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Integrating a putting cam/device with Flightscope

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  • Integrating a putting cam/device with Flightscope

    There must be someone out there techy enough in the golf sim universe that is capable of integrating a putting cam device to read with a Flightscope. Has any member in here tried/gotten anything to work?

    I brought this discussion up on a Facebook sim group last week, but I wanted to bring it up in here with fellow Flightscope users to see what's been discussed with Flightscope in the past, and what is the most viable option in your mind?

    ie
    A putter clip/sensor (Think R-Motion)
    A Camera based putting reader (One that is already developed, just integrated)
    An additional device add on developed by Flightscope

  • #2
    As I understand it, at one point, they did have an integration with the TruGolf putting sensor. Don't know why it was dropped. Maybe it was only a beta/trial type functionality but didn't work out. The Trackman folks had it working so it's not really an issue of whether it's possible. In fact, with access to the integration code base, I'd think it would be pretty easy. I'd even do it myself for free if they'd let me :-) More likely sim integration was just not a high priority in Flightscope's business model.

    But to answer your question, not that easy without access to the actual integration code. Even if you had a 3rd party putting sensor that already had the drivers to feed you the ball speed and direction, it would take a lot of work with a USB/Serial port sniffer just to be able to figure out the communications protocols used between the Flightscope and the Software (AND THAT WOULD BE ILLEGAL so not a good topic of discussion). And then some type of replacement driver wrapper to allow you to pass through the original FS signals as well as inject new ones from the putting sensor. Starting with just some USB cameras and trying to capture the images at the right time and calculate the ball data would be significantly more work (there is a reason these sims are not cheap). The IR solution used by many sims would likely be much easier than an image based system but quite a bit of work for a reliable system.
    Last edited by StuartG; 02-05-2019, 07:58 PM.

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    • #3
      Yeah, that makes sense. Just a pipe dream I suppose. I did stumble upon this during some of my web browsing.

      https://www.golf-simulators.com/hcamroll.html

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      • #4
        It's one thing to describe the process, it's another to code it up :-)

        Although - there is probably some open source image tracking software out there that could be leveraged. It's a very popular application in robotics. That still leaves all the problems of integration with the sim software though.

        I don't blame you though. It's something I've thought about a lot and quite frustrating considering there are numerous farily simple solutions possible. e.g. the quickest solution would be for the sim software (e.g. E6, JNPG, etc..) to just allow dynamic (manual) switching of tracking sensors while you play. Automatic would certainly be nicer but a manual system would still be very usable with existing sensor and integration options.
        Last edited by StuartG; 02-05-2019, 07:29 PM.

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        • #5
          Yeah. If you could just simply switch it manually, it would be more than enough. You could then just putt anything that's on the fringe and under 30 feet.

          I know it isn't simple. Far from it when it comes to coding. But yeah, it would be nice it was more of a priority for them.

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          • #6
            There are quite a few open source computer vision projects on github. I think the easy part will be processing the video. The hard part will be integrating with the unit. I have looked at the software used to calculate the shots and it is pretty straight forward, the fimrware code on the other hand looked to be quite complex. Thats always the hard part device interoperability. I am more interested in the data that is sent back from a unit like the Mevo personal launch monitor.

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            • andygg1986
              andygg1986 commented
              Editing a comment
              I also considered what it would take to take to get a Mevo to a simulator-level device. It gives you launch angle, ball speed, and spin rate, so you need to find a way and measure spin axis and horizontal launch angle. I figured you could get decent information on these two parameters from a single camera located directly above the ball. For indoor use, the ball already has a metallic sticker which should be relatively easy to pick up for spin axis. OpenCV is an open source software suite that can do all sorts of image analysis for this type of application.

              There are a couple of problems though. There is no PC driver to read the Bluetooth data and make sense of it. I have a Bluetooth sniffer from doing other wireless development, but couldn't make heads or tails of what was coming in. And as stated above, there is a legality issue with doing that for a commercial product. You also need to tell it what club you are using, so you need to know that protocol as well. Based on my experience, it depends on the club input to filter the input signal to increase accuracy. For example, spin rate can vary based on what club you select. Usually it is off by a factor of two compared to my GC2 if you select a club pretty far off from what you are hitting, which makes me think it measured it but then halved or doubled it to fit closer with an expected value. Launch angle accuracy is also questionable. I doubt Flightscope would be interested in integrating with that type of system though because then a $500 Mevo is very closely competing with their more expensive Xi launch monitors.

