EyeGore - The mad scientist's assistant

Making photos of your projects while you are working on them.

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EyeGore is a hands-free camera and program to make photos of things as I am working on them.

It consists of a pair of eyeglass frames with a webcam, a set of foot pedals for control, and a PyQt5 program to make the pictures.

Once upon a time, I wanted to make photos of things as I was soldering them together.  To do that, I needed a camera that I could aim and operate while my hands were full and my eyes were busy.

Thus were born EyeGore and the Box o' Buttons.

EyeGore consists of a webcam mounted on an old pair of sunglass frames and a Python/PyQt5 program to make snapshots.

The Box o' Buttons is a wooden box with a couple of large pushbuttons and an Arduino Nano.

Together, they all look like this:

The camera program has normal onscreen buttons to make snapshots, but it also "takes commands" from the Box o' Buttons.

The EyeGore program automatically names and numbers the photos as they are made.

Aim, stomp on a button on the floor, keep right on working while EyeGore puts away the photo.

I used EyeGore to make dozens of photos while writing a series of blog posts on how to solder.  I wanted to show my readers what things should really look like as they are working.

Like this example of tinning a wire:

This was originally just a tool I made to suit myself, but as with all my projects, I posted the software on GitHub under the GPL.

Since I recently figured out how to make binary releases of my Python projects, I've been going through my old projects and packaging them.

As long as I'm packing things up, I thought I might as well put them up on Hackaday.

I'll write a set of instructions for using EyeGore and the Box o' Buttons in the next day or so.

  • A close up view of EyeGore

    Joseph Eoff06/08/2021 at 19:31 0 comments

    The photos I've provided of EyeGore don't do it justice.  It is far more hideous in real life than that first photo shows.

    EyeGore's very hideousness gave rise to its name.  I was going to name it Igor for everyone's favorite mad scientist assistant, but  I changed it to EyeGore 'cause it'll make you eyes bleed just looking at it.

    Don't believe me?

    Have a closer look:

    That's pretty danged ugly - but it works.

    The camera is a Logitech C270 that I pulled out of its shell.  I used some heat shrink tubing to insulate it, and taped it to the frames with its lens just under the pupil of my left eye.

    I can see over the camera to work, but its point of view is very much like what I see.

    The rod is a "curb feeler." The camera has an adjustable focus, but I can't change it while working.  I adjust the rod to the distance I want to work from, then adjust the focus for sharp images at that range.  While working, I just make sure the end of the rod is close to what I'm working on.  That makes sure that the subject is in focus.

    That's EyeGore from above so you can see how the camera, the rod, and the USB cable are attached.

    EyeGore is pretty primitive, but it gets the job done.

    The "Box o' Buttons" is nearly as primitive though nowhere near as ugly.

    From the topside, it almost looks good:

    That's two push button momentary contact light switches mounted in a standard frame on a wedge shaped wooden box.  The push buttons are robust and cheap.  They are each about 2 inches across (56 millimeters.)  Big enough to be easily operated by foot.

    The bottom side isn't quite so pretty:

    The buttons are mounted in holes made with a hole saw, just like they would be if installed in a wall to operate a light.  The Arduino Nano is just hot melt glued to the side of the box.  I tacked down the wires so they don't vibrate loose or break.  The USB cable is the thickest one I own.  I used a screw and washer to hold it in place.

    Nothing fancy, nothing pretty.  It does make good photos, though.

    Here's my usual "focus adjustment" setup:

    Clear enough to read the barcode lines at the distance I usually work at.

    Have you noticed the program icon?  That's a "bleeding eyeball" that spent too much time looking at EyeGore.

    EyeGore runs under Linux (as you can tell from the "Comport" selector in the picture above.)

    It also runs under Windows.

    Here's EyeGore on Windows 10:

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