arduino Sketch

We use the servo libary and a couple of FOR loops to control 2 servos, for every degree panned we tilt the other servo through 60 degrees taking a series of sensor readings for each position and averaging them. We output these values with the X and Y position in degrees to the serial port buffer. At the end of each loop we reset the servo position. If the sensor reading is outside the range of operation of the servo we also handle this.

/*
luckylarry.co.uk
3D Scan Visualisation for Sharp GP2Y0A02 IR range finder
Sends sensor readings for every degree moved by the servo
values sent to serial port to be picked up by Processing
*/
#include             // include the standard servo library
Servo leftRightServo;         // set a variable to map the servo
Servo upDownServo;
int leftRightPos = 0;         // set a variable to store the servo position
int upDownPos = 0;
const int numReadings = 10;   // set a variable for the number of readings to take
int index = 0;                // the index of the current reading
float total = 0;              // the total of all readings must be a float to allow totaling of float values
int average = 0;              // the average
int IRpin = 1;                // analog pin for reading the IR sensor

/* setup the pins, servo and serial port */
void setup() {
  leftRightServo.attach(9);
  upDownServo.attach(10);
  // initialize the serial port:
  Serial.begin(9600);
} 

/* begin rotating the servo and getting sensor values */
void loop() {
 for(leftRightPos = 0; leftRightPos < 180; leftRightPos++)
  {
    leftRightServo.write(leftRightPos);             

  for(upDownPos = 60; upDownPos < 120; upDownPos++)
  {
    upDownServo.write(upDownPos);  

      for (index = 0; index<=numReadings;index++) {            // take x number of readings from the sensor and average them
        float volts = analogRead(IRpin)*0.0048828125;   // value from sensor * (5/1024) - if running 3.3.volts then change 5 to 3.3
        float distance = 65*pow(volts, -1.10);          // worked out from graph 65 = theretical distance / (1/Volts)S - luckylarry.co.uk
        total = total + distance;                              // update total
        delayMicroseconds(20);
      }
    average = (int) total/numReadings;                               // create average reading
        if (average < 20) {
         average = 20;
        }
        if (average > 150) {
         average = 150;
        }
        //average = 0 - average;
    if (index >= numReadings)  {                               // reset the counts when at the last item of the array
      index = 0;
      total = 0;
    }       

Serial.print("Y");
Serial.print(upDownPos-60);
Serial.print("X");
Serial.print(leftRightPos);
Serial.print("Z");
Serial.println(average);

  }
    upDownServo.write(60);
  }

    leftRightServo.write(0);              

}

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Processing Sketch

We now listen to the serial port and each time there is an event we take the values and populate an array based on the X and Y values sent from the Arduino code. We add this value on to the existing value and then for each complete mapping we work out the average value – so the longer it runs for the more normalised the results should appear.

Using some basic trigonometry we have a class that makes an arc. Our draw() method calls this arc and translates/ rotates it for each of the 180 degrees. The arc itself is calculated from using the distance reading from the sensor as its radius.

If using a grid instead of this shape then we just say at point X,Y set the Z value instead of worrying about radius’s etc…

/*
luckylarry.co.uk
3D Scan Visualisation for Sharp GP2Y0A02
Maps out an area of what the GP2Y0A02 sees into a 3D view
*/
import processing.serial.*;     // import serial library
Serial myPort;                  // declare a serial port
int x, y, z;                     // variable to store x and y co-ordinates for vertices
int value = 0;                  // value from sensor
int[][][] data = new int[181][61][1];  // create an array to store each new sensor value for each servo position
int count;
int average = 1;
PFont myFont;                   // setup fonts in Processing
int numberOfSegments = 179;
createArc Arc;                  // create an instance of the Arc class
float radius = 150;
float angle = 0;

void setup(){
  size(640, 360, P3D);
  Arc = new createArc();        // assign the Arc classes to an object
  myFont = createFont("verdana", 12);
  textFont(myFont);
  // setup the serial port and buffer
  myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[1], 9600);
  myPort.bufferUntil('\n');

}

void draw(){
  background(255);
  float tempX = 0, tempY = 1, tempZ = 0;
  fill(200);
  lights();
  translate(width/2, 200, 110);
  angle = 180.0 / numberOfSegments;
  rotateY(count * PI/10800);
  for (int j = 0; j < numberOfSegments; j++){
      tempZ = cos(radians(angle))*radius;
      tempX = sin(radians(angle))*radius;
      pushMatrix();
      translate(tempX, tempY, tempZ); // move each instance we create of the arc object to a slightly new position and rotation
      rotateY(radians(angle));
      Arc.create(j);
      popMatrix();
      angle += 180.0/numberOfSegments;
  }

}
// creates an arc object using QUAD_STRIP
class createArc {
// pass values to create method to know which array to load 1 to 180...
  void create(int degree){
    pushMatrix();
    rotateY(radians(135));
    beginShape(QUAD_STRIP);
    for(int a=60; a < 120;a++) {
      float x1 = cos(radians(((90+a))))*(data[degree][a-60][0]/average);
      float y1 = sin(radians(((90+a))))*(data[degree][a-60][0]/average);
      float x2 = cos(radians(((90+a))))*(data[degree+1][a-60][0]/average);
      float y2 = sin(radians(((90+a))))*(data[degree+1][a-60][0]/average);
      vertex(x1,y1,100);
      vertex(x2,y2,105);
    }
    endShape();
    popMatrix();
  }
} 

/* get values from serial port */

void serialEvent (Serial myPort) {
  String xString = myPort.readStringUntil('\n');  // read the serial port until a new line
    if (xString != null) {  // if theres data in between the new lines
    	xString = trim(xString); // get rid of any whitespace just in case
    	String getY = xString.substring(1, xString.indexOf("X")); // get the value of the servo position
        String getX = xString.substring(xString.indexOf("X")+1, xString.indexOf("Z")); // get the value of the sensor reading
        String getZ = xString.substring(xString.indexOf("Z")+1, xString.length()); // get the value of the sensor reading
    	x = Integer.parseInt(getX); // set the values to variables
    	y = Integer.parseInt(getY);
        z = Integer.parseInt(getZ);
        data[x][y][0] += z;
        //println(z); // for debugging
        count++;
        if (count > 10800) {
          count = 0;
          average++;
        }
  }
}

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So here’s a quick screen grab of the 3D object that represents what the sensor sees, looks pretty confusing but if you zoom in and take a small section of it then it’s a bit better. Other than that its just a random shape!

3D-scan02

Changing the HTTP port Oracle uses

In a production environment your database server will be completely separate from your application server or at least it should be. So in theory you should never really need to change this setting unless its for your development environment.

In my case I needed to run both JBoss and Oracle on the same PC in order to test my environment. Why would I need to change the HTTP port of Oracle? Well Oracle has an HTML set of admin screens it uses as an interface to let users do DBA stuff rather than doing it from a prompt screen, on Oracle XE this is called Apex and for Oracle Enterprise, I think it’s just called Enterprise Manager or some such shit. Two different GUI’s but both  use and reserve the HTTP port on your computer. Since Oracle starts before JBoss, Apache then can’t use this port to talk to JBoss.

