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  I want to see Above the Sky With Java + Arduino.  (Read 1521 times)
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Offline Andre Lopes
« Posted 2014-06-28 05:10:09 »

I dont care if its impossible.I want to do it.

I saw an image like this in my Brasilian Website news :

I wanted to get an image/Video Stream like that


Or if im being too ambitious, maybe this :



So i started researching but my knowledge on engineering is poor.

I dont even know where to start.

I guess for communication i would need some kind of internet ? RF signal maybe? Arduino and java can do that.
I would also need a receiver.

Also, i would need a baloon ?
 Im unsure if its allowed to throw baloons like thatin the air without asking permission,then again is there any cable that i could attach into it to pull it back? I dont know because the winds up there are preety strong, plus how much cable i would need? like 3 KM of cables?
Ok so if i go with that, i would need a gas baloon that cant put stuff on fire. So helium?

Im also worried, what if the baloon escapes and falls... Could it hurt someone? I know the chances are small but it could happen. Couldnt it?

I Just found that:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/5005022/Teens-capture-images-of-space-with-56-camera-and-balloon.html

Thats extreme. Would be fun to do it but i just want to check the sky with my arduino .

Also, theres the problem of magnetism? I mean.. will stratosphere mess up the signals?

Ok So to sum up my worries :

a) How Far should i go in Height to have a good view?
b) Should i use some kind of rope?
c) If the baloon escapes from the Rope or if i dont use the rope, could it hurt someone?
d) Is there any law that forbids me to make those tests? i could idk, put a sensor to check for certain gases quantity ( that would be cool )
e) In case i use a "rope" i will have to check if it can take the strenght of the winds...
f) What kind of shield could i use in my arduino?


So i just want to put something up there. What will it do, if its just photos or sensors, its not decided, but i want to do it Smiley

What you guys think of it?


PS : Replies like :
YOU CANT DO IT, GO BACK TO RPG-MAKER will be ignored and will be considered stupid.
Since someone said that to me when i started in this forum and my game is 85% finished with libgdx.

Opinions and suggestions and criticals are welcome..
Im trying to check if its possible or not.







Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-06-28 05:18:07 »

Ok this was preety stupid thought of mine, 5 KM of Rope would be freaking expensive, wtf  was i thinking?

Or am i wrong?
How much would it cost anyway ?

I saw 500m of Some weak rope for 80 dollars.


So maybe i have to put the baloon in somewhere wide and just wait the baloon to come down? That seems preety WEIRD.
Online LiquidNitrogen
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-06-28 05:42:45 »

I once made an enquiry about the price of a 200 meter cable of 10mm wire rope. The guy said that they dont even make such a thing.

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Offline Longarmx
« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-06-28 05:58:42 »

You don't want to hook it with a rope. Also, you will need to deploy it in an area with no people. You would need some sort of communication system and gps to locate it once it has come down. You would also need a pretty good camera if you want pictures like that. This will cost a lot and take up a lot of time.

I don't think that you are ready for this kind of a project. Going solo without any previous experience. But, if you are diehard about those photos, then go for it. Just please make sure that you are no where near any people. If that falls and hits something or someone, then you are in serious trouble.

I personally would never do anything like this because of no experience. There are too many cost and risks involved that I won't just take a chance with it.

Online LiquidNitrogen
« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-06-28 06:50:17 »

Maybe you could use some variation of a remote controlled helicopter? Then you can control it well enough to bring it home. I'm not sure about battery life or travel range though.

Offline Phibedy

Senior Devvie


Medals: 9



« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-06-28 08:05:59 »

I  think that there are restrictions how high a model airplane is allowed to fly.
But anyways I would go for a zeppelin  Roll Eyes
and a picture stabilizer like this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s37NM9a4eiQ

Of course no big zeppelin. Just a small one Smiley
One big problem is to get it back after it falls  Grin
Maybe a gps tracker will help but if some unkind person find a zepelin with an expensive camera he might keep it.

All in all it would be a nice advertisement for your city, you might wanna get some support because a small zepelin that flies autonomous will be a lot of work and it's not for free.

