Triangulating an object in 3D space?

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Triangulating an object in 3D space?

Postby tamarok » December 30th, 2012, 3:11 pm

I am wanting to triangulate the location of a small helicopter in a room. The location information would be fed back to a computer, to identify where that helicopter is. What solutions can you suggest that should be simple enough to implement?

One solution I was thinking of is a flashing LED (IR or otherwise) on the underside of the helicopter and then have it so receivers that would pick up the location, but not sure if that would work?
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Re: Triangulating an object in 3D space?

Postby Legion » January 1st, 2013, 7:57 am

sorry double post. :arrow:
Last edited by Legion on January 1st, 2013, 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Triangulating an object in 3D space?

Postby Legion » January 1st, 2013, 8:00 am

tamarok wrote:I am wanting to triangulate the location of a small helicopter in a room. The location information would be fed back to a computer, to identify where that helicopter is. What solutions can you suggest that should be simple enough to implement?

One solution I was thinking of is a flashing LED (IR or otherwise) on the underside of the helicopter and then have it so receivers that would pick up the location, but not sure if that would work?


Depends on your scale.
For large out doors get a gps module.
For a small indoor room get 4 IR receivers place them at each corner of the room.
get one ir led on your copter.

Remember it's not very accurate and can be effected by other ir devices.
But you can use a pulse pattern to help single out the copter from any other ir noise
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Re: Triangulating an object in 3D space?

Postby UAirLtd » January 1st, 2013, 10:27 am

Legion wrote:For a small indoor room get 4 IR receivers place them at each corner of the room.
get one ir led on your copter.


How does that work? Are you suggesting to use synced nanosecond-scale timers to get time-of-flight of an LED pulse?

You can do triangulation using two webcams, and machine vision software (if you don't want to write your own, there's always OpenCV:
http://www.morethantechnical.com/2012/0 ... an-w-code/
http://www.morethantechnical.com/2010/0 ... cv-w-code/ )
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Re: Triangulating an object in 3D space?

Postby jongscx » January 1st, 2013, 12:43 pm

Think about how the PS3 move does it. The move-y part just has a big ball of known size and all position calculations are done on the core-machine. I'm assuming you'll also want orientation information, put an accelerometer on the heli.

Hell, in fact, just buy a ps3 move controller, gut it to reduce weight and hook it up to the PC that way. Most of the software work is already done for you!

[I do not work for sony or any affilliates, blah blah...]
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Re: Triangulating an object in 3D space?

Postby Cynar » January 8th, 2013, 6:13 am

I'm working on something similar, and was planning on using ultrasonic rangefinders.

Place a transmitter in each corner of the room, with each taking turns to pulse a code. The time between being calculable. You might need a calibration pulse to keep the timers in sync though.

The speed of sound is a lot slower, so this gives a more accurate reading, without the need for specialist equipment.

This setup also has the advantage of allowing collection of rotational position. Just use several receivers and monitor direction. It might not be massively accurate, but it can keep a gyro synced up and is immune to acceleration interference.
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