Expelliarose follow-up (and Parrot Awards!)

Despite the end of ROSE, we’ve been working hard on the Expelliarose project the past 2 months. We knew we were close to a really nice product and we didn’t want our work to end on a mitigated result (those who attended the presentation or watched the demo know we had a few remaining bugs).

Therefore, we put a lot of work on solving the issues we identified:

  • IR protocol malfunctioned in some cases: the reception is now more robust (up to 5 meters, which could be improved with a higher power LED),
  • Some gestures were too close to be distinguished: we redesigned most of the gestures and crafted an extensive database with different people to account for the multiple ways to grasp the wand,
  • Some thresholds had to be adjusted: the DTW algorithm yields quite noisy results (well, our implementation does) that must be processed to be relevant. We are now able to accurately detect any of our 10 gestures while the “null gesture” (ie. an unknown movement) is identified most of the times (but occasionally gives a mismatch, still work to do on that one),
  • The Android application crashed from times to times: we broadly tested many scenarios to track and fix those bugs, and improved the UI to give the user more output about the ongoing battle,
  • The wand was quite large and looked massive: we completely redesigned it to make it look more appealing. We got rid of the screw thread, we changed all the board connectors to much smaller ones, we switched to slimmer (but lower-capacity) batteries so that the PCB became the only limiting factor, we changed the wand’s head to simplify its assembly, and we added some tasteful decoration (at least we believe so),
  • “Expelliarose” was incomprehensible to pretty much everyone but the ROSE crew: we decided to adopt the name Incanto, that sounds like a spell and evokes incantations, therefore magic.

We presented this refreshed wand to the Parrot Awards jury last week.
We attended the award ceremony yesterday, and we are super proud and happy to announce that we received the first prize of the competition!

Therefore, amazing news: Incanto will go to the CES 2016 in Las Vegas with the Parrot delegation!

Meanwhile, we’ll continue to work on the wand to make it even slimmer and prepare, hopefully, a crowd-funding campaign. Will you join the wizardness? Follow us on Twitter to get updates (yet, we might take a summer break first…).

We thank Parrot, Sam & Alexis for their trust and their help. To be continued!

And the winners are…

Two of the ROSE 2015 projects have won the 2015 Parrot Awards.

At the second place : Kudly.
And the first place goes to Incanto (whose former name was Expellariose).

Congrats to you all, we are really proud of you!

[HeRos] This is the end

Hi everyone!

Well, that’s it, ROSE is over! The presentation could have gone better but Murphy was among us apparently because every group had some issues on scene! For us it wasn’t that bad until the end when we wanted to show the team deathmatch feature. We couldn’t get it to work, probably because of the WiFi because it worked great a few hours earlier in A406. Well, too bad I guess! Fortunately we were able to show people how it worked and to let them play after the presentations were over!

Now we’ll be taking a well-deserved break before getting back to work (at a slower pace) to prepare for the Parrot competition.

Anyway, I’d like to thank Charles and Rico for all their hard work, I’m really proud of what we managed to achieve with this Figurines project idea of mine! We took it and made it into HeRos! And although it was hard at times, we had fun (especially when testing the games at the end!) and I enjoyed working with them a lot!

Of course I’d also like to thank Alexis and Sam for all their help, their support and their unbelievable work. I really learnt a lot of things in these two months, both in hardware and software and I couldn’t have hoped for a better course as the last course of my life! I’m going to try and keep working on embedded systems and that’s all thanks to them!

That’s it, I’m done. I’ll probably post an update after the Parrot competition 😉

So until next time…

[StabiloRose] Lastday, let the bug hunt beggin

So today I started my activities by mounting a “ppt” presentation for tomorrow. I passed some time after that helping at the implementation of some animations and stuff. The real problem that made me going bed at this hour was a led problem. Fortunately or not we discovered that for mystery reasons (probably a curt circuit somewhere) the first 6 leds of our top semi-sphere were burned. So back to soldering. Thanks for the higher forces now everything is ok.

That is it.

So this is it I guess !

Hi everyone !

This post will be my last one, so enjoy it as much as you can ! 😉

During this week, I mostly focused on making the streaming of images work other Wi-Fi. I’m not proud it too me this long, and even after that, and a lot of re-factoring, changing of plans, and debugging, it wouldn’t work properly.

In fact, it did. For ~20s. And each time it failed after that. I was giving up to focus on a lesser, stabler version for the presentation, but Sam told us this morning that there wasn’t any interest in our project without it. And with his help, things started to get better. But the real hard work was done by and with Natolumin. He helped to eradicate the remaining bugs and found my problem: sometime, TCP cut a command string in half, crashing the program by filling buffers with unexpected values.

I already have heard of pair programming, and wasn’t especially keen on the concept. I pictured it as annoying for both the observer and the writer. Too much frustration on one side and too much judgment on the other. But I was surprised to find there weren’t any of them. In fact, we were both so tired and depressed that a second brain and motivation was more than convenient.

Now, we’re still stuffing server and flash with the best animations to make you dream and wonder. See you tomorrow !

[StabiloRose] The Fuck !


[HeRos] Last day

Hi everyone!

Yesterday I worked on the Android app, to improve its stability and its user interface for the tomorrow’s presentation. Today I’ll finish working on it by adding some graphics that Rico designed. Then I will publish it on the google store.

We also have to prepare tomorrow’s presentation, finish the script and rehearse it. I will have to work on the java application that we will use to demonstrate the simplest features of our HeRos.

Rico and Charles ran extensive tests late last night so there are some bugs to fix today.

To sum up, it’s going to be a long day!

Until next time!

[StabiloRose] Reaching the goal

Today I altered some animation codes and translated them to the language our server is coded at. I also helped at the recording of some videos and photos with the sphere. After a brainstorm of ideas for the final presentation i think we are going to do a pretty little show.

That’s it for today. Now sleep.

[Kudly]Last run !


Today, we solved a lot of problems.

First, I finished the streaming part of my project. I faced problems with communication speed, queues and data loss. I finally found a way to configure all these parameters. Now I need to integrate it to the rest of the program. I could be cool to have it ready for Friday presentation.

Next, we had some problems with wifi. They were here for a long time but it never appeared before. To do events and mailboxes on chibios, we used the *_DECL way of declaring it. The problem is that it seems to declare static variables. So, it did not work in others files all the time : sometimes it works, sometimes it fails…




[StabiloRose] Animations and test

Today I worked into some animations for the sphere. The point now is: if we succeed to implement a good communication with the server we wont need to generate images with algorithms inside the ball. Those codes that we have now are going to be transferred to the server. I also made tests in the end of the night with the ball completely closed to check the improvements at our frame rate and image processing speed.

That’s it for today.