But if you go and ask for help you need something like a businessplan. Not a finished plan of your project, just something that you can show, so people say that you already put work in your project and aren't just daydreaming. It's a nice project and I am sure you can get some sponsorship if you don't rush it  Smiley
Offline RobinB

JGO Ninja


Medals: 44
Projects: 1
Exp: 3 years


Spacegame in progress


« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-06-28 08:10:49 »

I would go for some kind of quad / octo copter.
These could be controllable with arduino (no java haha) or even pre-made flight controllers.
Multicopters like these are often used as camera mount, but i dont know if you could get far enough te be in the clouds.
I have a webshop in the Netherlands selling all kind of arduino stuff Smiley

Im sorry for my comment, but using rope is a not a smart idea, any clue how heavy 1km of rope would be?
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 107
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-06-28 15:02:54 »

Using a helicopter/quadcopter is not the way to go. Neither is using Java.

Instead, use a weather balloon, a camera simply set to take pictures every few seconds, and a cheap GPS-enabled device (like an old phone) to recover everything once it comes down.

Be smart about where you launch the thing, consult your local authorities, etc etc.

Googling stuff like "weather balloon camera" and "weather balloon gps" returns a bunch of results that even a beginner can get started with.

I'd be curious to see your results, so post your progress back here!

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline Drenius
« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-06-28 15:35:44 »

Or if im being too ambitious, maybe this :



Looks like you can also go on a small mountain/big hill and maybe additionally use a drone to take this kind of...
Offline CodeHead

JGO Knight


Medals: 41


From rags to riches...to rags.


« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-06-28 17:18:41 »

Laws will vary by location, but most model aeronautics associations have specific rules about maximum flight deck for model aircraft of any type so check your local laws for more information. That being said, I can tell you that gear to do this type of thing is well documented and readily available if you have the cash. Try checking out the FliteTest channel on YouTube. One of their crew took an RC aircraft to the edge of space and back. The original video is here, and discussion about it is here. Overall, FliteTest is an excellent source for learning the ins and outs of RC aircraft.

Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby...Just me.
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Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-06-28 17:26:40 »

Thanks so much for the replies.

Just to be clear : I want to use Java. Period.Its a matter of principle.Maybe immature principle but i want to.

Also, i will have my dad as help, he have a degree in engineering ( i didnt talk to him about this idea yet).Also, i guess i could ask my college teachers for help, one of them , im 100% sure will be preety interested in the results.

Obviously i wont do it alone haha.

So, using a cable or rope is totally insane right? Weight of the rope.. i didnt think of that Sad  

Plus, im more worried about the baloon going out of control and crashing into someone than if it will work or not.
How can i make it preety secure? I mean... The place where my dad works its a preety wide area ( city ) , plus theres a lot of vegetation near there which i could launch.Then again, i cant control the winds in the atmosphere and command the winds to not push it into the city...

--
Now,
A Zepellin...
Thats a good idea.
I dont think it would be that expensive.How controllable would it be?

Im also thinking in those planes controlled by RF.. i could, idk just put it below the plane and use the arduino while its flying...



What kind of zepellin would i need?


---
"Warning - while you were typing a new reply has been posted. You may wish to review your post."
CodeHead, i will check it out, although, going outer space is not my idea right now , but its a great help to see how they did.
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 107
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-06-28 17:49:54 »

This isn't a job for Java. Java is great for lots of stuff. This isn't one of them. What do you want Java to do, exactly? All you need is something that broadcasts its gps coordinates and a camera that takes pictures automatically. Both are available for much cheaper than anything you'd put Java on.

You aren't going to be able to control the thing. The broadcast range on anything controllable won't get you very high. Unless you're willing to spend a lot more money on the project.

Try googling these things, looking up prices on Amazon, broadcast ranges, etc.

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-06-28 17:56:51 »

I was thinking in adding some gas sensors into it just for tests purposes..
Offline CodeHead

JGO Knight


Medals: 41


From rags to riches...to rags.