The easiest way around this is to set the HTTP port that Oracle uses and it’s really really simple. You’ll need to have the SYSDBA priviledges for this to work, so I’ll assume as much.

Start SQLPlus and login to your server connecting as SYSDBA. Normally by default the connection will be something like: connect SYS as SYSDBA@XE etc… where XE is your service identifier – for Enterprise it’s what ever you called it on install.

Once you’ve done this then just run this command: exec dbms_xdb.sethttpport(9090);

This sets my Oracle HTTP port to 9090, something JBoss shouldn’t be using. Now I can have everything running without conflict. Apache can now see JBoss and I can still get to Oracles admin screens.

How to Setup Debugging in Eclipse for JBoss

JBoss Debug Startup

This is really useful – only recently found out how to do this and the benefit is enormous. Basically by a small configuration on JBoss’s startup configuration and a setting in Eclipse we can toggle breakpoints in our java code so that we can see where our code gets stuck and the JBoss processes that it goes through.

It takes about 5 minutes to do and once you’ve done it, it’ll make things much easier.

Start with JBoss, you’ll need to edit its run file (/jboss/bin/run.sh or run.bat) and un-comment line 87:

JBoss-Debug-RunFile

This tells JBoss which port to use to listen to for debug commands and it enables the JBoss’s remote debugging functionality.

JBoss-Debug-Eclipse-Debug

Next we need to go to Eclipse and configure the debugger in there. If you go to the Window menu at the top and then go to Open Perspective and look for Debug (you may need to choose it from the Other menu). Once you’re in this perspective you can then setup an application profile for your debugger – look for the bug symbol on the top tool bar and select the Debug Configurations menu.

JBoss-Debug-Eclipse-Debug-Config

In here we choose to create a new Remote Java Application giving it a name and connection details for your JBoss server – so in my case its localhost. The port MUST be the same as the port expected in your JBoss run file, in this case by default its port 8787.

JBoss-Debug-Eclipse-Debug-New-Config

Ok thats it – debug should be setup. When you start JBoss it’ll pause waiting for you to start the debugger in Eclipse – just go back to the bug symbol and select your configuration you just made. JBoss will continue to load after this point and Eclipse should start showing you JBoss’s processes that it’s running.

JBoss-Debug-Startup

Now we can add in breakpoints to our code allowing us to step through the code when its activated on JBoss – so if a user submits a form that calls in a bean which does x, y, z then we can see the logic that happens and if any issues occur – this is really useful for things like payment pipelines.

JBoss-Debug-Eclipse-Debug-Breakpoint

To toggle a breakpoint or to enable/ disable an existing one, just click in the left margin of your code window at the line you want to begin to step through. When this line gets processed JBoss will stop and you can then use the step through commands on the debug menu.

JBoss-Debug-Eclipse-Debug-Step-Through

If you’re using the startDynamoOnJboss and run-in-place methods for your server then you can debug and fix your code theoretically very quickly and easily.

Hot Deploy Java code/ ATG components on JBoss

Pretty simple, on a production environment you start JBoss with its run file and a series of commands, which then picks up your EAR file from the deployment directory. Which is a fine process to go through, but what if you’re developing code and you don’t want to wait the several minutes for a build and deployment – on a windows system this can take well over 20 minutes to achieve if you’re running things locally.

We want to do hot deployment so that when you make small changes in your java class/ ATG component you don’t have to rebuild and restart JBoss each time and you save yourself a lot of time.

We can do this by starting JBoss in the following way:

To avoid building an EAR file each time rather than using JBoss’s run file (/JBoss/bin/run.bat or run.sh) ATG provides a way to start JBoss and build the EAR on the fly from your working directory. This means that you can make changes to JSP’s etc… and see the changes instantly. To do this from your command prompt/shell go to your ATG home directory (/ATG/ATG22007.1/home/bin/) and in the bin run this file: StartDynamoOnJBoss.

In order for this to work and hot deployments to work we need to pass in a few parameters for this to work. Firstly the dynamo server to use – if you’re using one. Next set the name of the jBoss server using the -c flag. Then set the modules you want to load so your projects bin/ code source directory, ATG modules etc… and finally set the most important command -f -run-in-place which tells jBoss to compile and run the code from your projects directory rather than look for an EAR file in its deploy directory. So the start command looks like this:

startDynamoOnJBoss MY_DYNAMO_SERVER_NAME -c MY_JBOSS_SERVER_NAME -m MYPROJECT.core -f -run-in-place

And thats it. Now you can make changes to your files in Eclipse and you won’t need to restart jBoss. But there is one last thing – make sure to set your project in Eclipse to build automatically – you can set this under the project menu at the top.

Setting Database Connections in JBoss/ ATG

JBoss XML DS

ATG communicates to a database via JBoss via a dynamo server setup or in your home/localconfig directory if you’re not using specific dynamo servers. In this setup you specify the JNDI connection name which will then refer to an XML file which makes up part of your JBoss server. So to summarise ATG connects via its own JNDI config file which maps to an XML file on the JBoss server. JBoss then handles the connection out to the data source via a JDBC call – this can be any type of database or repository potentially.

Here’s how to set the database connections for something like Oracle. For MySQL etc… the procedure is pretty much the same and you can find example XML configs for these in your JBoss install the only real difference is the driver used for the connection.

First start with JBoss and setup the XML. Go to your servers deploy directory: \jboss\server\MY_SERVER_NAME\deploy. If you haven’t setup a server then this will be called default – if you’ve installed ATG then there will be a server called ATG. In your deploy directory there will be XML files normally with the mention of ‘ds’ in the file name, to let us know its for a data Source. If you go to:  \jboss\docs\examples\jca you should find example XML connection files here.

Alternatively using the below code we can create one for Oracle called something like ATG-Oracle-DS.xml.

In this XML file we basically set the JNDI reference name, the JDBC connection URL which is the database server IP/name along with the port and the SID (Service Identifier). We then set the schema that we want to connect to and it’s password. It’s the same for any database connection, although you’ll also see that we set the driver to use for the connection (more on this after the below XML)…










ATGOracleDS


jdbc:oracle:thin:@MY_ORACLE_DB_URL:1521:MY_SID


oracle.jdbc.OracleDriver


SCHEMA_NAME
PASSWORD


10


10




OK so the XML is pretty simple – you can have as many connections in one XML file as you need but sometimes it’s easier to keep them in separate files to identify connections. You can also MIX connections, so I can have a schema on Oracle, another on MsSQL and a third on MySQL and ATG can read and use data from all of these as part of its data anywhere architecture.

Here’s the gotcha – you MUST make sure the driver/ libary jar file is installed for your server to connect to your database. So go to your server’s lib directory e.g. \jboss\server\MY_SERVER_NAME\lib and for Oracle you will need a jar called ojdbc14.jar which contains the necessary classes for JBoss to connect to your database – generally JBoss does come with most database library jars but you may need to hunt this one down on Oracles website.

So We’ve set an XML file that specifies a connection for JBoss to use, we’ve added the necessary libary files to our JBoss server so it can make the connection. Finally we need ATG to be configured to use this connection, this is the really easy part!

