At the beginning of 2013, my last year of undergraduate studies, I decided to join the Medical Imaging Labory (LIM in Spanish) and work with Prof. Benjamin Castañeda on 3D reconstruction techniques. The lab had just bought a Microsfot Kinect Version 1 and they wanted to see if the gaming console accesory was suitable as a measurement device, and under which circumstances it can be used as an alternative to expensive 3D laser scanners and photogrammetry with high-end cameras.
While working as a Research Assistant at the INFERLab under Mario Bergés’ direction, in addition to working on FORK and TCS, we designed and implemented a low-cost and open-source AC meter. Our main goal is to measure voltage and current waveforms at relatively high frequencies (in the range of 10 KHz). The AC power meter, provided as open hardware, is designed using the same micro controller as the Arduino UNO with an In-system Programming (ISP) interface, thus allowing the user to change the firmware to match their particular use case using Arduino libraries or standard C language.
As part of the bigger interdisciplinary project called Human-in-the-loop Sensing and Control for Commercial Building Energy Efficiency and Occupant Comfort (DOE#: DE-EE0007682), we develop a prototype called FORK (Fine grained Occupancy estimatoR using Kinect on ARM Embedded Platform). The goal is to explore the potential of using depth sensors to detect, identify, estimate, and track occupants in buildings on a cheaper and low power ARM processor in real-time. Unlike RGB approaches, using depth images makes the system much less privacy invasive.