Croquet ball positioning
Martin Lindskog from Sweden  [1 posts]
14 year

I am investigating the feasability of a croquet ball positioning system for an annual tournament. The purpose is to identify where each ball is and record their locations. My hope is to be able to:
* automatically identify where each ball is in the course by looking at ball location and movement to detect when balls pass hoops
* record the positions of the balls to see how the balls have traveled during the tournament to see if there is a preferred path that everyone chooses.

My idea is to mount one or several cameras on a string over the course and use color filters, object matching and COG-calculations to detect the location of the balls. If a ball is temporarily lost (e.g. if a player shades it) the software shall assume that the ball stays put until it detects a ball again.

Is this achievable?

Does anyone know what the "angle" of a typical webcamera is, i.e. how high must a camera be mounted for it to detect a 15x15 metre square?
Anonymous 14 year

That is possible but it will not be a trivial project. You'll have several issues with regards to different lighting and tracking a ball across multiple images. But ... start with one camera and test to see how high you can mount it. Naturally the higher the more field of view but the worse the resolution. Each camera typically has a slightly different field of view. We've found the Logitech Fusion or the Creative Live Motion (webcams) to have a nice wide angle. But be careful about the length of the USB cable if you intend to use usb cameras ... might be better to use wireless IP or firewire cameras for this task since the intent is to analyze a large space.

You'll want to look at the blob_tracking module for a lot of what you are looking to do. It has the "ball has disappeared momentarily" issue embedded in it.

So, try hooking up one camera and take a couple snapshots of a game in action and post them here ... that will give us all a little more to talk about.


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