In ATG the sources are referenced via the Dynamo servers localconfig, so for example in: \ATG\ATG2007.1\home\servers\MY_SERVER_NAME\localconfig\atg\dynamo\service\jdbc or if you’re not using Dynamo servers then just look in home\localconfig\atg\dynamo\service\jdbc.

If you’re building an external EAR file for your deployment then include this  in your Dynamo servers that you export with your EAR file. Anyway in this config directory you need to make a .properties file to set the JNDI connection to use. Just add the below 2 lines – the JNDIName variable should reference the JNDI name in your XML file.

$class=atg.nucleus.JNDIReference
JNDIName=java:/ATGOracleDS

And thats it! You should be able to map any database for use with ATG replacing the Solid database that comes with ATG.

Now a word of warning – it’s fine using additional databases for ATG but if you want to completely replace the Solid database, and in a production environment this is a must, you will need to load in the tables to your database for ATG to use, but I’ll write this up in a separate post – It’s pretty easy as ATG ships with various SQL setup scripts for you to use to achieve this.

Arduino + Processing – Make a Radar Screen – Part 3: Visualising the Data from Sharp Infrared Range Finder

Arduino Sharp IR radar

So I had some luck with getting the Sharp Infrared range finder working and I’ve now plugged this on to my servo rig to see if I get better results on my radar styled display.

Check out how to use the Sharp IR range finder here

Few things to bare in mind, whilst the code is pretty much the same there are a few subtle differences. Firstly for better readings the Arduino code has a longer delay – but since we’re not allowing for a sonar ping there’s not much noticeable difference.

Next we’re expecting integer values in the processing code so when sending values to over the serial port we cast them from float to integer.

Because the IR sensor has a different range I’ve altered the display to measure only up to 150cm. And becasue of this range limitation, if there is any value recorded outside of this range then we need to handle it to avoid seeing spikes and the same for any value under 20cm we need to also handle this.

To make the display more readable I keep the same size screen and area (radius of 300) and then multiply the sensor values by 2 to magnify them a bit more.

Other than it, it’s basically the same code as before and when we look at the image comparison now between what the sensor records and what is physically there we see a far better match, in some cases it’s a little to accurate.

Sharp-IR-radar

Arduino sketch

/*
luckylarry.co.uk
Radar Screen Visualisation for Sharp GP2Y0A02 IR range finder
Sends sensor readings for every degree moved by the servo
values sent to serial port to be picked up by Processing
*/
#include             // include the standard servo library
Servo leftRightServo;         // set a variable to map the servo
int leftRightPos = 0;         // set a variable to store the servo position
const int numReadings = 10;   // set a variable for the number of readings to take
int index = 0;                // the index of the current reading
float total = 0;              // the total of all readings must be a float to allow totaling of float values
int average = 0;              // the average
int IRpin = 1;                // analog pin for reading the IR sensor
 
/* setup the pins, servo and serial port */
void setup() { 
  leftRightServo.attach(9);
  // initialize the serial port:
  Serial.begin(9600);
} 
 
/* begin rotating the servo and getting sensor values */
void loop() { 
  for(leftRightPos = 0; leftRightPos < 180; leftRightPos++) {  // going left to right.                                
    leftRightServo.write(leftRightPos);             
      for (index = 0; index<=numReadings;index++) {            // take x number of readings from the sensor and average them
        float volts = analogRead(IRpin)*0.0048828125;          // value from sensor * (5/1024) - if running 3.3.volts then change 5 to 3.3
        float distance = 65*pow(volts, -1.10);                 // worked out from graph 65 = theretical distance / (1/Volts)S - luckylarry.co.uk
        total = total + distance;                              // update total
        delay(20);
      }
    average = (int) total/numReadings;                         // create average reading CAST TO INT!! remove the decimal places
 
    if (index >= numReadings)  {                               // reset the counts when at the last item of the array    
      index = 0;           
      total = 0;     
    }
    Serial.print("X");                                         // print leading X to mark the following value as degrees
    Serial.print(leftRightPos);                                // current servo position
    Serial.print("V");                                         // preceeding character to separate values
    Serial.println(average);                                   // average of sensor readings
  }
  /* 
  start going right to left after we got to 180 degrees 
  same code as above
  */
  for(leftRightPos = 180; leftRightPos > 0; leftRightPos--) {  // going right to left                                
    leftRightServo.write(leftRightPos);             
    for (index = 0; index<=numReadings;index++) {
      float volts = analogRead(IRpin)*0.0048828125;            // value from sensor * (5/1024) - if running 3.3.volts then change 5 to 3.3
      float distance = 65*pow(volts, -1.10);                   // worked out from graph 65 = theretical distance / (1/Volts)S - luckylarry.co.uk
      total = total + distance;
      delay(20);
    }
    average = (int) total/numReadings;  
    if (index >= numReadings)  {           
      index = 0;           
      total = 0;     
    }
    Serial.print("X");
    Serial.print(leftRightPos);
    Serial.print("V");
    Serial.println(average);
   }  
}

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Processing sketch

/*
luckylarry.co.uk
Radar Screen Visualisation for Sharp GP2Y0A02
Maps out an area of what the GP2Y0A02 sees from a top down view.
Takes and displays 2 readings, one left to right and one right to left.
Displays an average of the 2 readings
Displays motion alert if there is a large difference between the 2 values.
*/
import processing.serial.*;     // import serial library
Serial myPort;                  // declare a serial port
float x, y;                     // variable to store x and y co-ordinates for vertices   
int radius = 350;               // set the radius of objects
int w = 300;                    // set an arbitary width value
int degree = 0;                 // servo position in degrees
int value = 0;                  // value from sensor
int motion = 0;                 // value to store which way the servo is panning
int[] newValue = new int[181];  // create an array to store each new sensor value for each servo position
int[] oldValue = new int[181];  // create an array to store the previous values.
PFont myFont;                   // setup fonts in Processing
int radarDist = 0;              // set value to configure Radar distance labels
int firstRun = 0;               // value to ignore triggering motion on the first 2 servo sweeps

/* create background and serial buffer */
void setup(){
  // setup the background size, colour and font.
  size(750, 450);
  background (0); // 0 = black
  myFont = createFont("verdana", 12);
  textFont(myFont);
  // setup the serial port and buffer
  myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[1], 9600);
  myPort.bufferUntil('\n');
}

