Cool Cap Engineer

Engineering by an anime nerd

Projects: Face Tracking Turrent


Hey guys! School is going okay-ish. I have fewer classes to take this semester, but I have a part- well contractual- time job, a lab assistant position, and a private tutor positions this semester. Not to mention an undergraduate research project to do. Speaking of which, I figured out my next project!

So the research I mentioned before is a mechatronics research. My friend and I are responsible for testing the new Mechtronics kits this semester. What’s cool about these kits is the fact that they use primarily Arduino, a Lego NXT motor and Matlab. Although I primarily use PIC microcontrollers, my experience with Arduino is much stronger than my experience with PIC microcontrollers. Lately, I came across a lot of tutorials which people are able to track their face using Matlab. Then I saw this beauty.

To make a long story short, I WANT TO CREATE THAT! I want to create a face tracking turret. Although my default choice is to use a PIC microcontroller, I might open the project to Arduino. One of the reasons I want to work on this project is not only the fact it’s wicked, but I have a final project to do for my Mechatronics class. You read that right. I’m doing Mechatronics research and taking a Mechatronics class at the same time. Ironic isn’t it (if not cheating according to my multiple friends)?

Keep in mind; I have no experience with image processing. In other words, I need to learn how to use the image processing library in Matlab. I already know how to communicate microcontrollers yo Matlab using serial communication, so I can just skip that step. What I need to figure out is whether I want my device to shoot out water, or to shoot nerf darts. This is going to be a fun project! I’ll see you guys later!

7 thoughts on “Projects: Face Tracking Turrent

  1. Hi, this sounds a lot like this last project of mine:

    Now I’m working on porting the TLD algorithm ( to Android, but to be honest I’m struggling with performance…:)


    • I would love to hear more about your last project! Do you mind if I can look at your source code? Is Open CV difficult to learn? Like I said in the post, I have no experience with image processing.

  2. Just a thought, Nerf has the injury potential of an angry butterfly.. You would have to go to great lengths to cause a problem with Nerf missiles. yes you could shoot someone with the keen reaction time of a geriatric turtle in the eye, but the odds on that are really short.. Now picture it, you forget the turret is on, and you walk into the room carrying your phone. The turret responds and shoots water at you, getting you, and your (insert favorite water-averse electronic item here) with a nice stream of water…. And trust me, you will forget once… it only takes once… 🙂 Or, even better, you meet the girl of your dreams, you bring her home to show her your place, and…. Yeah it just gets ugly from here….

    But, the project is seriously cool.. I have wondered about the performance required to do face recognition in an embedded environment. Just the thought of this thing tracking you as you walk through the room.. Ok I amuse way to easily…

    • The phrase “real-time Matlab” is about the greatest oxymoron ever discovered. Which explains the horrible tracking performance of the device in the YouTube video. And that was tracking a single color. Imagine if it was tracking faces. The real trick is how to do this so the computing is all on board, and still responds far faster than the one in the video.

      • I apologize for not responding earlier, but it’s been a very stressful couple of months for me.

        I did not notice that the tracking on the project was poor. Would the tracking be better if it was ran using an Android tablet and OpenCV?

Leave a Reply to StarsAndStripes Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s