Augmented Reality Instructions

Here’s a set of instructions for using our augmented reality app:

1) Point the tablet towards the topography lines target image.

2) Keep the complete image in the camera view to load the model.

3) Move around the tablet to explore the model in real time!


Presenting the work

Clara found a really cool video of an augmented reality set up that I posted on here not too long ago, we thought this would be a great way to show the landscape models we are making so we got one working for the final presentation this week. Clara built the app for an Android device in a program called Unity. Below is a video of us using the app and our target.


Below is the image target that we used for the app. It is topographical lines we generated in Rhino from the original model.


Flights With New Rig!!

So Clara and I took the kites out with the new rig the last two weekends. The first time we took it out was a test at a park in Bolton Hill and it was so windy that our kite really couldn’t handle it but the rig held together perfectly and came away without any damage. That day we had it strung up with fishing line and the rig was about 2 ft from the line. We learned that spending the extra $$ on ball bearing pulleys would keep the rig more level and probably be well worth the cost so we went ahead and ordered those. We also learned that by lengthening the picavet string the rig would hang lower and be less susceptible to fast movements from the line. Here are pics of that first flight…

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By the next flight we hadn’t gotten the new ball bearing pulleys yet but the wind was actually considerably lighter and the lengthened picavet enabled excellent stability. This time we were able to fly at Greenmount Cemetery which is a site we are really interested in modeling. The first flight we did there came back with only 32 pictures which seemed like not very many and thats when I realized we needed to change our settings so that the iphone screen wouldn’t go off so that the app could keep taking pictures. But once we figured that out we were able to do one last flight and get some nice shots. Like I said the wind wasn’t very strong at all and so we didn’t get great height but as of proof of concept I think we got more than enough because the pictures are pretty sharp!


107Moving forward I intend to diversify our kite options with a Rokkaku by making one over the break. I think we really need one for low wind conditions like yesterday in the Cemetery.

KAP Rig with Brooxes Hangups

Hello to anyone reading this! I’ve had a fun and productive break working on the kite rig. The latest version has smaller eye screws that are pressure fit into the plexi frame. I also made two Brooxes Hangups to attach the picavet to the kit line and they hold it very securely without slipping down the line, the only problem is that the line needs to be very taught otherwise they could fall off :/ I guess I’ll see how well they really work when I test them this week….




Newest Kite Rig (in progress)

After our last flight I have been working to make a better rig for the iPhone and trying to find an easier way to hook the picavet to the kite line, this is what I have come up with so far! Still need to fix the holes for the eye bolts so I can use smaller ones and I am also working on making two Brooxes hookups to easily attach the picavet to the line. Although the phone is only held on by the rubber band it is quite secure and easy to quickly remove from the rig and replace with a back up phone.



Second Kite Flight

first_scanning_route_testWe took our delta kite and rig out for another test flight in Herring run park in north baltimore. We were able to make a map of the route we walked while flying the kite and took some photos of our rig. Unfortunately it was so cold out that day we were only able to stay out for about 30 min but it was still good to practice using the kite and attaching the rig.

New and improved rig coming soon!!




First Kite Flight!

Clara and I both ordered a kite this week on Amazon. We got two different styles, a delta kite and a parafoil kite. I also found some more resources and was able to update our resources page with sites that we could use to make a kite! The type of kite we didn’t buy was called a Rokkaku and is classically used for Kite Aerial Photography, however we couldn’t find one that we weren’t completely ashamed to fly (aka VERY ugly and VERY expensive.) Below are some photos of our first successful flight with the delta kite, unfortunately we couldn’t get the parafoil kite up too high and then we got the delta stuck in a tree… But all in all it was a good first day because we got the delta to 100 ft. altitude and flying very steadily with a decent amount of lift.

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Mylar vs Latex vs Nylon Balloons

I was watching a video of this cute little nano blimp and heard the narrator mention how he found more success with mylar versus latex balloons. I looked into it further and grassroots mapping also suggests using a similar material for balloons instead of latex. On grassroots mapping they suggest using a thin fire retardant sleeping bag that you can tape up and make into a balloon. This would only be an option if we use helium but it would make that investment go further and allow us more bang for our helium buck. The other options on the table all require different balloons. Hot air for example works best with nylon fabric sewn with rip stop seams, but would be very difficult to control. Thus we are pushing on with a mount that is adaptable for balloon or kite rigs.