/* draw the screen */
void draw(){
  fill(0);                              // set the following shapes to be black
  noStroke();                           // set the following shapes to have no outline
  ellipse(radius, radius, 750, 750);    // draw a circle with a width/ height = 750 with its center position (x and y) set by the radius
  rectMode(CENTER);                     // set the following rectangle to be drawn around its center
  rect(350,402,800,100);                // draw rectangle (x, y, width, height)
  if (degree >= 179) {                  // if at the far right then set motion = 1/ true we're about to go right to left
    motion = 1;                         // this changes the animation to run right to left
  }
  if (degree <= 1) {                    // if servo at 0 degrees then we're about to go left to right
    motion = 0;                         // this sets the animation to run left to right
  }
  /* setup the radar sweep */
  /* 
  We use trigonmetry to create points around a circle.
  So the radius plus the cosine of the servo position converted to radians
  Since radians 0 start at 90 degrees we add 180 to make it start from the left
  Adding +1 (i) each time through the loops to move 1 degree matching the one degree of servo movement
  cos is for the x left to right value and sin calculates the y value
  since its a circle we plot our lines and vertices around the start point for everything will always be the center.
  */
  strokeWeight(7);                      // set the thickness of the lines
  if (motion == 0) {                    // if going left to right
    for (int i = 0; i <= 20; i++) {     // draw 20 lines with fading colour each 1 degree further round than the last
      stroke(0, (10*i), 0);             // set the stroke colour (Red, Green, Blue) base it on the the value of i
      line(radius, radius, radius + cos(radians(degree+(180+i)))*w, radius + sin(radians(degree+(180+i)))*w); // line(start x, start y, end x, end y)
    }
  } else {                              // if going right to left
    for (int i = 20; i >= 0; i--) {     // draw 20 lines with fading colour
      stroke(0,200-(10*i), 0);          // using standard RGB values, each between 0 and 255
      line(radius, radius, radius + cos(radians(degree+(180+i)))*w, radius + sin(radians(degree+(180+i)))*w);
    }
  }
  /* Setup the shapes made from the sensor values */
  noStroke();                           // no outline
  /* first sweep */
  fill(0,50,0);                         // set the fill colour of the shape (Red, Green, Blue)
  beginShape();                         // start drawing shape
    for (int i = 0; i < 180; i++) {     // for each degree in the array
      x = radius + cos(radians((180+i)))*((oldValue[i]*2)); // create x coordinate
      y = radius + sin(radians((180+i)))*((oldValue[i]*2)); // create y coordinate
      vertex(x, y);                     // plot vertices
    }
  endShape();                           // end shape
  /* second sweep */
  fill(0,110,0);
  beginShape();
    for (int i = 0; i < 180; i++) {
      x = radius + cos(radians((180+i)))*(newValue[i]*2);
      y = radius + sin(radians((180+i)))*(newValue[i]*2);
      vertex(x, y);
    }
  endShape();
  /* average */
  fill(0,170,0);
  beginShape();
    for (int i = 0; i < 180; i++) {
      x = radius + cos(radians((180+i)))*(((newValue[i]+oldValue[i])/2)*2); // create average
      y = radius + sin(radians((180+i)))*(((newValue[i]+oldValue[i])/2)*2);
      vertex(x, y);
    }
  endShape();
  /* if after first 2 sweeps, highlight motion with red circle*/
  if (firstRun >= 360) {
    stroke(150,0,0);
    strokeWeight(1);
    noFill();
      for (int i = 0; i < 180; i++) {
        if (oldValue[i] - newValue[i] > 35 || newValue[i] - oldValue[i] > 35) {
          x = radius + cos(radians((180+i)))*(newValue[i]*2);
          y = radius + sin(radians((180+i)))*(newValue[i]*2);
          ellipse(x, y, 10, 10); 
        }
      }
  }
  /* set the radar distance rings and out put their values, 50, 100, 150 etc.. */
  for (int i = 0; i <=6; i++){
    noFill();
    strokeWeight(1);
    stroke(0, 255-(30*i), 0);
    ellipse(radius, radius, (100*i), (100*i)); 
    fill(0, 100, 0);
    noStroke();
    text(Integer.toString(radarDist+25), 380, (305-(radarDist*2)), 50, 50); // change this to measure up to 150cm
    radarDist+=25;
  }
  radarDist = 0;
  /* draw the grid lines on the radar every 30 degrees and write their values 180, 210, 240 etc.. */
  for (int i = 0; i <= 6; i++) {
    strokeWeight(1);
    stroke(0, 55, 0);
    line(radius, radius, radius + cos(radians(180+(30*i)))*w, radius + sin(radians(180+(30*i)))*w);
    fill(0, 55, 0);
    noStroke();
    if (180+(30*i) >= 300) {
      text(Integer.toString(180+(30*i)), (radius+10) + cos(radians(180+(30*i)))*(w+10), (radius+10) + sin(radians(180+(30*i)))*(w+10), 25,50);
    } else {
      text(Integer.toString(180+(30*i)), radius + cos(radians(180+(30*i)))*w, radius + sin(radians(180+(30*i)))*w, 60,40);
    }
  }
  /* Write information text and values. */
  noStroke();
  fill(0);
  rect(350,402,800,100);
  fill(0, 100, 0);
  text("Degrees: "+Integer.toString(degree), 100, 380, 100, 50);         // use Integet.toString to convert numeric to string as text() only outputs strings
  text("Distance: "+Integer.toString(value), 100, 400, 100, 50);         // text(string, x, y, width, height)
  text("Radar screen code at luckylarry.co.uk", 540, 380, 250, 50);
  fill(0);
  rect(70,60,150,100);
  fill(0, 100, 0); 
  text("Screen Key:", 100, 50, 150, 50);
  fill(0,50,0);
  rect(30,53,10,10);
  text("First sweep", 115, 70, 150, 50);
  fill(0,110,0);
  rect(30,73,10,10);
  text("Second sweep", 115, 90, 150, 50);
  fill(0,170,0);
  rect(30,93,10,10);
  text("Average", 115, 110, 150, 50);
  noFill();
  stroke(150,0,0);
  strokeWeight(1);
  ellipse(29, 113, 10, 10); 
  fill(150,0,0);
  text("Motion", 115, 130, 150, 50);
}

/* get values from serial port */
void serialEvent (Serial myPort) {
  String xString = myPort.readStringUntil('\n');  // read the serial port until a new line
    if (xString != null) {  // if theres data in between the new lines
    	xString = trim(xString); // get rid of any whitespace just in case
    	String getX = xString.substring(1, xString.indexOf("V")); // get the value of the servo position
    	String getV = xString.substring(xString.indexOf("V")+1, xString.length()); // get the value of the sensor reading
    	degree = Integer.parseInt(getX); // set the values to variables
    	value = Integer.parseInt(getV);
        /*
        If our values are outside either end of the sensors range then convert them to the max/min for a better display without the spikes
        */
        if (value > 150) {
          value = 150; 
        }
        if (value < 20) {
          value = 20;
        }
    	oldValue[degree] = newValue[degree]; // store the values in the arrays.
    	newValue[degree] = value;  
        /* sets a counter to allow for the first 2 sweeps of the servo */
    	firstRun++;
    	if (firstRun > 360) {
    	  firstRun = 360; // keep the value at 360 
    	}
  }
}

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Part 1: Setting up the Circuit and Outputting Values
Part 2: Visualising the Data

Arduino – Using a Sharp IR Sensor for Distance Calculation

Arduino testing Sharp IR

Well, looks like my sonar sensor (SRF05) is a just a tad inaccurate for precise measurement as I found from my radar screen I made (Arduino Radar Sscreen).

So I’ve got hold of a Sharp GP2Y0A02 series infrared distance sensor. It’ll detect and measure anything within a 20-150cm range and it does this by triangulation from where it emits a beam of IR and from when it receives it – this isn’t too important to understand.

The hardest bit of this is actually just getting a rough distance value out of it. If we look at the data sheet you’ll see a graph of Volts to Distance and the greater the voltage the shorter the distance. So to measure distance we’ll need to measure the voltage change as the distance changes.

