Technology

The Colorophone prototype

The prototype consists of a pair of glasses with a built-in camera, proximity sensor, bone conduction headphones and a processing unit. The camera receives pictures and sends digital RGB values to the processing unit. The different RGB values are used to create a waveform, which are sent to the headphones. The proximity sensor measures the distance from 10 to 180 cm in front of the glasses and gives information necessary for generating a high frequency ticking sound at short distances and a low frequency ticking at long distances. The sounds are generated from the information gathered by the camera and the proximity sensor and gets played through the AfterShokz. AfterShokz is a type of headphones that vibrates against the temples of the skull, and because of that the user can hear different sounds from the environment and from the speakers at the same time.

3D design

The 3D models were created in SolidWorks. The team had no previous experience with creating 3D models. We went throught quite the journey to end up with the latest design, from the very first version basically being just a box to something that resembles the latest model but without any legs and AfterShokz support. The latest model was systematically built and with some luck we managed to make it small and flexible. There are many changes we want to make to the model, which will happen as we get better with SolidWorks.

3D printing

The models were printed with the Ultimaker 2 Extended+. The printer came with four nozzles of different sizes. For the model to be printed well, we would have to measure everything so they would add up to the nozzle sizes. For instance if we would make a wall 2.0mm thick, a 0.4mm nozzle would work since 0.4*5 = 2.0. The material we used was PLA, which is solid and at the same time flexible. 

PCB design and production
Printed circuit board (PCB) is made of several layers of different materials, which is held together with heat and adhesives, as one product. PCB is one of the main keys in electronics. A board that has lines and pads that you connect to other pads/pins. Traditional through-hole components limits both cost, weight and size. Colorophone is a wearable tool and to decrease the weight and size we made the decision to replace the through-hole components to SMD components. 

Processing units
The main processing unit used for the system is NI myRIO. We are using the myRIO since it provides us with RT (Real-Time) programming. This means that there are no unexpected delays in the system. By using the myRIO, we are also able to use LabVIEW as our main software development tool.