Sensors/Hardware Control


Arduino





Arduino is an open hardware platform geared towards the development of projects that involve the integration of electronic components to interactive applications. Arduino makes it easy to use sensors and actuators, that after being connected, are able to send information to a computer, allowing it to react to environmental stimuli. These devices are very useful in interactive installations to control devices such as lights and motors, and to extend interaction mechanisms, allowing people to communicate in a natural manner with the applications and projects developed by Zooloop.



Raspberry PI




Simply put, Raspberry PI is a computer smaller than a smartphone. Despite its size, it has audio and video outputs, and inputs for external devices just as any computer. It also works with operating systems such as Linux and Windows. Originally it was designed to help the computer sciences teaching process in schools, but thanks to its capabilities, its very low cost and its flexibility, Raspberry PI opens wide possibilities in interactive experiences and projects that do not require high computing levels.



Robotics



The team within Zooloop has had contact with robotics from several perspectives, from pedagogy and simulation platforms development, to the integration of robotic components to interactive projects developed by the company. The recent rise of hardware components that are open or easily controllable, has motivated its use in interactive installations, or as support elements in the form of ludic components that allow people to have experiences that lie outside the software arena, and encourage interaction with real, tangible elements.


Software controlled robot arm.

Microsoft Kinect






Kinect for XBox 360

Kinect is a multipurpose revolutionary device  built by Microsoft as the result of a long research process in fields such as artificial vision and image processing. One of its main characteristics is that it has a depth camera, allowing it to capture images that not only have color information but also the distance to the camera of each point in them. This feature makes it easier to interpret elements in the environment and to also include artificial elements such as 3D objects into real scenes; this is useful for example during the development of augmented reality applications. Another important feature of the sensor is that it makes it possible to identify people in the scene, delivering three-dimensional coordinates for each one of their joints, encouraging the use of Kinect during the development of natural user interfaces that are controlled by movements of the hands or using gestures made with other parts of the body.

Microsoft launched the first version of the device in 2010, to be used as a control mechanism for its XBox console. Later, a second version was launched, geared towards controlling Windows applications. In 2014, a new version of the device was launched, with higher video resolution and better user detection capabilities. Zooloop has used every version of the device in several projects, offering its users novel control mechanisms, and using its depth camera to build digital souvenirs based among others, on background subtraction and dynamic illumination techniques.



Laser Distance Sensors



A laser distance sensor is a device that allows to measure distances based on the time it takes a ray of light to travel to an object and back. The sensors used by Zooloop allow to measure distances in just thousandths of a second. This makes it possible to rapidly identify objects with a precision that even if it’s low, is enough to make decisions in specific cases.

Another advantage of this sensors is that they offer distance ranges higher than those of Kinect, and they also can be used in difficult weather conditions. Also, when more than one is used, it is possible to solve complex challenges such as following several objects in a specific area, the implementation of multitouch devices, security and access control solutions, and more.


Laser distance sensor

Mobile Devices


In projects that have required so, Zooloop has developed applications for mobile devices with Android, iOS and Windows operating systems.

In interactive installations, the use of mobile devices has been very useful, because it offers interaction mechanisms different from the traditional ones, and that are available to almost everyone. This has allowed people to share their experiences using the installations developed by the company, to share content, and to generate traffic to the elements that are part of the client’s presence in social networks.

The flexibility offered by mobile devices, and also the relative easiness of developing software on top of mobile platforms make their use in transmedia projects more and more frequent. Zooloop has been involved in such projects in every capacity, from concept and design, to development, production and deployment.




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