To do this I have to use the analog pins on the Arduino board, now first off because we’re connecting/ reading directly from the sensor we need to convert the digital value that the Arduino’s onboard analog to digital converters will give us. Sounds odd? Well when you use the analog pins it converts what ever arbitary analog value supplied to a byte value which is between 0 and 1023 (1024 variations).

Sharp-GP2Y0A02Looking at our graph above from the datasheet, this converted value is of no use to us so we need to convert this value back to the true analog value. How? We take the voltage rating of the power supply and divide by 1024 to give us a value per step. So for instance:

5v/1024 = 0.0048828125

We take this value and multiply by what the sensor sends back to get our voltage reading. The next stage is to work out an equation from the graph on the data sheet to get the theoretical distance from the voltage reading, if we look at the graph between 20 and 150cm you can see that its exponential.

To get our distance on the graph I came up with:

1/Volts * 65

I got 65 by taking the distance on the graph and dividing that by 1/Volts. So now we know what to multiply our voltage results by to get the distance. This is fine if we just had one value to read or if this was a linear graph, in that the change in voltage was always the same amount of distance.

For the exponential change we have to turn our value now into an exponent, a fancy way of saying x to the power of y. So our formula for distance from voltage reading is now something like:

distance = (Volts x)*65.

Since our graph is a decaying exponential the value of x will be a fraction – to write this as a exponent we have to use a minus number e.g. -1. The exponent -1 is the equivalent of the fraction 1/2 which is 0.5 as a decimal.

Now through trial and error I programmed this into my Arduino and changed the exponent until my readings became accurate(ish) I started at -1 and by co-incidence the next value I tried was -1.1 which is 11/10 as a fraction, 0.65 as a decimal and oddly enough 1/100th of my distance ration, 65!

Anyway its not spot on but this seems to work for my sensor, for any other Sharp IR sensor, first work out the distance ratio from the graph and then try changing the exponential until you get accurate results. If anyone can show me the equations for doing this that’d be great as I only did this through trial and error.

In Arduino the code for my equation is:

float volts = analogRead(IRpin)*0.0048828125; ;
float distance = 65*pow(volts, -1.10);

I’m using float for my values as the expected result will not be integer and the pow(number, exponent) function is an Arduino function that lets us raise a specified number by a power/ exponent.

So the only other hassle is wiring up the sensor which has 3 pins from a JST connector (Japan Solderless Terminal). Picture below for mapping the Power (Vcc), GND and Reading (Vo).

Arduino Sharp IR Distance Sensor Circuit

Pretty easy – I’ve got a JST lead plugged it in and removed the casing on the wires to expose them and I’ve just jabbed that into a breadboard. Then i’ve run standard jumper wires from these to the Arduino board.

Sharp-GP2Y0A02-circuit

Sharp Infrared Arduino Sketch

Again, pretty easy, read the analog pin and apply my above logic, printing the value to the serial port.

int IRpin = 1;                                    // analog pin for reading the IR sensor

void setup() {
  Serial.begin(9600);                             // start the serial port
}

void loop() {
  float volts = analogRead(IRpin)*0.0048828125;   // value from sensor * (5/1024) - if running 3.3.volts then change 5 to 3.3
  float distance = 65*pow(volts, -1.10);          // worked out from graph 65 = theretical distance / (1/Volts)S - luckylarry.co.uk
  Serial.println(distance);                       // print the distance
  delay(100);                                     // arbitary wait time.
}

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Seems pretty accurate, although there does seem to be spikes but with the same approach to the sonar sensor we can smooth this by taking an average of multiple readings. Next step is to run my radar visualisation on it.

Arduino-testing-Sharp-IR
And just so you can see my screen readings:

Sharp-GP2Y0A02-readings

Pretty much measuring spot on, though of course if you’re closer than 20cm are futher than 150cm then the measurements will be grossly inaccurate as this is out side of the sensors evironment.

Arduino + Processing: Make a Radar Screen to Visualise Sensor Data from SRF-05 – Part 2: Visualising the Data

Arduino SRF 05 radar

This is where all the work is done to read an interpret the values from the servo and the sensor. If the readings are to erratic then you won’t have nice shapes. Also if you don’t allow enough time to the signals to be sent back then you’ll get false distance readings. So this code is only as good as your Arduino code and sensor setup.

Took me a few evenings to work this out to get it how I wanted, the hardest bit is the trigonometry involved which isn’t that difficult, everything else is done by loops and a few IF statements. I use the FOR loops alot because the all the elements can be displayed programmatically without having to write each rectangle, cirle and line to the screen with their own statement.

If you’re not familiar with Processing then head over to Processing.org. Processing is a tool/ IDE that lets you program and code graphics and animation, it’s free to use and pretty powerful – best part is it works hand in hand with Arduino in the same C/C++ style of code, letting us take data from Arduino and whatever’s plugged into it and then visualise it on screen, e.g. like a radar screen.

First we have to setup our variables, background and load in the serial port libraries to ensure we can read the data sent by the Arduino. We also have to include a function from the serial library called serialEvent() which listens for data being sent and allows us to read the data easily. We do some easy string work, splitting the serial port lines to get the servo position and sensor value.

Also we can setup the radar screen, drawing the text, measurements and display grid. With processing whats nearest the top of the draw() function is displayed first with everything subsequentally drawn on top of this. So our lines and text will be at the bottom of the function so it will always be visible. To draw the lines and measurements we use a FOR loop. The draw() function draws one frame, so we basically re-draw the frame 180 times – we use a couple of arrays to store the previous values to make it look continuous.

Now that we have those we can then begin to display the values on our screen. We use a FOR loop to loop through each item in our array, newValue and oldValue. These are setup to hold 181 items – 1 item per servo position with 1 extra just in case, we loop through these to constantly display the previous readings – if we were to use the servo position itself to iterate through the array then no previous data would be displayed since the servo position is always changing.

Thoughout we need to calculate the X and Y co-ordinates of each servo position and sensor distance reading. To get these values we use trigonometry using sine and cosine and converting the servo position to a radian using the sensor reading as the distance from the center from which to draw the point. To learn more about this and to save me writing it up check out this tutorial at Processing.org.

The Sketch
Below is the code used to create the radar screen, it has comments to help explain. Everything used is an in built function of the Processing language and you can find the reference for the functions that I use in the reference section on the Processing.org website. So methods such as fill(), stroke(), rect(), line() etc…

/*
luckylarry.co.uk
Radar Screen Visualisation for SRF-05
Maps out an area of what the SRF-05 sees from a top down view.
Takes and displays 2 readings, one left to right and one right to left.
Displays an average of the 2 readings
Displays motion alert if there is a large difference between the 2 values.
*/
import processing.serial.*;     // import serial library
Serial myPort;                  // declare a serial port
float x, y;                       // variable to store x and y co-ordinates for vertices
int radius = 350;               // set the radius of objects
int w = 300;                    // set an arbitary width value
int degree = 0;                 // servo position in degrees
int value = 0;                  // value from sensor
int motion = 0;                 // value to store which way the servo is panning
int[] newValue = new int[181];  // create an array to store each new sensor value for each servo position
int[] oldValue = new int[181];  // create an array to store the previous values.
PFont myFont;                   // setup fonts in Processing
int radarDist = 0;              // set value to configure Radar distance labels
int firstRun = 0;               // value to ignore triggering motion on the first 2 servo sweeps