              The other thing is you need a way to trigger your camera. Floor sensor systems have IR emitters and detectors that can tell when your club approaches the ball, and Skytrak uses a laser curtain. You really need some sort of hardware based trigger to get the timing precise. GC2's have FPGAs doing firmware based image analysis to determine when the ball is hit, but once you are looking at that level of development, you are moving into another price category.

              I think the best option to make putting work with the more expensive Flightscope monitors would be some sort of IR floor sensor array like Protee has for putting and then an option in software to change which hardware is used for full swings or putting. It could be as simple as a microphone to know when you hit the putt and a linear array of IR sensors that you place a known distance away. The time it takes to cross the sensor gives you speed, and how close to the middle of the array the ball is gives you direction. From a hardware and firmware standpoint, something like that would be relatively simple.

            • StuartG
              StuartG commented
              Editing a comment
              Not sure you'd have much success getting spin axis from the ball. Picking up the metalic dot (or any other feature) is really quite random - spin rates are several thousand rpm's while frame rates are generally going to only be 1-200 frames per second. That's assuming the resolution is even high enough to get accurate enough location of the mark on the ball. I'd think you'd have better luck trying to look at the club head and try and get an approximate face to path angle.

          • #7
            Could one interpretate the shown data on a gc quad screen and relay it to gsx to play tgc with a vision camera? The screen isn't encrypted like the Bluetooth. Should trigger when the data screen changes, although the lag might be lengthy when shown in tgc.

            Unfortunately this won't work with a flighcope unless there is an app that the vision camera is looking at

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            • andygg1986
              andygg1986 commented
              Editing a comment
              Does the screen show all the ball parameters as soon as you hit? Or does it cycle through them? If all at once it should be able to be done with minimal lag. You only need to take one frame and analyze it, and you would know where all the data should be in the frame, what the font is, etc so it’s really just template matching

          • #8
            I'm not sure, I've only got a gc2 that works with Bluetooth. Even thru an app it likely could be done I suppose if all perameters were shown

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            • #9

              Yes making sense out of the communications coming from the Mevo is the biggest issue. I guess it couldn't hurt to ask Flightscope. I have no idea what it takes or costs to become an "approved systems integrator" for flightscope and get access to the interface info and protocols other than what it says in their FAQ:

              FlightScope only supplies a software interface to selected parties who provide complementary products to FlightScope.

              I could envision the addition of putting functionality (or even Mevo to sim) as being in the relm of a "complementary" product - as long as it doesn't seem to be a threat to X3 sales. And I don't even see the mevo as much of a competitor to the lower Xi - sim use seems to be a secondary or even tertiary concern at best to Flightscope business model - but you never know what a company might find threatening.



              On a separate note, you all might find this an interesting read. Don't know if the author is still active here - doesn't seem to have any activity in over a year and a half.

              https://golfsimulatorforum.com/forum...r-camera-based
              Last edited by StuartG; 02-06-2019, 12:40 PM.

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              • #10
                I don't know what I was thinking earlier - not enough caffeine in my system. Forget what I said about GSX (I edited the post to remove it). GSX doesn't covert bluetooth the serial - the device driver does that.

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                • #11
                  I am currently running the latest release of E6 Connect (1.0.5.5) and I am able to utilize both my Flightscope X2 and the Trutrack2 during the same round. Although both cannot be running simultaneously, I am able to switch between the two in the round. In essence, I use the Flightscope X2 in short indoor mode from tee to green. Once on green I am able to change the simulator choice to Trutrack2 for putting. At next tee I can switch back to Flightscope, again while staying in, and continuing the round. Now E6 tech support says they are not aware of this, but I can tell you it is working for me. In brief, the E6 Connect software allows me to change the simulator from the settings menu inside round during play. One other thing, the Flightscope has to be connected via WiFi in order for the E6 Connect software to find it. It can not be connected via USB.

                  Comment


                  • StuartG
                    StuartG commented
                    Editing a comment
                    It (well TruPutt senser) used to be officially supported in 1.6 as well (as it was with TrackMan 3) but for whatever reason it was pulled. That's actually good news that the functionality is still in place. If that's the case in connect, it may be usable in 1.6 as well. Now if I could only find a TruPutt sensor.
                    Last edited by StuartG; Today, 11:26 AM.
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