PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:21 pm

Mikey11,

I appreciate your frustration with compiling and installing programs.

Don't worry about restaurant menus. We can use smartphones for them. Reading street signs will help assuming they are well lit and one can find them. <smile

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:23 pm

Hi Mike,

None of the free OCR programs that I know of are designed for use with video, and only work reasonably well with print on paper and the like - without visual clutter surrounding the text and without much perspective distortion. When I tried Tesseract years ago it wasn't great for our purposes, but I do not know if this has improved in recent years. In any case, check out my web page https://www.seeingwithsound.com/ocr.htm to get an impression of what to expect based on earlier work on Windows.

BTW, it seems that many more people have been struggling to get TeraDeep to compile and run on ARM devices https://github.com/teradeep/demo-apps/issues/4 https://www.reddit.com/r/artificial/com ... trains_on/ and I haven't read of clear successes in that area yet. I hope that someone will figure it out, or even better, that the TeraDeep company will offer some solid guidance.

Just for your information: The vOICe was featured in an article in the New Scientist today: https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn ... blind-see/

Peter

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sat Oct 31, 2015 4:26 pm

Yeah, I got the OCR working with tesseract, and the results were sub-par.

I did come accross a great article, but I don't think their software was open source. Too bad, it looks fantastic.

http://www.robesafe.com/personal/javier ... ez12iv.pdf

I also worked on integrating a terms of use contract that I haven't put in place yet. While getting it going, I ran into a problem with espeak. After about 10 syllables, it begins to stutter and speak slowly, kind of like a stupid, slow robot.

The problem is completely solved by piping the output to aplay.

So for example a command would be like this:

Code: Select all

espeak -f terms.txt --stdout|aplay
I don't know if there are limits to how long the speech stays quick normal, but it is a good fix.

My problem now is that I can't figure out how to pipe to aplay when using python and the subprocess functions. There are examples of people who have done it online, but when I try to emulate I don't succeed. Nonetheless, I'm convinced that when I too figure out how to do it, I shall never have that problem again.

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:05 am

Hi Mikey11,

How are you going to implement the terms of use portion? I am willing to listen to them once, check a box that says I accept them and then go on my merry way. I don't want to hear them every time I run the unit. <grin

Pranav

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:09 am

Yes, a single listen followed by a rotary knob click. Then the terms of use file will be renamed and not be heard again.

It's also very small compared to much of the legalese out there.

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Nov 01, 2015 3:23 am

Thanks Mikey11. That sounds good. <smile

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:22 pm

Hi Mike,

What do you think of the new Raspberry Pi Zero, performance-wise? Good enough for running raspivoice?

http://www.engadget.com/2015/11/26/raspberry-pi-zero/

Ah well, just read that it is only 40% faster than the Pi 1, so that sounds less attractive,

http://venturebeat.com/2015/11/25/raspb ... toids-tin/

Peter

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:47 pm

The price justifies investigation. Less than perfect performance for a much lower cost may be justifiable. Perhaps for a training or research model.

We will see how it turns out when I make the next batch.

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:07 pm

I spent a few mins getting more familiar with the pi zero.

On the pro side, the cost is so low I can't afford not to try it out.

The form factor is so small that I could build a smaller device with a much larger internal battery.

It is actually pin compatible with the custom PCB though I would have to rejig the design and maybe use surface mount components.

It ditches a lot of unused hardware and I expect this to improve battery life substantially.

On the con side, it boils down to performance. I compiled raspivoice and ran it on the a+. If I remember correctly I was able to get soundscape once every three seconds, and it didn't fully compile successfully. Even at 40% faster, it is not in the ballpark for the once per second or faster demanded by users.

The development of the Zero has me very excited for another reason: the raspi foundation would only have to make small changes to drop the new processor on that board, and I feel they might be foolish not to do so.

I have my fingers crossed. Developing the case, and redoing the PCB would mean if they do, it would be a straight swap to get a fully functional slim device with more battry life.

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Nov 29, 2015 4:23 pm

Hi Mike,

Another possible low-cost option, this time for UVC cameras:

Based on reports today from a blind user of The vOICe in South Africa, who got am Astrum "Eye 2 Eye" webcam working with your image on his Raspberry Pi, I think that the following cheap webcams are UVC compliant,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/291480706254

because apart from being unbranded they look identical to the Astrum,

http://www.astrumltd.com/products/it-pe ... 2-eye.html

Peter


Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
http://www.seeingwithsound.com

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:01 pm

At that price, I would be a fool not to buy ten.

The glasses are of course nicer in some ways: the wide angle lens and being easy to wear without being too 'weird' in appearance.

But in the spirit of finding the lowest cost options, this represents a huge decrease in price for the camera component.

