IMS Project Introduction

The Italian chapter of the Mars Society (IMS) is spearheading the European MaRs Analog Station for Advanced Technologies Integration project (ERAS). ERAS’ main goal is to provide an effective test bed for field operation studies in preparation for human missions to Mars. We are currently working on an immersive virtual reality simulation of the ERAS Station (V-ERAS). The major advantage of such virtualization is that it will be possible to undertake training sessions with a crew that can interact with its future environment before the actual station is built. A relevant part of the software supporting V-ERAS has been developed by students during summer of code events.

ERAS Community

The ERAS mailing-list and the #veras IRC channel on Freenode can be used to interact with the ERAS community. Most questions can be answered in one of these two outlets.

The IRC channel is informal and typically a question will be part of a time-limited conversation. On the mailing-list more users/developers will have a chance to comment on the question and the question will receive more feedback over time.

Before a question is posted to the mailing-list care should be taken to construct a useful question. Simple guidelines for questions on the mailing-list:

  1. Limit the scope of the questions.
  2. Briefly state what is to be accomplish.
  3. Give a small example embedded in the question.
  4. Clearly state the question in the context of the simplified problem.
  5. It is ok to link original code (or attach) as a reference but it should not be required to answer the question.

Example, don't post code and state: "it doesn't work, help".
Determine where the issues is and create a specific question to the problems independent of the context of the project. The easier the question is to understand and test (e.g removing extraneous information) the faster the question will be answered.

Mentors will be in a position to help dig through the project code. To get the highest probability of a timely and useful answer the above recommendation should be used when posting to the mailing-list.

This exhaustive essay on, interacting and getting questions answered by asking well-thought questions, is a good guide.

Writing Your GSoC Application

A common template is available to help bootstrap the student proposals. For more information on GSoC see the GSoC website in particular the student FAQ is a good place to start for new students and the student guide is a thorough review of the program.

Approved Ideas

1. INTEGRATION OF UNITY GAME SCENE WITH THE EXISTING PYKINECT AND EMULATE MOVING SKELETON BASED ON MOVEMENTS TRACKED BY THE KINECT SENSORS

The aim of this project will be to provide a replacement of the existing blender based simulations with the unity game engine.

The project will require a student to set up unity based environment and manage the interface between the python apis and blender game engine.

This task also requires:

  • Integrating Kinect with Unity.
  • Create and publish activity events from kinect (like movement of legs or hands, gestures) to the tango bus and receiving those events by the blender game engine to render the scenes.

2. USING EUROPRA SCHEDULE/PLANNER FOR ERAS-V MISSION PLANNING

The main idea of the project is to develop a digital system to decide the fitness level of any astronaut.

The system will take different parameters or constraints like blood pressure, body temperature, height, weight of the astronaut and compare it with the normal and required range of the readings.

Using these values generated for each astronaut, the student is required to:

  • Develop a health index which will inform us about the well being of the astronaut (health index=1.0 means the astronaut is fully capable of performing the task and health index=0.0 means the astronaut is not capable of that particular task).
  • This could be helpful for deciding the other crew members by comparing their health indexes, and we can further divide the activities required among the crew members.
  • Further, it may also notify the other crew members if the condition of any other companion astronaut is critical and if there is any assistance needed for him.

3. IMPROVING THE STEP RECOGNITION ALGORITHM USED IN ERAS VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT SIMULATION

In the V-ERAS station simulation, the data used for the step recognition algorithm with the Microsoft Kinect are the skeletal joints, by mean of the skeletal tracking implemented in Microsoft Kinect SDK.

In this project, the student will be required to:

  • Improve feet joints recognition - This could be reduced by using an additional depth camera, placed nearer user’s feet.
  • Improve the step recognition algorithm - The new algorithm must be able to output the two variables (body orientation and walked distance, calculated with regard to two subsequent frames), with valid values.

After the completion of the project we expect to have a working step recognition system, to be used for simulations of walking on Mars.

4. IMPLEMENTATION OF AN INTERACTIVE HEADS UP DISPLAY FOR OCULUS RIFT FOR THE V-ERAS SIMULATION ENVIRONMENT

The project aims to develop an interactive Heads Up Display(HUD) on the OCULUS RIFT for the V-ERAS Simulation.

Once the interactive semi-transparent interface is implemented on the existing V-ERAS simulation environment it should display data from the Habitat Monitoring Client.

The Habitat Monitoring Client GUI is already in place. It can interface with any general Tango Device Server.

A portion of the project will aim at making the HUD highly interactive and recognize touch less hand and body gestures through Leap Motion Controller.

Mentors