A novel 3D localization scheme has been proposed for smart living or computer animation applications. This scheme utilizes two CMOS IR sensors originally used for Nintendo wiimote for performing stereo range finding on IR LEDs. Essential kinematics relations are developed to transform the detected pixel information into 3D spatial coordinates of IR LEDs. The sensing distance can be up to 3−4 meters and the localization scattering is characterized between 0.5 and 5 cm, depended on the sensing distance under proper setup. Such performance could actually satisfy the requirement in coarse navigation and motion planning of indoor mobile devices. Meanwhile, an Arduino-based IR LED switching technique for breaking the constraint on available Bluetooth communication channels is also proposed and implemented. By controlling the switching of IR LED units sequentially, the equivalent available channels can be extended with a tradeoff in system bandwidth. This 3D localization system can detect more IR LEDs than the number of original channels and each IR LED can be identified correctly even if it passes through a shelter. Several testing systems are setup for evaluating the performance on the 3D localization and the IR LED switching control, as well as for demonstrating the application potentials. The preliminary results indicate that the position of IR LEDs can be identified with sufficient accuracy and the system can also simultaneously detect more IR LEDs than the original limitation. With proper arrangement in deployment, it is possible to further increase the sensing zone to cover the entire indoor living space. This novel localization system is thus expected to have a great potential on applications such as mobile robots monitoring or human motion capture for animations.
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