We saw a lot of impressive projects around us. We decided we wanted to build something big, something with deep applications, something that mattered...BUT FIRST LET ME TAKE A SELFIE.
One of our friends is an avid vlogger. They told us about how she would like to use her back camera on her phone for better quality, but usually doesn't because she isn't able to make sure that her face is always in the center of the frame as she moves around. We wanted to build a solution for her.
What it does
An iOS app we developed will use the back camera and recognize the location of your face with respect to the frame. The app will instruct the angular movement of the phone's mount on the selfie stick to a server that a computer is connected to. Via bluetooth, the computer tells the servo to move in the correct direction.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
We thought this would be the easy part, but since we were using a high-torque servo, a 5V power supply was insufficient to move the servo. After hours of testing code, using an oscilloscope to test the circuit, and trying out other servos, we realized that we simply need a 9V power supply.
The iPhone could not directly connect to the HC-05 bluetooth port that was available to us. Therefore, we needed to first create a server and talk to a computer, then the computer communicated via bluetooth to the servo.
iOS app development
Creating an iOS app in <24 hours is difficult. We struggled at every step from figuring out how to use the back camera to taking a screenshot.
Face Recognition Model
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud that we built a functional app that talks to hardware in <24 hours! It's also really cool that we're using CoreML's algorithm to detect faces.
What we learned
If it can be avoided, don't try to make an app in <24 hours, but it was a good learning experience. Also the hi torque servo motors need 9V to drive (we literally spent a good hour debugging this). We also learned that iPhones don't like HC-05 bluetooth chips (thanks Apple).
What's next for Vlogger Pro
The future is limitless and focused on you. Literally. Smoother PID control so you can focus on whatever it is you need to do. Imagine a full smooth experience to record you in real time.