« Reply #13 - Posted 2014-06-28 17:59:02 »

Plus, im more worried about the baloon going out of control and crashing into someone than if it will work or not.
How can i make it preety secure?

You'll pretty much have to look into free flight solutions if you want to get above the clouds. An unannounced aircraft in public airspace is already enough of a danger; any sort of dangling tether only increases the danger.

I dont think it would be that expensive.How controllable would it be?

Not controllable at all if there are any sort of real winds. Scale zeppelins and such are usually reserved for indoor flying.

Im also thinking in those planes controlled by RF.. i could, idk just put it below the plane and use the arduino while its flying...

They have arduino based auto pilot systems such as ardupilot that can be communicated with remotely from a ground station/transmitter. You could always look up the specification and figure out how to control it via a Java application.

You'll find that the rabbit hole on this project can run pretty deep both on the software and the hardware side. No matter how you cut it, both you and your dad should have a blast figuring things out. Best of luck. Can't wait to hear about what you come up with. Grin

@Kevin: I've been looking into this subject (RC flight) for over a year now as a serious hobby. While some components can be expensive prices on RC electronics aren't what they used to be, especially with vendors such as HobbyKing out there. I can also say that the hardware is becoming more open and sophisticated at the same time; nothing like completely customizable transmitter units for under $100.00. While Java may not be all you need, there are certainly applications for it depending on the end goal. Don't be so quick to dismiss things out of hand.

Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby...Just me.
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 107
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #14 - Posted 2014-06-28 18:06:45 »

@Kevin: I've been looking into this subject (RC flight) for over a year now as a serious hobby. While some components can be expensive prices on RC electronics aren't what they used to be, especially with vendors such as HobbyKing out there. I can also say that the hardware is becoming more open and sophisticated at the same time; nothing like completely customizable transmitter units for under $100.00. While Java may not be all you need, there are certainly applications for it depending on the end goal. Don't be so quick to dismiss things out of hand.

I'd be curious to check out any links you can offer.

My only argument is that using Java, arduino, a quadcopter, etc is overkill for the OP's goal.

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #15 - Posted 2014-06-28 18:12:06 »

I want java no matter what.
Unless its impossible to do it with java, then i will do it something else.

I checked my Country Website and it seems i need to contact this Gov dep :
http://www.decea.gov.br/

I will have to give them a good explanation and a good overview of the project.

I also need to have a notion of what its like 3 KM above the ground, and what is like 2 KM etc...

Awesome how i studied geography for so long and dont have that notion.. i mean, i know the atmosphere is divided and bla bla bla, but for a real life project.. that knowledge aint enough


CodeHead, awesome post. My most problem now is this :

A) Danger and Law/Rights
B) How to Fly that high and Retrieve
C) What Air Equip to use ? Blimp or another air vehicle?
D) Ideas for research like.. what will i do up there? Take photos, check for gases? Is it possible with arduino?
E) Cost


..
Then the rest is just effort!
Im sure i will have my teachers into it.Its really exciting!


Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #16 - Posted 2014-06-28 18:24:27 »

3 KM Altitude wont be enough for what i want.




Plus, the state where i live is ~~760m above the sea level.

Add more 3 km = 3.760 meters.

What kind of view can i get from that i wonder...
Offline CodeHead

JGO Knight


Medals: 41


From rags to riches...to rags.


« Reply #17 - Posted 2014-06-29 03:27:59 »

@Kevin
While not strictly a Java link, Open-TX is open source firmware that works with various radios and adds useful features not included in stock firmwares. Since it's open source, it should be possible to learn how to decode radio data such as telemetry and how to transmit data back to your aircraft. As a side note, I have a FlySky 9x variant (listed on the previous page). The radio costs about $85.00 USD, and is a favorite among hobby RC hackers due to the fact that it has the same features as much more expensive transmitters. You have to do a little soldering to get it all to work, but it's beginner level stuff.

