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Friday, May 11, 2018

NiRis - the New iRis - the plan

Waiting could be sometime a good thing when designing something.
Like the iRis project I started years ago.

Even if I never posted recent articles about iRis, I did reach a nice stage of development, involving 3D printing design, electronic development and firmware development on different platforms.



I originally did use a mechanical iris controlled by a servomotor in order to create the feedback from the light input.

One of the prototypes of the iris built.
One of the first designed 3D holder for the iris and the servomotor

Then I saw the Animated Snake Eyes project on Adafruit and I though : "mmm this would be a perfect starting point for iRis".

So, I decided to try to revive the iRis project starting from there abandoning the mechanical version.
This new one is much more flexible and is a much better platform to develop the necessary algorithm for the project.
The eyes simulated on the LCD displays are much much more realistic than the mechanical one I was designing (actually can not be even compared !) and much more easy to handle, no 3D print involved (well, it could be there is but no 3Ddesign involved for the moment :) ) and no mechanical stuff around (this is a big plus).

Thus the name : New iRis .. or NiRis.

The plan

At this point, other than acquire the basic material (see the Snake Eyes project) the idea is to put together (design/build) these logical  modules.


The first stage of the restarting project, is putting together the  main module (NiRis) following the original plan found on Adafruit.
From there there will be specific modifications to the software to add the diagnostic capabilities  and the dual light sensor reading, eventually using the digital sensors of the original project rather than the analog one.  Will see how the starting base reacts.

Then a simple app for Android, connected via Bluetooth to NiRis will allow to set up different settings and have some feedback/control.
Let see a possible activity plan for the project.

Activity plan


Here a simple diagram to show the activities this project requires.


There are mainly 4 areas to work on (5 including a future iOS development).
Android app defines the activities to do to develop an Android app to control the simulator.
Basically a high end interface that allow the user to set up different activities of the simulator.

On the Raspberry Pi there are two main activities, one related to the connectivity with the Android app (BT Connectivity) and one related to the illness simulation itself (Eyes simulation).

The fourth main activity (Logistic) is about the deploying of the project itself.
Different programs and tools are needed to be installed, on the Android, on the Raspberry Pi, on the development machine and so on.
It is necessary a reliable way to duplicate the project.

There will be areas of development in common.


Here a brief video showing the NiRis HW based on a Raspberry Pi 3 and two Oled display already put in a plastic mask I found in an antique mall.
At the moment of the video work is undergone to add functionalities and complete at least the hardware.


Articles will follow with details about the building and design of the new iRis project.

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