/* create background and serial buffer */
void setup(){
  // setup the background size, colour and font.
  size(750, 450);
  background (0); // 0 = black
  myFont = createFont("verdana", 12);
  textFont(myFont);
  // setup the serial port and buffer
  myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[1], 9600);
  myPort.bufferUntil('n');
}

/* draw the screen */
void draw(){
  fill(0);                              // set the following shapes to be black
  noStroke();                           // set the following shapes to have no outline
  ellipse(radius, radius, 750, 750);    // draw a circle with a width/ height = 750 with its center position (x and y) set by the radius
  rectMode(CENTER);                     // set the following rectangle to be drawn around its center
  rect(350,402,800,100);                // draw rectangle (x, y, width, height)
  if (degree >= 179) {                  // if at the far right then set motion = 1/ true we're about to go right to left
    motion = 1;                         // this changes the animation to run right to left
  }
  if (degree <= 1) {                    // if servo at 0 degrees then we're about to go left to right
    motion = 0;                         // this sets the animation to run left to right
  }
  /* setup the radar sweep */
  /*
  We use trigonmetry to create points around a circle.
  So the radius plus the cosine of the servo position converted to radians
  Since radians 0 start at 90 degrees we add 180 to make it start from the left
  Adding +1 (i) each time through the loops to move 1 degree matching the one degree of servo movement
  cos is for the x left to right value and sin calculates the y value
  since its a circle we plot our lines and vertices around the start point for everything will always be the center.
  */
  strokeWeight(7);                      // set the thickness of the lines
  if (motion == 0) {                    // if going left to right
    for (int i = 0; i <= 20; i++) {     // draw 20 lines with fading colour each 1 degree further round than the last
      stroke(0, (10*i), 0);             // set the stroke colour (Red, Green, Blue) base it on the the value of i
      line(radius, radius, radius + cos(radians(degree+(180+i)))*w, radius + sin(radians(degree+(180+i)))*w); // line(start x, start y, end x, end y)
    }
  } else {                              // if going right to left
    for (int i = 20; i >= 0; i--) {     // draw 20 lines with fading colour
      stroke(0,200-(10*i), 0);          // using standard RGB values, each between 0 and 255
      line(radius, radius, radius + cos(radians(degree+(180+i)))*w, radius + sin(radians(degree+(180+i)))*w);
    }
  }
  /* Setup the shapes made from the sensor values */
  noStroke();                           // no outline
  /* first sweep */
  fill(0,50,0);                         // set the fill colour of the shape (Red, Green, Blue)
  beginShape();                         // start drawing shape
    for (int i = 0; i < 180; i++) {     // for each degree in the array
      x = radius + cos(radians((180+i)))*((oldValue[i])); // create x coordinate
      y = radius + sin(radians((180+i)))*((oldValue[i])); // create y coordinate
      vertex(x, y);                     // plot vertices
    }
  endShape();                           // end shape
  /* second sweep */
  fill(0,110,0);
  beginShape();
    for (int i = 0; i < 180; i++) {
      x = radius + cos(radians((180+i)))*(newValue[i]);
      y = radius + sin(radians((180+i)))*(newValue[i]);
      vertex(x, y);
    }
  endShape();
  /* average */
  fill(0,170,0);
  beginShape();
    for (int i = 0; i < 180; i++) {
      x = radius + cos(radians((180+i)))*((newValue[i]+oldValue[i])/2); // create average
      y = radius + sin(radians((180+i)))*((newValue[i]+oldValue[i])/2);
      vertex(x, y);
    }
  endShape();
  /* if after first 2 sweeps, highlight motion with red circle*/
  if (firstRun >= 360) {
    stroke(150,0,0);
    strokeWeight(1);
    noFill();
      for (int i = 0; i < 180; i++) {
        if (oldValue[i] - newValue[i] > 35 || newValue[i] - oldValue[i] > 35) {
          x = radius + cos(radians((180+i)))*(newValue[i]);
          y = radius + sin(radians((180+i)))*(newValue[i]);
          ellipse(x, y, 10, 10);
        }
      }
  }
  /* set the radar distance rings and out put their values, 50, 100, 150 etc.. */
  for (int i = 0; i <=6; i++){
    noFill();
    strokeWeight(1);
    stroke(0, 255-(30*i), 0);
    ellipse(radius, radius, (100*i), (100*i));
    fill(0, 100, 0);
    noStroke();
    text(Integer.toString(radarDist+50), 380, (305-radarDist), 50, 50);
    radarDist+=50;
  }
  radarDist = 0;
  /* draw the grid lines on the radar every 30 degrees and write their values 180, 210, 240 etc.. */
  for (int i = 0; i <= 6; i++) {
    strokeWeight(1);
    stroke(0, 55, 0);
    line(radius, radius, radius + cos(radians(180+(30*i)))*w, radius + sin(radians(180+(30*i)))*w);
    fill(0, 55, 0);
    noStroke();
    if (180+(30*i) >= 300) {
      text(Integer.toString(180+(30*i)), (radius+10) + cos(radians(180+(30*i)))*(w+10), (radius+10) + sin(radians(180+(30*i)))*(w+10), 25,50);
    } else {
      text(Integer.toString(180+(30*i)), radius + cos(radians(180+(30*i)))*w, radius + sin(radians(180+(30*i)))*w, 60,40);
    }
  }
  /* Write information text and values. */
  noStroke();
  fill(0);
  rect(350,402,800,100);
  fill(0, 100, 0);
  text("Degrees: "+Integer.toString(degree), 100, 380, 100, 50);         // use Integet.toString to convert numeric to string as text() only outputs strings
  text("Distance: "+Integer.toString(value), 100, 400, 100, 50);         // text(string, x, y, width, height)
  text("Radar screen code at luckylarry.co.uk", 540, 380, 250, 50);
  fill(0);
  rect(70,60,150,100);
  fill(0, 100, 0);
  text("Screen Key:", 100, 50, 150, 50);
  fill(0,50,0);
  rect(30,53,10,10);
  text("First sweep", 115, 70, 150, 50);
  fill(0,110,0);
  rect(30,73,10,10);
  text("Second sweep", 115, 90, 150, 50);
  fill(0,170,0);
  rect(30,93,10,10);
  text("Average", 115, 110, 150, 50);
  noFill();
  stroke(150,0,0);
  strokeWeight(1);
  ellipse(29, 113, 10, 10);
  fill(150,0,0);
  text("Motion", 115, 130, 150, 50);
}

/* get values from serial port */
void serialEvent (Serial myPort) {
  String xString = myPort.readStringUntil('n');  // read the serial port until a new line
    if (xString != null) {  // if theres data in between the new lines
        xString = trim(xString); // get rid of any whitespace just in case
        String getX = xString.substring(1, xString.indexOf("V")); // get the value of the servo position
        String getV = xString.substring(xString.indexOf("V")+1, xString.length()); // get the value of the sensor reading
        degree = Integer.parseInt(getX); // set the values to variables
        value = Integer.parseInt(getV);
        oldValue[degree] = newValue[degree]; // store the values in the arrays.
        newValue[degree] = value;
        /* sets a counter to allow for the first 2 sweeps of the servo */
        firstRun++;
        if (firstRun > 360) {
          firstRun = 360; // keep the value at 360
        }
  }
}

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The end result
Here’s a video below of it all working! There is an issue to bare in mind with the SRF-05 and thats that it works best as a static range finder, it emits a conical wave which will bounce back off of anything small or large and has a wide detection field of vision so it may pick up something that’s not directly in front of it. As you can see by the below image the detection range is so wide that it doesn’t truly see all the gaps as its detected something else in its field of vision.

sonar-topdown

If there are less objects it works fine… time to look at other sensors I think – anyway here’s the video below just showing it working on my screen.

