Cam had the opportunity to try out Virtual Reality welding at the Detroit Maker fair. As cool as he though this was, he wanted to see an augmented reality implementation of something similar. We were lucky enough to borrow a Magic Leap, a new AR headset, and wanted to try to make something cool with it!
What it does
soldAR offers two different modes. The first mode is monitoring of a live soldering session that shows you information about your current soldering job such as your current temperature in comparison to your target temperature, and the time that you've spent on the current piece that you're soldering. Our second mode is a tutorial about soldering, including videos of Cam walking the user through each step of the soldering process in AR.
How we built it
We used an open source soldering iron that could provide a live temperature reading, power reading, and accelerometer data, and streamed the live data to an Adafruit Trinket M0. We wrote Arduino code to stream the live data via serial connection to a PC running Golang code. From here, an HTTP request posts the data to the Magic Leap headset, where C# code interprets the data and shows it to you.
Challenges we ran into
- Magic leap had very limited documentation
- TCP connections weren't allowed so we had to buy our own router to open ports
- Soldering iron had different hardware than what we expected
- Tapping into the I2C line on the Soldering iron was difficult
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Successfully hacked on to the I2C bus line, directly to the processor
- Created custom unity components for the first time
- Created a soldering tutorial and displayed the video in AR
What we learned
- First time using MagicLeap, so we learned the basics of that
- First time having to deal with limited space on a microcontroller (4kb of free space!)
- Covering the entire stack from very low level code to very high level code was a larger task than anticipated
What's next for soldAR
Video from the demo will be used on New Territory's social media (@NewTerritoryAR on Twitter!!)