Two of our teammates are electrical engineering students, and they were frankly tired of calculating voltages and currents in so many circuit diagrams. With another teammate's experience in augmented reality, a circuit simulator was a natural fit for our team.
What it does
In its current state, AR Circuit Simulator exists in two parts - the UI and the image recognition. Both work on their own fairly well, but were unable to be integrated due to time issues. The UI simulates and projects a circuit onto a user-drawn circuit diagram, while the image recognition sees a camera image of a circuit diagram and decomposes it into its components.
How it was going to work was this: AR Circuit Simulator runs on your phone. Simply point your phone's camera at a circuit diagram drawn on graph paper and hit the big green button, and our numerical backend simulates current flow and voltage potentials throughout your circuit, with a visual representation of your circuit projected above the diagram.
How we built it
We used Unity for its cross-platform abilities (we have Macs, Windows, iOS, and Android devices) and ease of scripting, along with Vuforia.
Challenges we ran into
Our biggest difficulty was that our image recognizer only runs in Unity 5.3, while our circuit simulator only runs in Unity 5.5, two completely incompatible versions. Under such time pressure as PennApps presents, we were unable to reconcile these differences.
Other difficulties were the inherent difficulty in doing robust image recognition, and learning Unity for the team members who hadn't used that tool before.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We came really close to having a fully functional product, with all major components lined up.
What we learned
Make sure all of the programs are compatible well in advance, and start integrating everything together earlier.
What's next for AR Circuit Simulator
We'd like to finally integrate all of the components, resulting in a fully-functional augmented reality circuit diagram simulator.