Part 1: Setting up the Circuit and Outputting Values
Part 3: Visualising the Data from Sharp Infrared Range Finder

Arduino + Processing – Make a Radar Screen to Visualise Sensor Data from SRF-05 – Part 1: Setting up the Circuit and Outputting Values

arduino servo SRF05

First things first, we need to build our circuit. This is the easy bit! We’ll be using the Arduino to control a servo that will rotate our sensor around 180 degrees. The Arduino will then send the value from the distance sensor along with the current angle of the servo to the serial port.

Before proceeding please take a moment to check out some of my other work with the SRF-05 and servos if you’re unfamiliar with either.
Arduino SRF-05 Tutorials
Arduino Servo Tutorials

I’m building this with the SRF-05 ultrasonic range finder/ distance sensor, but because this has a fairly wide field of detection it’s not very precise – I think I’ll end up trying a different range finder maybe an IR one as the SRF-05 works best as a static sensor/ detector, anyway…

Arduino Radar Parts list

SRF05 Ultrasonic range finder
Arduino Deumilanove w/ ATMEGA328
Breadboard / Prototyping board
Jumper/ Connector wires
1x Servo (has to need no more than 5v supply)
You’ll also need some way to mount the sensor to the servo.

Arduino Radar Servo Circuit

Straight forward, we have the Arduino providing power to the breadboard and we have the servo and the SRF-05 sharing this power. Then we have the servo output pin going to Arduino digital pin 9 and the SRF-05 pins going to digital pin 2 and 3. You’ll notice that in my pictures I have 2 servos – I’m just using the bottom one of the pair to rotate the sensor round. On your servo you’ll need to figure out a way to mount the sensor on to the servo wheel – I used a lot of blu-tac! You’ll also see I’ve mounted my sensor vertically so that the when the servo moves there’ll be less interference with recieving values – placing the sensor horisontally seemed to give differences of up to and sometimes over 5cm between the first and second readings.

My servos do tend to move a bit so I’ve used more blu-tak/ modelling clay to hold them down and in place – if the servos move other than the way they’re meant to then it means dodgy readings.

SRF05 pin layout
arduino-servo-SRF05
Simple rig to rotate sensor 180 degrees

Arduino SRF05 Radar Sketch

The hardest bit – rotate the servo from left to right, then right to left and for every degree of movement take a series of readings and send them to the serial port. We’ll want to produce an average reading value for consistancy. Unfortunately with this ultrasound sensor we have to be quite slow to make sure we’re getting accurate values and we have to allow time for the signal to come back each time and register in order to produce the average value.

We do the rotation using a for loop to count to 180 and for each iteration we move the servo by +1 or -1 depending on which way we’re going – if you’ve hacked your servos then you can do a full 360 loop. During this loop we do another FOR loop to count to 10/ numReadings and for each iteration we add the distance measured to the total and after 10 readings we get our average by dividing the total by the number of readings. Then reset the total and the counter to start again for the next servo position. Finally before finishing the  the FOR loop for the servo we output the servo position and average reading to the serial port each with a preceeding character for us to later use to identify the values when reading the serial port in Processing. The last line is using println which will start a new line for the next set of values – each reading has its own line in the serial buffer makign it much easier to get our values back out.

/*
luckylarry.co.uk
Radar Screen Visualisation for SRF-05
Sends sensor readings for every degree moved by the servo
values sent to serial port to be picked up by Processing
*/
#include             // include the standard servo library
Servo leftRightServo;         // set a variable to map the servo
int leftRightPos = 0;         // set a variable to store the servo position
const int numReadings = 10;   // set a variable for the number of readings to take
int index = 0;                // the index of the current reading
int total = 0;                // the total of all readings
int average = 0;              // the average
int echoPin = 2;              // the SRF05's echo pin
int initPin = 3;              // the SRF05's init pin
unsigned long pulseTime = 0;  // variable for reading the pulse
unsigned long distance = 0;   // variable for storing distance

/* setup the pins, servo and serial port */
void setup() {
  leftRightServo.attach(9);
  // make the init pin an output:
  pinMode(initPin, OUTPUT);
  // make the echo pin an input:
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);
  // initialize the serial port:
  Serial.begin(9600);
} 

/* begin rotating the servo and getting sensor values */
void loop() {
  for(leftRightPos = 0; leftRightPos < 180; leftRightPos++) {  // going left to right.
    leftRightServo.write(leftRightPos);
      for (index = 0; index<=numReadings;index++) {            // take x number of readings from the sensor and average them
        digitalWrite(initPin, LOW);
        delayMicroseconds(50);
        digitalWrite(initPin, HIGH);                           // send signal
        delayMicroseconds(50);                                 // wait 50 microseconds for it to return
        digitalWrite(initPin, LOW);                            // close signal
        pulseTime = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);                    // calculate time for signal to return
        distance = pulseTime/58;                               // convert to centimetres
        total = total + distance;                              // update total
        delay(10);
      }
    average = total/numReadings;                               // create average reading

    if (index >= numReadings)  {                               // reset the counts when at the last item of the array
      index = 0;
      total = 0;
    }
    Serial.print("X");                                         // print leading X to mark the following value as degrees
    Serial.print(leftRightPos);                                // current servo position
    Serial.print("V");                                         // preceeding character to separate values
    Serial.println(average);                                   // average of sensor readings
  }
  /*
  start going right to left after we got to 180 degrees
  same code as above
  */
  for(leftRightPos = 180; leftRightPos > 0; leftRightPos--) {  // going right to left
    leftRightServo.write(leftRightPos);
    for (index = 0; index<=numReadings;index++) {
      digitalWrite(initPin, LOW);
      delayMicroseconds(50);
      digitalWrite(initPin, HIGH);
      delayMicroseconds(50);
      digitalWrite(initPin, LOW);
      pulseTime = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);
      distance = pulseTime/58;
      total = total + distance;
      delay(10);
    }
    average = total/numReadings;
    if (index >= numReadings)  {
      index = 0;
      total = 0;
    }
    Serial.print("X");
    Serial.print(leftRightPos);
    Serial.print("V");
    Serial.println(average);
   }
}

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Part 2: Visualising the Data
Part 3: Visualising the Data from Sharp Infrared Range Finder

Arduino – Basic Theremin meets Processing!

Arduino piano theremin

My last theremin involved a small speaker. Now I’ve replaced the speaker with my PC, using processing to pick up the values from the SRF05 ultrasound sonar distance sensor and play different notes accordingly – which gives multiple possibilities and far better sounds.

