Archive for May, 2012

The Plague of opensource

Posted in The Downside of software development on May 30, 2012 by asteriondaedalus

Yes I said it – Open source is a plague.

Makes me hot and cold.

Even something like ubuntu!

I used the wubi tool some time ago to run ubuntu 11.10 along with windoze.


I then upgraded tonight to 12.whatzit.


Broke the installation.

Found a fix which apparently requires a linux boot disc etc and about half a daze effort to poke around the innards but I lost heart.

Turns out the wubi installed ubuntu is not a well behaved windoze installation as it refuses to uninstall itself.  When was the last time a hack sat around in the Control Panel?  I can’t remember the last time.

So, I had to go deep.

Found a command line tool bcdedit which lifted ubuntu from the boot options and a manual delete of the directories had to suffice.  Not a lot in them, looks like the upgrade emptied 11.10 but put no 12.whatzit back in – which is why I got a blue background and a mouse pointer and nothing else when I logged in after the upgrade.

People grumble about Microsoft but I have never really done much when windoze upgrades save for avoiding to shut off while it updates quietly in background.

Take a leaf linux community.

The real insult is the comments back from the so-called help line that the windows install is not meant to be a real version – why the not?  It was an effortless install for a casual user, if you don’t see a market there don’t irritate people.

Star gazing

Posted in Vision on May 30, 2012 by asteriondaedalus

So, a little trouble getting the Framemarkers demo working from the QualCOMM AR (Artificial Reality) toolset.

However, turned out with a little reading of the log and the use of the debugger it was as simple as the jar not being in the build path – easily fixed.


Now what application does this have in my robotics experiments?  Have a look at Stargazer.

So, ID tags on ceilings and software to triangulate.

Well, what I was thinking about is integrating the Framemarker detection with a monocular SLAM (google “monocular SLAM” or “monocular visual odometry”).

Yes, a sort of a cheat in place of the feature detection and possibly even superior if I play with including the physical locations of the tags – SLAM works relative to features rather than absolute (generally).

Regardless, not a bad little experiment to train up on NDK, Android, SLAM and AR.

Doodles to date

Posted in Vision on May 29, 2012 by asteriondaedalus

So,  doodles to date:

  • Buzzed out NDK and tested with a couple of sample apps.  Seems to work fine on IDEOS, Samsung phone and ACER tablet.
  • Buzzed out OpenCV for Android with a couple of sample apps.  Doesn’t work with IDEOS (needs debugging still) but works with Samsung phone and ACER tablet.
  • Buzzed out the AR toolset from QualComm.  As it is targeting later Snapdragon chipsets I have tried running the ImageTargets demo on the Samsung and works a treat.  However, I had to build it for Android 2.2 because under 4.03 the build balked because of deprecated calls.  That probably wasn’t stopping the build produce the apk file but to-be-sure-to-be-sure I backed down to 2.2.  Turns out, no need to print the target images, the pdf open on my laptop was good-n-nuff for the samsung to display the teapot.


Events, QP vs. Armarino(MeetAndroid)

Posted in Arduino, Prototyping on May 29, 2012 by asteriondaedalus

A little experiment with the QP event based material and then dabbling with Amarino for a couple of hours and the conclusion is simply that the Arduino side of the Armarino will go.  The MeetAndroid sketch simply builds a simple event based toy so that would be replaced with events in the QP.

Dang blasted

Posted in Prototyping, Vision on May 28, 2012 by asteriondaedalus

First test run of OpenCV on Android had mixed results.

Compiled for Android 2.2, it was a no-go on the IDEOS but ran under 4.03 on both of the ACER A500 and the Samsung Galaxy SII.

Will need some debugging on my part as it appears no one has reported a similar problem, though it is known the OpenCV camera doesn’t work on Motorola phones.  The problem, I tried two apps, one with Android Java camera and one with OpenCV camera and both terminated after displaying camera image for approx. 1 second.

In the meantime, I am trialing some of the QualCOMM libraries since the Samsung Galaxy SII has the later version of the SnapDragon processor.

Now we have some horsepower!!

Posted in Vision on May 23, 2012 by asteriondaedalus


My phone contract was coming to an end so as usual they contacted me early to smooch me to keep me on and offer me a new phone.  I opted for the Samsung Galaxy S II (of course) since I wanted the later version of Snapdragon that would work with the Qualcomm development tools.

First thing will be some experiments with the 360degree lens.


PS.  BlueTerm works on the Galaxy as well.



A friend has moved to iPhone 5 and is going to give me her Samsung Galaxy S II, so now I have two.

Going wireless

Posted in Ground, Software on May 22, 2012 by asteriondaedalus

At home recuperating after surgery, so I can spend a couple of hours sitting tinkering so I don’t go stir crazy.

Previously I mentioned I got hold of a DFRobot Bluetooth dongle for my DFRobot Romeo (All-In-One).  It decided to try the basic example to see if the bluetooth dongle on my laptop would work with it.

The usual trips and stumbles.  I had upgraded to 1.0 of and forgot to set the board type properly then had to discover buried in the narratives the reminder to take the Bluetooth dongle off the Romeo when programming as it clashes with the onboard USB … yadda.

The only nuisance then was the built in terminal in the IDE which is a bit clunky.  I got around this with a download of Tera Term VT.

The final hurdle was the need to manually connect to the COM port despite having set the flag for auto-connect.

So, more (or less) a plug-n-play.

The Pièce de résistance, I bombed the Romeo with the Dining Philosopher’s example from the QP site (using the event driven kernel for the Arduino) … viola!  Bluetooth serial works with RT event driven kernel.


Next step will be to get a connection going with one of the Android gadgets using Amarino.

PS.  On a hunch I went looking on the Android App Market and (sure enough) I have downloaded a couple of bluetooth terminal programs to see if I can use the tablet instead of the laptop for some of the terminal driven experiments … stay tuned.

PPS. Yeah HA! er, sorry.  Paired my Acer A500 with the DFRomeo running with bluetooth dongle and within a couple of seconds was able to control the app running on the Arduino with the tablet through BlueTerm.  Unlike the laptop, the tablet autoconnects and stays connected even when tablet goes to sleep – whereas the laptop would drop the connection when sleeping and require the nuisance manual connection when awoken.