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:06 pm

Yes, I ordered one of these webcams today to verify UVC compliance and check on image quality. I'm also on the lookout for cheaper camera glasses that might prove UVC compliant despite the manufacturer not advertising that property. I gambled on a cheap pair today and should know in a few weeks if it is any good.

Peter


Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
http://www.seeingwithsound.com

johnf
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:55 pm

I bought an ODROID C just before the Pi-2 came out. It was supplied by LILLIPUT UK along with a camera. I am almost certain that this particular camera is UVC compliant, and it closely resembles a camera in the same advertised series as Jacob K. has described. Check details with Lilliput of course. Not as cheap as JK`s. May be awkward to affix a WA lens.
Two other trivia... By applying simple RC filters to Pi output pins the stereo sound via USB is avoided. Adafruit have details .
Also avoiding (camera) USB channeling; the Pi camera`s nasty ribbon cable can be adapted to a long HDMI lead of reasonable quality. This ought to speed up matters. (yes, I know the Zero has no camera socket). I think PETIT STUDIO have a kit.
I read somewhere that, once booted with pi camera connected, the camera can be unhooked and replaced without crashing the pi. This could reduce stress in an instructional scenario.
(I do appreciate that the game plan is to put together standard unmodified available items...but anyway......... john)

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 12:07 am

Thanks for the info John. I had been a little annoyed about the audio, but the circuits don't seem too bad. It's proving out these details one at a time that is required. It may well be the 5$ price tag adds a few more dollars to accommodate the stripping down of the pi zero.

johnf
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:40 am

Ok mikey, understood.
Now, going right back to fundamentals.. Is it necessary nowadays to do repeated frame grabs followed by sonification?
The Raspberry-pi camera pixels can be directly addressed I believe.
What is the sound output at any specific instant? Surely it is a (dis)chord which sums up the content and lateral position of ONE COLUMN ONLY of pixels.
Therefore I suggest that time could be saved by running as a horizontal timebase , at whatever sweep rate is best and delivering a continuous stereo soundscape based on the pixel column being interrogated.
Imagine a pitch black theatre ,with a fiddler running to and fro on the stage.
Processing will involve a time lag , learning the process could be interesting. You will hear things where they are no longer at.
Maybe a line blanking period would obviate any risk of foldover at extremes of scan.
Please treat this as sideline ramblings, I have not the time or skills to dig more deeply. Am I right off beam on this?
ANOTHER BY-LINE... The Android vOICe features colour spotting. This is really significant for blinded persons who would retain interests such as fabrics, flowers, cookery... just think about all those things. An autofocus camera, as are many web and phonecams, will deliver discrimination of the order of millimetres if held really close.
Here is a good trick; Locate camera on phone, or use webcam.
Hold the phone in such a way that the tip of extended index finger is directly above i.e. behind the camera .
Now scan the phone slow, low and level across coloured objects or photographs.
Pick out spots on fruit, odd socks, hair colours on photos, even trace the outlines of characters and pictures of people.
The index finger tip position will deliver significant spatial data.
Imagine a future micro camera, mag mounted to glasses.. A graceful gesture transfers it to the finger tip for `scanning` tasks.
Laptop camera spare parts are tiny things, has anyone driven one of these direct from a Pi?

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:52 pm

Continuing with the spirit of exploration, how about mounting the pi camera on a headband and afixing a wide angle lens to it? That way, we are only worried about fish-eye lenses and not the glasses.

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:10 pm

Having explored the use of the raspberry pi camera module in the past, the results were somewhat encouraging. Using the camera module uses the CSI connector which accesses the GPU directly.

I had a few issues with the camera.

1. As you mentioned, it needs a lens
2. It needs a case with mounting solution
3. The connector sucks, and the flat cable sucks more.

Solutions:

1. Lenses are cheap and not hard to install.
2. Designing and printing a 3D printed case for prototyping shouldn't be too hard. This also let's you design an interchangeable lens system possibly.
3. There is no good solution to the connector and cable. It is possible to make conversions to an HDMI cable or make a round cable, but it is a huge pain in the butt.

I like the camera module, it is cheaper and more reliably available than the glasses. It uses the gpu for capture, which may enable the rpi zero to operate. I am getting more competent with case design, and can handle that.

If someone found a good and cheap round cable, my interest level would jump dramatically.

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:26 pm

Hi Mike,

One of the blind users of The vOICe tried your image on his own Raspberry Pi unit (not one of your devices), and it worked fine, with speech, and the soundscapes responding to changes in the camera view. However, next in working with a sighted friend he noticed that there would be no audio if he booted with HDMI output hooked up to a monitor. Tonight I tried this myself: took the earlier raspivoice prototype apart (because the case does not expose the HDMI connector), and if I plugged in my HDMI-to-headphones-and-VGA adapter and then turned the device on I too found that no audio would be heard, neither from the original audio connector nor from the audio connector on my HDMI output adapter. The webcam would turn normally on as I could tell from its LED. Is there a known issue with HDMI interfering with audio output?

