Established in 2008
Updated April 8th, 2014
This software was tested with Windows XP SP2 & 3 and windows 7 32 & 64bit. It has been reported to work with vista. It runs faster and more smoothly on XP. As an experiment, an Acer Aspire One model D255E with win7 starter was tested for frame rate and then XP Pro was installed (all other variables like hardware and drivers were the same). The result was a significant increase in frame rate and smoothness with XP.
Step 1 (software setup):
Read the readme file and go through the steps in the video below. Make sure the drivers are installed for your camera (Logitec Pro 9000 is recommended) and the there is good lighting.
Step 2 (hardware setup):
Setup the turret hardware and servos using the instructions found here.
Step 3 (calibration) (specific to software version 2.6):
You should now have a video source running and the turret hardware setup so the that the sliders in the turret calibration tab move the servos as expected.
Initial calibration must be done before the system is used for the very first time and any time a new/different camera is installed. It does not need to be done when swapping paintball/airsoft guns. Instead, an adjustable offset value is used to line the new gun up to the existing calibration map. A popular method with the portable turrets is to calibrate the system against a large wall whose distance from the system is equal to the average distance you expect targets to appear.
There should also be a laser on the paintball gun which is helpful to indicate exactly where the gun is aiming. Be aware that the laser will be very difficult to see outdoors in daylight. It may be best to do calibration at night for this reason.
Use the default calibration mode (leave 'alternate calibration mode' and '360 mode' unchecked).
Step 4 (calibration verification with mouse aiming):
Mouse Aiming mode should now be used to test calibration accuracy. If, as you slowly move the mouse, the turret moves in the opposite direction, click the appropriate 'reverse axis' checkbox, click the calculate button again, and retest. Do not expect the laser to be an accurate indicator of where the pb/airsoft gun will actually shoot since the paintball/BB will drop a little depending on distance. Because of this, after calibration, you will likely need to use offsets to align the pb/airsoft gun. To do this, use mouse aiming mode and fire test shots. Adjust the offsets until the shots land where the mouse it pointed.
Step 5 (auto aim settings):
The default setting are pretty good for most scenarios but the settings on this system are so flexible that it can easily be set up to perform poorly if not adjusted correctly. If the settings were dumbed down and simplified, the system wouldn't have the flexibility to operate correctly in such a wide variety of scenarios. The pop-up tool-tips that appear as you hover your mouse over each setting should be very helpful. The combination of those and about a week of experimentation should teach you what you need to know to set it up correctly. We're always available to answer questions over email.
The object recognition features in this software are very flexible. In general the software compares each new target to images in the Reference Targets folder. Then based on user settings, accepts or reject them as a match. Keep the images relatively small and remove target images that are not going to be needed or used. Too many images or images that are very large may slow the software down.
How to add/remove more object recognition images:
To add more reference images: while in auto targeting mode, simply click the target as it's being tracked. The software will find the target closest to your click point, create a new folder labeled "[date] Motion Image", and save the motion image to that folder as a time stamped bmp file. Then you need to rename it with a description followed by a 2 digit number and move it to the Reference Targets folder. A list of example file names would be Person01.bmp, Person02.bmp, Dog01.bmp, etc. Once you're finished you would click Update Reference Image List (or restart the program) and the new object will be added to the list. From there you can select how and if you want to filter them.
To remove reference images: The program will need to be closed first. then you can move them out of that folder to another one in case you may want to use them again later. When the program is started up again it will add whatever images are in the Reference Targets folder.
There are 2 categories of sound files, the ones played when a target is found and when a target is lost.
You can replace the mp3s with whatever you want but they have to conform to the file names already there. there are 15 for when a target is found (i.e. a1.mp3) and 10 for when it is lost (i.e. b1.mp3). For example, if you want it to randomly select from 4 mp3s when a target is found you will need to duplicate the files until there are 15 of them and then rename them a1.mp3 - a15.mp3. (Do not do this while the program is running.)
Manual Aiming is done by selecting Mouse Aim in the mode selector and simply hovering the mouse where you want the turret to aim. Firing is done with the left mouse button. It was built into the system to verify calibration.
Auto Aim is the primary mode of this system. When Auto Fire is enabled along with Auto Aim the system will automatically track, anticipate and engage targets based on the system settings. It's performance and accuracy is largely dependent on correct calibration and on how well the settings are adjusted.
Auto Fire has 3 main modes, Full Auto, Semi-Auto and Camcorder mode. In full auto the system will hold the trigger while a valid target is present. In semi-auto it will pull and release the trigger at a user specified interval and count down rounds as it fires. When rounds remaining equal zero it will cease fire. In camcorder mode it will press the record button on the camcorder when a target is first detected and press it again to stop the recording after no activity has been detected for a short amount of time.