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Augmented Reality SandBox
Here is an overview of the technical components needed for the ARSandBox Project
A typical sandbox with dimensions 30” * 40” will require 200 lb. of sand. For our ARSandBox we ordered sand that is bleached white from Sandtastik. The sand is sparkling white which works well for the projector to color the sand appropriately.
A short throw projector works best, as it does not need to be mounted as far away from the sand as a standard projector. On our sandbox the projector is mounted 40” above the average sand height of 4” , allowing the projector to easily cover the entire sand surface. The projector we purchased is a BenQ MW632ST. It is a fairly expensive projector, but it works well for this project, and it has high contrast and high hours for lamp life.
The Xbox 360 Kinect Camera:
We found the Xbox 360 Kinect at the local store, it was used and came with the needed AC adapter for connecting it to the computer via USB.
The computer is likely going to be the most expensive item as it does require a fairly strong CPU and GPU to run the augmented reality simulation well. A recommended computer should have a CPU with at least 4-cores, and 8-logical processors, running at 3.0GHz.
The recommended GPU for the ARSandBox is the NVidia GTX 970, however we went with a card released this July (2016) that has better performance and a similar price point, the Nvidia GTX 1060.
To run both the CPU and GPU you will need to make sure you have a power supply for the computer with at least 500W of power, and it will need a 6-pin power adapter for the video card if you use the GTX 1060. If you use a different GPU you will need to make sure you have a power supply that can support it.
The rest of the computer components don’t matter as much, approximately 4 to 6 GB of RAM should be sufficient, and a 200 to 250GB hard-drive will give you plenty of space for the Linux Mint OS and the Sandbox software.
Lastly, we mounted the computer under the table using a standard under desk computer case mount.
Helpful links with information:
To install the software on the computer I followed this guide: http://lakeviz.org/forums/topic/complete-installation-instructions/ , and this YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0UyMeJ2pYc&feature=youtu.be
Once you have the software running calibrating the SandBox is also needed and videos like this one can help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EW2PtRsQQr0
Once you have things up and running, this is a useful site for making startup of the SandBox easier: https://github.com/malamaker/UC-Davis-AR-Sandbox-Configuration-Menu
For more information about the ARSandBox project, please contact Dr. Bradley Rundquist at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-777-4589.