So to start with check out my previous theremin, the circuit is the same except for removing the speaker and the Arduino code now prints values to the serial port instead of outputing directly to a speaker. The only thing that I’m doing here that is really new is using the minim libary for Processing, built by this chap (thankyou). What this allows us is to assign a sound file to a variable in Processing and then gives us functions to start/stop the sound.

In my processing code you’ll see that I’ve got 12 sounds, one for each chromatic note and at the moment they’re from a piano. To get sounds and samples to use you can sign up to freesound.org. Mine I got here from ‘pinkyfinger’ and once you’ve decided which sounds you want to use then the rest is fairly easy – the more samples and octaves the better. I’ve used the piano set here just so I can hear the different notes and I’ve only 12 notes (chromatic scale) but eventually Iwould like to expand this to say 48 notes.

When you get your sounds I’ve found it’s easiest to use .wavs but minim will allow you to use WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, and MP3 files. Also I store my sounds in the root of the folder where I’m saving my processing sketch.

Ok, lets start with the Arduino parts, circuit and sketch.

Arduino Theremin Parts

SRF05 Ultrasonic range finder
Arduino Deumilanove w/ ATMEGA328
Breadboard / Prototyping board (you can actually do this without a breadboard)
Jumper/ Connector wires

The Theremin Arduino Circuit

Basically the same as before just without the speaker on it. For more info on the SRF05 checkout my past stuff here. In this instance Processing is going to do all the work, so the circuit just needs to pass values from the SRF05 to Arduino, which in turn passes values to my PC via the USB cable.

piano-theremin

The Arduino Theremin Sketch

Very cut down version, it takes the value as before and converts it to a distance and then just prints it to a new line in on the serial port.

// written at: luckylarry.co.uk
// very easy Theremin combined with processing
// sketch prints out distance to the serial port
// processing picks up value and plays notes accordingly
// no annoying speaker drone! 🙂

// setup pins and variables for SRF05 sonar device
int echoPin = 2;                                // SRF05 echo pin (digital 2)
int initPin = 3;                                // SRF05 trigger pin (digital 3)
unsigned long pulseTime = 0;                    // stores the pulse in Micro Seconds
unsigned long distance = 0;                     // variable for storing the distance (cm) we'll use distance as a switch for the speaker

//setup
void setup() {

  pinMode(initPin, OUTPUT);                     // set init pin 3 as output
  pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);                      // set echo pin 2 as input
  Serial.begin(9600);                           // start the serial port

} 

// execute
void loop() {
  digitalWrite(initPin, HIGH);                  // send 10 microsecond pulse
  delayMicroseconds(10);                        // wait 10 microseconds before turning off
  digitalWrite(initPin, LOW);                   // stop sending the pulse
  pulseTime = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);           // Look for a return pulse, it should be high as the pulse goes low-high-low
  distance = pulseTime/58;                      // convert the pulse into distance (cm)

  // make the sound.
  // check the distance, if over 50cm make no sound - send no signal
  if (distance > 50) {
    Serial.println(distance);                   // print the distance value to the serial port
    delay(50);                                  // delay for 50 milliseconds before starting again...
  }
}

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Next up we have processing, which will look for values on the serial port, so first upload the Arduino code to your board and test it works. Next start up Processing to finish off the code. If like me you’re fairly new to processing there’s lots of info to be had at: http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Interfacing/Processing

The Processing Theremin Sketch

With your code now running on the Arduino board we now need processing to pick up these values. Previously I had something of an issue getting these values and reading them. But in hindsight I was being a bit dim when I realised I could just look in the serial port for when a new line (n) was printed which would tell me that a new value was about to be sent. Of course thats providing your Arduino sketch is using Serial.println() (print line) instead of Serial.print() which just chucks every value into one long string – and if you look at my previous attempts with processing you can laugh at how I started splitting this huge string up etc… Oh hindsight is a wonderful thing, anyway, I digress, below is the processing sketch:

// written at: luckylarry.co.uk
// very easy Theremin combined with processing
// sketch prints out distance to the serial port
// processing picks up value and plays notes accordingly
// no annoying speaker drone! 🙂 replace the sounds and delays with
// your own...

import processing.serial.*;                // import serial library so we can read the serial port
import ddf.minim.*;                        // import minim library

// define the serial port
Serial myPort;          

// define minim variables:
// here we say that variable A is an audiosample etc...
Minim minim;
AudioSample GSharp;
AudioSample A;
AudioSample Bb;
AudioSample B;
AudioSample C;
AudioSample CSharp;
AudioSample D;
AudioSample Eb;
AudioSample E;
AudioSample F;
AudioSample FSharp;
AudioSample G;

// setup
void setup () {

  // set up the variables, loading in the sound files from your project folder
  // which should be the same place as where you save this sketch
  // details on using minim and audioSample are here: http://code.compartmental.net/tools/minim/manual-audiosample/
  minim = new Minim(this);
  GSharp = minim.loadSample("GSharp.wav", 2048);
  A = minim.loadSample("A.wav", 2048);
  Bb = minim.loadSample("Bb.wav", 2048);
  B = minim.loadSample("B.wav", 2048);
  C = minim.loadSample("C.wav", 2048);
  CSharp = minim.loadSample("CSharp.wav", 2048);
  D = minim.loadSample("D.wav", 2048);
  Eb = minim.loadSample("Eb.wav", 2048);
  E = minim.loadSample("E.wav", 2048);
  F = minim.loadSample("F.wav", 2048);
  FSharp = minim.loadSample("FSharp.wav", 2048);
  G = minim.loadSample("G.wav", 2048);

  // List serial ports, saves us trying to figure out which COM we're using.
  println(Serial.list());
  // Open the active port - providing you've only got one sending serial data (which you should)
  myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[1], 9600);
  // don’t read the serial buffer until we see a new line - this is genius and simple compared with my last efforts
  myPort.bufferUntil('n');
}

void draw() {
  // we need to declare the draw function even though we're not using it!!
}

void serialEvent (Serial myPort) {
  // get the string from the serial buffer - gets all chars until the next line break...
  String bufferString = myPort.readStringUntil('n');

  if (bufferString != null) {
    // get rid of any whitespace - sometimes the serial buffer can have blanks etc.. in the string
    bufferString = trim(bufferString);
    // convert the value to an int - we're only sending numbers over the serial port so parsing it to an int shouldn't ever be an issue.
    float inByte = float(bufferString);
    int pulse = int(bufferString);         // declare a variable to hold our value.
    println(pulse);                        // for debug print the value so we can check it.

    // remember that our pulse is in CM so if its less than 5cm then do this etc... else do this... else do this.. for as many sound samples
    if ( pulse < 5 ) {
      GSharp.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 8 ) {
      A.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 11 ) {
      Bb.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 14 ) {
      B.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 17 ) {
      C.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 20 ) {
      CSharp.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 23 )  {
      D.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 26 ) {
      Eb.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 29 ) {
      E.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 32 ) {
      F.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 35 ) {
      FSharp.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse < 38 ) {
      G.trigger();
      delay(25);
    }
    else if ( pulse > 50 ) {
      // if the distance is greater than 50cm then play nothing
    }

  } // end if there's a value in the serial bufferstring

}   // end void serialevent()

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