Transporter3D processes 2D & 3D video to be viewed on Oculus Rift
The Transporter3D is a device that supports the Oculus Rift by converting remotely transmitted video into a virtual reality experience called "telepresence".
We have been designing and manufacturing telepresence equipment embraced by the FPV (first person video) community for over 6 years. Starting with the 3D-Cam FPV in 2006, we pioneered the transmission of 3D video for RC aircraft pilots who fly from the ground wearing video glasses.
Over the years we pushed the telepresence technology further with force feedback joysticks (ForceFly) and aerial combat simulation systems (DogFighter). When the Oculus Rift was born it was the obvious direction for FPV telepresence. The Rift technology presented some challenges to adapt to conventional FPV equipment. We set to work solving the problems, never compromising on our initially stated goals (see original project goals below) or on the quality that EMR Laboratories is known for. Once we solved the big challenges we took to flight, ringing out the technology (think multi-rotor speeder bikes), studying the experience and revising the requirements. We diverged from our normal development route and decided to crowd source the final design – asking the community what features would make them love the Transporter3D as much as we do. Your input helped us get there and we listened to your suggestions.
The T3D is a crowd sourced design. We want every one of the contributors to have the chance to experience the indescribable feeling of Oculus FPV. By backing the project you get exclusive access to the T3D technology, you’re getting in at the ground level. Backers will always be original backers and will be recognized for exclusive offers as they develop.
Original Project Goals
From the start our objective was to create an Oculus Rift interface designed for standard FPV/telepresence equipment. The hardware solution had to meet these four key goals:
No perceptible latency: FPV users want the lag free experience they’ve come to expect from their analog systems. Lag in multi-rotor speeder bikes turns a Jedi into a Storm Trooper.
Video formatting: To adapt to the Rift, the video needs to be completely adjustable. Users need to be able to adjust the video screen size and position to exactly what they want. Zooming and alignment modes are critical to using the Rift. The T3D also needs to process the video without violating the latency rule.
Video stability: The hardware needs to cope with noisy video. Analog FPV video is noisy at times. The hardware needs to pass video regardless of how noisy it is and handle it gracefully (ie no blue screens)
Stereo Video: The T3D needs to support stereoscopic 3D video to accommodate the capabilities of the Rift.
Once we met these goals we asked you what else you wanted to see in the final product. You told us you wanted:
Support for different video modes: Support for a 2D mode for the single camera, super wide field-of-view experience. Other users asked for 3D support using two separate video inputs from separate video cameras.
Battery powered: In-the-field operation is easier if the device can be powered by LiPo batteries. Support for a wide range of input voltages with a connector that’s ideal for batteries.
Power the Rift: The T3D should also be capable of powering the Rift so that the system can be a complete video glasses solution for FPV.
Support for Cinemizers: Make the T3D output also compatible with the Cinemizer glasses for users who already own these exceptional quality glasses and want the 3D FPV support.
Head Tracking: The T3D should support the use of the Rift’s 1000Hz zero-drift head tracker to output head-tracking signals for controlling the camera pan, tilt and roll.
So we did it, the T3D is alive!
With the final goals on the drawing board we set out to make the hardware. We designed it to support all the features you requested and moved the design from 3rd party development board to our own custom hardware. The complex hardware design was a first-time-right success!
The T3D leverages an Altera Cyclone III FPGA (EP3C80F484C7N) for all its video processing. The FPGA is programmable like a micro-processor except it’s actually the internal hardware that is being programmed. This gives incredible speed, flexibility and power to achieve the T3D goals. We’ve designed the T3D so that its internal hardware can be completely reconfigured simply by plugging in an identity module. This future proofs the design and allows users to change the device functionality to suit their application.
The T3D can run on voltages from 6V-18V and total power consumption including the Rift is 6W. For instance, with a 12V supply the T3D draws 0.5A. Using a standard 3 cell, 2200mAh LiPo battery the T3D and Rift combo will last 4 hours.
The T3D supports 2D video, single channel encoded 3D video and dual channel 3D video for the ultimate resolution 3D experience. To leverage the 3D capabilities we redesigned the 3D-Cam (T3D Edition) with higher performance sensors and T3D support for both single channel 3D and dual channel 3D video. This gives camera package backers the ability to see 3D with their standard FPV system and provides the option to experiment with the ultimate dual channel 3D experience.
3D-Cam T3D Edition
Some users expressed interest in a case for the T3D. We designed the T3D to fit into a custom machined case called the Transporter3D ‘Shuttle Craft’. The case is sturdy protection for your T3D in the field.
Shuttle Craft Case