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Project: WarMachine

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  • Project: WarMachine

    Hey everyone,
    I've decided to bite the bullet and build a carPC for a bit of a hobby in my spare time but am looking forward into something bigger in the future if its successful. What Im looking at doing is creating something that can control a vehicle using voice control with only just a few simple commands eg: turn left, turn right to control the indicators. I'm going to start with controlling my motorbike that I have first and hopefully move onto incorporating this into my car later on. I built a carPC for my old car which was very basic so I want to go a step or more further this time. I fit out mine spec vehicles for my full time job and do heaps of installation work for 4WD's electrically and mechanically so Ive got heaps of experience to get me out of trouble.

    What I've come up with so far is: (please make any recommendations or suggestions to help me out, Im just getting back into all this and technology has changed quite a bit since I last looked into this :P)
    -Using a BeagleBoard with Linux installed on it, the Angstrom Linux looks fairly quick to boot which is what Im after (Ive never used Linux so Im gonna have to learn)
    -Use of Java to program the front end, NetBeans IDK with Java FX SceneBuilder to create the GUI
    -Ive done heaps with graphical design work back in high school so flashy graphics are possibly going to be incorporated if it doesnt slow times down
    -Ive used quite a bit of VisualBasic back in high school, a bit with Game Maker language (which is apparently C++) and a touch on HTML but never Java so Ive got a week off next week to learn from a few tutorials (yay back to school )
    -Like I mentioned earlier, I want to control simple functions like the indicators, head lights, turning the radio on and off, and possibly starting and stopping vehicle using voice recognition.
    -Tossing up with what to use for an interface, Ive looked into the touch screen panels for the BeagleBoard which are fairly reasonably priced, or I'd like to do a HUD setup with the image splashing onto a section on the windscreen, but I cannot find any projector or something similar thats compact. But if I did go down this route, I couldn't really have flashy graphics which would possibly distract the driver.

    Let me know what you guys think. Ive got a million and one ideas and just need a couple of suggestions. Thanks in advance

    Peace out,

  • #2
    for voice controll over the vechicles functions i would suggest : . It can be used with an arduino.the arduino will be controlling the vechicles functions, and bitvoiser will say to arduino what you "Sed" ...

    as for the HUD...i always wanted to build a HUD, but either it will be to big (All the windscreen), and although you can create a program, that projects only the things you want(and the rest stays clear), you still run the problem of Crash or blue screen of death (in real :P )
    or it will be to small, (just in the drivers side, for speed info and staff) but i think its too much work for nothing...
    but either way, you can find small projectors!


    • #3
      You will likely find you will need multiple computers to accomplish your goals. I have some more lofty goals for my system and am planning to use multiple computers in different configurations.

      You may be able to a lot of the controls you want through the CAN or ODBII bus.

      Also, all OEM's are making use of HTML5 so you should consider looking in this direction as well. Java is OK but HTML5 will run on ANY phone, tablet, computer etc without adding any new software other than what you already have. Java won't run on everything and may require access to things that will be somewhat difficult.

      As to a HUD you can get one but they are very expensive.
      I found a source for a full windshield display and they are showing augmented reality with these NOW. But they require about $1000 worth of special film on your windshield and another $10000 for the laser equipment to accomplish the display. GM has a demo they are using and it is pretty awesome. But that requires a position sensor to figure out how your head is aligned with the windshield to change the display. So you can do a display now if you want to spend the $11,000 to install it in your car...

      They told me they were producing an advertising version that would use similar film but the projector would be using LED's and the film was slightly less expensive. The intent was to build an automated advertisement display on a storefront window and do it for under $1000. But you would have to be careful since it could essentially cover the whole windshield so you have to figure out the coloration to not do that.

      On the other hand, you can buy 2 11x8 sheets of a similar film for about $100 that will work with a projector to display your screen that way.

      I actually have a small laser based Pico projector I hope to use but I haven't gotten the computer in my car yet to try it out. I need the sheet because as you can guess the laser display broadcasts through the windshield now. With the sheets on my windshield I can expect a decent display limited to less than a 10" display and you can view its mirror on the outside or the correct version from the inside.

      I paid $200 for my projector.


      • #4
        Hey guys,
        thanks for the replies. Just a few things, Im checking out the Arduino website now. It looks like its very versatile compared to the BeagleBoard. It says its basically programmed using Java anyway. Sorry if I sound like a noob I've been out of the game for a quite a few years, but how can HTML5 be used to create an interface or front end? Can it be loaded instantly when Linux is booted up.

        Also I have been looking at a few projectors also. Ive read that the laser ones arent that great for windshields as they do go through and will need that sheet you were referring to. Can the projector be adjusted manually using skew and trapezoidal methods to match the projection with the windscreen to the users preferences? What is the film called? Does it have a special name?

        I was considering using a couple of controllers, 1 as a master which is the interface which will contain the media and do most of the work, and the slave controller to project the image on the windshield and receive the inputted calculations from the master controller.

        As for the speech recognition side, Ive looked around for sometime now and have been leaning towards the Julius speech recognition which is created by a Japanese group which is apparently very accurate.

        Peace out