Bringing in Java, you can run a JVM on a Raspberry Pi and drive an arduino via serial communication. Once you start viewing the Arduino as an interface to other hardware such as temperature sensors, tilt sensors, etc, you begin to see new possibilities. Off the top of my head I can think of using an arduino to sense temperature differences in the atmosphere and using it to hunt for thermals to achieve extended flight for a glider platform. You could use GPS information and heading data to rig up a camera trigger to take pictures at certain points along a predetermined path. A lot of the RC community is composed of what's commonly called "makers" and homebrewers. I must concede your point that you could accomplish the original goal without any Java in the mix, but considering it's a hobby project and not something for widespread production and use, there's really no harm in trying different approaches to broaden your horizons. Smiley

@Andre
I'm unsure of your location, but most countries have some sort of model aircraft organization that should be able to inform you about different laws and such. In the U.S. it's the Academy of Model Aircraft.

Retrieval can be accomplished by using a beacon, or via analyzation of long range flight telemetry. Aircraft can be built fairly cheaply, many out of materials you can find at the local dollar store. Best advice is build cheap enough that if you lost it, you wouldn't be out a large investment. Even if you never lose your craft, crashes are still a regular occurrence.

I would highly recommend using a delta wing configuration or a glider setup. A blimp is pretty much a giant sail in the sky from the winds perspective and most PC grade engines aren't going to be powerful enough to guide it in a reliable manner. You can get a basic motor, battery, and esc for under $30.00 USD then build your airframe out of dollar store foam, something that's quite a common practice and can produce amazing results. Cheap, quick, and easy. Flite Test, or the previously linked forum are both great resources.

For ideas, the sky is the limit (no pun intended). If you can find a sensor that can be read by an Arduino, then you have a sensor you can interact with via Pi/Java. I mentioned a couple other things in my reply to Kevin.

Cost is going to vary depending on what you have on hand (soldering iron, glue gun, etc) and what you need to buy. As mentioned previously, figure about $40.00 for the basic craft. You'll need a transmitter/receiver combo with enough channels. I mentioned mine in the reply to Kevin. You can also go with the Hobby King Orange RX for around $70.00 USD. Compatible receivers are about $9.00 or so for it. An Arduino Uno is around $25.00 USD I believe and Pi's were around $35.00 USD last I saw. Figure about $99.00 USD for the micro camera. Finally pad the cost by about $100.00 to account for things you forget until you realize you need them and you're looking at about $368.00 give or take. Not exactly couch cushion money, but not a horrible amount either once you consider that all the equipment, except for the glue and foam in the airframe, is reusable and essentially a one time cost. If you're a shrewd bargain hunter, you can prolly get your stuff for less than that. My best advice is to avoid your local hobby store unless you can't get a part somewhere else.

A view from 3km+ would be impressive no matter how you cut it. Wink

Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby...Just me.
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 107
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #18 - Posted 2014-06-29 10:24:59 »

@Kevin
While not strictly a Java link, Open-TX is open source firmware that works with various radios and adds useful features not included in stock firmwares. Since it's open source, it should be possible to learn how to decode radio data such as telemetry and how to transmit data back to your aircraft. As a side note, I have a FlySky 9x variant (listed on the previous page). The radio costs about $85.00 USD, and is a favorite among hobby RC hackers due to the fact that it has the same features as much more expensive transmitters. You have to do a little soldering to get it all to work, but it's beginner level stuff.

Bringing in Java, you can run a JVM on a Raspberry Pi and drive an arduino via serial communication. Once you start viewing the Arduino as an interface to other hardware such as temperature sensors, tilt sensors, etc, you begin to see new possibilities. Off the top of my head I can think of using an arduino to sense temperature differences in the atmosphere and using it to hunt for thermals to achieve extended flight for a glider platform. You could use GPS information and heading data to rig up a camera trigger to take pictures at certain points along a predetermined path. A lot of the RC community is composed of what's commonly called "makers" and homebrewers. I must concede your point that you could accomplish the original goal without any Java in the mix, but considering it's a hobby project and not something for widespread production and use, there's really no harm in trying different approaches to broaden your horizons. Smiley

My only argument is Occam's Razor. Which do you think OP is more likely to complete: tying a camera to a balloon, or building a drone capable of hunting thermals? I think you guys are vastly underestimating the difficulty in building such platforms. This isn't trivial stuff. Even if something more advanced is the eventual goal, shouldn't OP start with something much more basic first?

