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Hardware-Electronics, 3 months of work

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 hardware header

 

The original GM Discovery helmet was built in late 90´s with a simple and rudimentary electronic setup. Based on old generation RGB led bulbs, exclusive driver for every of those leds, tons of dangerous wiring connections and a high power consuption, the helmet required a huge backpack for making it autonomous enough for a photoshoot. Far from a practical object, was used in various iconic shoots but then replaced for a non-lighting version for public appearances.

The technology has evolved to a next level since then, and with it the possibility to build a practical, wearable and feature expanded version of it. A programmable autonomous unit capable of interacting with the user. For it, LoveProps designed a custom SMD PCB system that includes new generation hardware for interaction proposals. It's called SIGMA. Combining SIGMA, with other custom pannels specifically made for the GM01 lighting, this helmet it's a step closer to be the real robot that the original helmet was just pretending to be. 

Before building the hardware, we tried to include every necessary subsystems modules to obtain as a result an autonomous and flexible light instrument. With a Teensy 3.2 as a main processor, wich has more calculation processing that needed to execute real time codding with critic timming, we added various sensors, output and communication dispositives.

 

Hard1

 

The processor

   GM01 Hardware Technical Specifications:
      Complete full RGB lighting. 200 smd RGB
No cheap wire soldering. Each panel has a custom housing PCB for a safe and durable soldering
ARM Cortex M4 Teensy processor. Tinny and powerful processor
Wifi NodeMCU. Allows Wi-fi interaction with the unit
Accelerometer. Allows motion interaction with the unit
Internal Microphone and Line input. Allows the unit to interact with music or sound
USB and SD Card slot. Makes easier to add LED choreographies or update the OS
MIDI support. Makes easier to add more LED choreographies without programming knowledge via MIDI
Custom MIDI Library. Plug and play with the common music production softwares
Custom chromatic library. Absolute control of the colors, saturation, brightness and timing for pure colors
Internal LCD Screen. A 2 inch screen displays the menu of the OS. Scrollable with the right ear control knob
Internal Fans. 2 fans placed on the jaw allows a cool breathing of the user
Long-lasting autonomy. Powered by the 14 Amps LoveProps gauntlet, more than 6 hours of autonomy

Tensy 3.2 has a single core ARM Cortex M4 running a 120MHz clock and 64K/256K of RAM/Flash. Executes native code without any operative system interferences, and it allows very low level granular control. Contains a wide set of integrated peripherals and a wide base of high quality code libraries.

 

Sensors

We included an audio capturing and digitalization systems vía integrated microphone or Line In that supply the data to the beat detection algorithms, pattern recognition or tempo sync. There is whole position detection, orientation or movement subsystem too. It's based on a inertial orientation unit with 9 degrees of freedom: magnetometer, giroscope and accelerometer (3+3+3) with autonomous fusion capabilities based on a local single core Cortex M0 that independently executes the fusion algorithm.The main idea of this dispositive is to supply real time orientation, movement and rythm information, and this way the internal code can integrate this information for light coreographies modifications.

There is a control Knob for injecting in the code the user actions too.

 

Mass Storage

We included a Micro SD socket to allow the user to access a high capacity file system for big light/led coreographies and other mass data.

 

LED System

The system includes 210 adressable WS2812 RGB LEDs with 24 bits colors. The refresh, can be set from less than 25FPS to 60FPS via 3 refresh parallel channels, witch reduces the refresh time to 3ms and sets free more CPU cicles for the coreographies algrythms. 

 Comunications

The system has an IN/OUT USB MIDI that allows the user to execute real time MIDI sequences. This wire connection allows, at the same time of the MIDI, a based on IP Telnet communication, witch makes possible the interaction between the code system and the applications executed on a PC or Tablet.
There is a RF WiFi module included that allows wireless comunication between the system and a Smartphone, Tablet or PC for wireless real time MIDI transmision, to access the system via user IDE or to comunicate with PC/Tablet application. The Wifi module (ESP8266) has its own dedicated local code and processor for the Wifi TCP/IP comunications, which sets the Teensy free for processing the main code of the unit.

 

Har2B

Each finished unit of the GM01 has a total of 10 custom PCB's: 2 flexible rainbow panels, 2 spectrum panels, 2 cardiogram panels, 2 potentiometer panels, the SIGMA panel and the power supply panel placed on the gauntlet. All the pannels are connected to each other with standard 6 pin connectors for crimped ribbons, avoiding unsafe and unlasting cheap solderings.