Embedded Electronics Systems
TrakCam, is a contraction of tracker/camera. It is was used in video conferences as part of a larger conferencing system. What this thing does is listen for someone talking in the room, figure out were they are and point the camera at them. It tuned out to be a difficult system to engineer and involved expert analog design, digital signal processing, statistical analysis, artificial intelligence, robotics, inter-computer communications. It was based around some fundamental techniques used in passive sonar systems, but also used some surprisingly recent artificial intelligence methods too. (A case of independent invention; someone else got the award Ė and the press Ė and the grant.)
determined the location of a sound by measuring time delays of the signal
between microphones. Easy enough. Where things got interesting was what to do
about incidental sounds and all those echoes off of all those surfaces. Thatís
when the invention began. RDG&A looked to the living world to see how 2 ears
determine location and found out that sometimes it canít be established for sure.
This is "Snappy Tom", the test 'mule' used for development.
This is the TrackCam as packaged for Tandberg.
Rev A Analog Processing
The analog front end provided high gain, very low noise amplification for 4 balanced dynamic microphones. This prototype also had optional analog compressors which were not used and a fix or 2.
Rev A Digital Processing
Everything else happens on the processor board, most of that in the ADSP2191.
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