I understand that these things are possible. I'm arguing that pursuing them from the beginning impedes OP's ability to accomplish the goal.

I'd love to see OP get started with this, and the most likely path to success is the simplest path.

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline CodeHead

JGO Knight


Medals: 41


From rags to riches...to rags.


« Reply #19 - Posted 2014-06-29 14:00:07 »

@Kevin
Indeed, I've already conceded that there are simpler ways. None of my postings are must do's, and while some things may seem a bit contrived, I can only say that usually happens when introducing a new concept to someone. Ever read some of the examples given for design patterns?

If Andre ultimately says "what the heck, all I need is a balloon, some twine, and a cheap camera", he still has been made aware that Java/embedded controller interactions are possible. As a tinkerer, my satisfaction comes from watching someone go from "how could I take some aerial pictures?" to "what will i do up there? Take photos, check for gases? Is it possible with arduino?". Even if it's only slightly, Andre's view of what's possible has been expanded. Cool

Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby...Just me.
Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #20 - Posted 2014-06-29 16:05:55 »

What you mean with this :
"...I would highly recommend using a delta wing configuration or a glider setup. A blimp is pretty much a giant sail in the sky from the winds perspective and most PC grade engines..."

-

Well im just analyzing all possibilities and checking how i can do it , what is possible, what i can do, what i cant do, what is impossible, etc.. so i can draw a line between where i can go and where i cant go.
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 107
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #21 - Posted 2014-06-29 16:24:08 »

@Kevin
Indeed, I've already conceded that there are simpler ways. None of my postings are must do's, and while some things may seem a bit contrived, I can only say that usually happens when introducing a new concept to someone. Ever read some of the examples given for design patterns?

I don't disagree with showing the horizons and all that. My only point is that in this case, simpler is definitely better. If somebody who had never programmed before asked you about design patterns, would you get into specifics or would you tell them to try some basic Hello World tutorials first? In this case, a balloon is Hello World.

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline Andre Lopes
« Reply #22 - Posted 2014-06-29 17:02:56 »

@Kevin
Indeed, I've already conceded that there are simpler ways. None of my postings are must do's, and while some things may seem a bit contrived, I can only say that usually happens when introducing a new concept to someone. Ever read some of the examples given for design patterns?

I don't disagree with showing the horizons and all that. My only point is that in this case, simpler is definitely better. If somebody who had never programmed before asked you about design patterns, would you get into specifics or would you tell them to try some basic Hello World tutorials first? In this case, a balloon is Hello World.

Im not doing by myself. I will have people helping me with those other issues.
Smiley
Offline KevinWorkman

JGO Kernel


Medals: 107
Projects: 11
Exp: 12 years


klaatu barada nikto


« Reply #23 - Posted 2014-06-29 17:08:27 »

Im not doing by myself. I will have people helping me with those other issues.
Smiley

I seriously wish you the best of luck, and I really would love to see you accomplish this. But even if you have help, starting simpler is never a bad idea. Think about it this way: we tell people it's a bad idea to start game development by trying to create their dream MMORPGFPS game. Instead, we tell them to start with Pong and work their way up. All I'm suggesting is that you start with Pong before you try creating a semi-autonomous drone that can achieve low space flight, haha.

Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn game programming, upload your own games!
Offline CodeHead

JGO Knight


Medals: 41


From rags to riches...to rags.


« Reply #24 - Posted 2014-06-29 17:15:56 »

What you mean with this...

Sorry, I meant to type RC engines, not PC engines. If the question had to do with delta wings, then it's basically a triangular airframe without a tail; popular because of ease of building and load distributions.

Arthur: Are all men from the future loud-mouthed braggarts?
Ash: Nope. Just me baby...Just me.
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