This week, we continued work on the prototype. Physically, we soldered the wires of the IR beam and continued to play with the positioning of the lighting. Additionally, we have begun work on the final version of the physical enclosure of the Behavioral Unit. Aiming to be as accessible and aesthetically pleasing as possible, the additional design challenges in this have been incredibly interesting. This week we also made some very productive changes to the testing setup, opting to use a flexible phone holder to align the camera instead of mounted 80/20. This has allowed for greater versatility and simplicity in testing. Check out some of the images below!
On the software side, we continued to work on our GUI. We added some testing functionality so the user can test the IR beam. We also added an ability to choose which direction the mouse enters from so holes from either side can be measured. We also tested that the data was saved to an external USB drive and the data could be accessed on other devices. We added a logo as well. After review from our liaison, it seems like the GUI is almost finished. We have a few more minor adjustments (adding a failsafe start, adding detailed text directions, finished logo) and it will be finished. Check out our video below! [Note: The actual recording of footage cannot be seen by the screen recorder, but the user can see the video being recorded. However, the recorded video is opened and played towards the end of the video to show that it was saved correctly.]
Our cameras do not allow us to be very up close to the mice, so it must be distanced from the window to get good quality frames to analyze. The drawback of this is hole detection becomes much harder since the frame contains a lot of outside noise that could interfere with the image analysis. To mitigate this, we plan on have fixed positions in a frame that will be cropped beforehand to eliminate anything that is not the reference hole or the mouse ear. This will make the image analysis more accurate since there are no other factors in the frame that can be picked up by our program.