Thanks,

Peter

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:41 pm

AFAIK

Raspivoice only uses uses 3.5mm jack or USB

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:43 pm


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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:50 pm

Hi Mike,

Various web pages suggest setting

hdmi_drive=1
hdmi_drive=2
or
hdmi_ignore_edid_audio=1

E.g. viewtopic.php?f=28&t=48459

I have not tried any of this yet because I currently do not have the device set up for connection with my PC.

Peter

johnf
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:14 pm

mikey11 wrote:Having explored the use of the raspberry pi camera module in the past, the results were somewhat encouraging. Using the camera module uses the CSI connector which accesses the GPU directly.

I had a few issues with the camera.

1. As you mentioned, it needs a lens
2. It needs a case with mounting solution
3. The connector sucks, and the flat cable sucks more.

Solutions:

1. Lenses are cheap and not hard to install.
2. Designing and printing a 3D printed case for prototyping shouldn't be too hard. This also let's you design an interchangeable lens system possibly.
3. There is no good solution to the connector and cable. It is possible to make conversions to an HDMI cable or make a round cable, but it is a huge pain in the butt.

I like the camera module, it is cheaper and more reliably available than the glasses. It uses the gpu for capture, which may enable the rpi zero to operate. I am getting more competent with case design, and can handle that.

If someone found a good and cheap round cable, my interest level would jump dramatically.
OK, maybe we missed this adaptor kit ...https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/camera ... extension/ . The camera gets a little sandwich board stuck on the back, and somehow a similar patch board has to be locked on to the pi board. Its HDMI slot ought to peep out of the pi casing. Maybe a ribbon cable will have to be cut to a special length to fit the pi end.

PranavLal
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:36 am

Hi all,

A few things, some of which we may have already discussed.
1. I like the newer ultrasound vibration schema. However, the use of the ultrasound feature is hampered by the vibrating of the case.
2. We need to do more work on that rotary knob. When I press on the knob to activate or DE-activate the ultrasound feature, I hear changes in the values of whatever menu option I am on.
3. If I set brightness to the maximum value which is 3 and cover the lens of the glasses with my palm, I still hear the vOICe. This should not be happening as there should be no light reaching the lens. This will need more testing.
4. I cannot find the feature to alter the speed of the soundscapes. I believe it is in this version but I am probably missing it.
5. Returning to the ultrasound feature, I wonder, if it is better to fix the case in some way to my chest? I was running up the stairs as a part of my exercises and the unit kept bouncing on my chest. The glasses stayed fixed so I could still see. <chuckle

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seeingwithsound
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:59 pm

Hi Mike and all,

Check out the Aipoly Vision App video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMdct-5bERQ, its description reading "Soon available for Android too", and see http://www.thememo.com/2015/12/21/aipol ... people-ai/

I just learnt at https://plus.google.com/+PeterMeijer1/posts/TmVtodudsuF that the Aipoly Vision App is powered by TeraDeep, the same recognition engine that we discussed here for possible simultaneous use with The vOICe for Raspberry Pi. Has there been any progress lately in solving the remaining TeraDeep porting issues for Raspberry Pi?

Peter


Seeing with Sound - The vOICe
http://www.seeingwithsound.com

mikey11
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Re: Sight for the Blind for <100$

Thu Dec 24, 2015 7:44 pm

Unfortunately, I have not had time or money lately to pursue these activities. However I've just come through a busy period with work and unpredictable schedules, so I intend to get back at it early in the new year.

I'd like to think I'm not wholly incompetent at configuring software to make it work, however both teradeep and deepbelief have not worked out for me. I'm a little concerned it has to do with the filesystem evolving with raspivoice and the associated configuration that is somehow incompatible with those programs.

I'm to the point where I will have to start with a fresh raspbian install, get one of those working, then rebuild the rest afterwards. At least thats my plan until someone creates a comprehensive and bulletproof install guide for either of them.

In the new year, I intend to pursue the raspberry pi zero. There are indications that the jetpac/deepbelief operates very fast due to highly optimized GPU coding. On the pi v2, the multicore CPU is used instead, and has slightly slower execution.

I'm happy to try using either deepbelief or teradeep if I can get them working, however jetpac was bought by google, and with googles long history of generally being a strong and reliable force in open source coding, I almost want to lean more in that direction.

Like I say, whichever one works for me out of the gate will get my immediate attention.

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