Video: Walabot Review – RF Radar / Imager / Sensor Development Kit
hey youtubers and welcome to this review of the water bot so a big thanks to Malcolm for putting this in my hands the water but is quite an interesting device it is a 3d imaging device using RF technology to kind of 3d image or radar the environment so it's kind of a more advanced sensor to try an image or understand the environment or look at what's happening in the environment now to do that it uses an array of antennas there are three models of this the lower model has three antennas the next model up has 15 antennas and then this top pro model has 18 and tenders now I know the antennas are supposed to be paid so i'm not sure what happens with the ones of the the odd number of antennas but the and certainly in the pro model that antennas are paid one transmits and one receives and from that from the reflections that kind of builds up an image of the environment it uses a broad spectrum they've got a custom chip in here which sends out a broad spectrum RF frequency and then receives image back and then that is sent off to an application so this is something for tinkerers and makers it's a platform and a development kit they've got a basic application which i'm going to demonstrate you both on the pc and the phone they had to specifically send me a phone because it was this wasn't compatible with my phone even though my phone is a fairly recent phone with on the go it still didn't work with this so anyway I've got this loan found to be able to demonstrate that to the frequency range now for it difference between the US and EU the in the u.
s. does have a sec approval I've gone and checked myself the frequency ranges from three point three gigahertz – 10.3 gigahertz that's a big part of the spectrum in the EU that's limited to six point three gigahertz to eight point three gigahertz so first off I just want to say I've had some interesting responses to this I for one when I was approached and I saw the sort of interesting device on wonder if it can do with what they claim there's someone who I personally know not deal with when I told him I was going to be reviewing this he said now no ways that doesn't do what they say it's going to do and then I had another maker come to my home for another reason he saw this any sorting operation he said I want one so let me just try and and muddy the waters they're a bit the one thing I think perhaps the creators of this water but I had haven't done too well is in there some of their promotional videos you'll see some high definition pictures of this being able to see through things see pipes in walls beer radar speed detector on a car be able to tell you what type of substances they even have a picture of like a high-definition image or x-ray through an enclosure or a baggage like my sudden airport which is isn't going to do they've got it looking at a glass of beer being filled up and telling you the alcohol level which again i'm not sure how earth it's going to be able to do that so I think those that all kind of and over elaborations kind of cost a bit of doubt cannot do some interesting things yes it can and i'm going to demonstrate that too but i'm also going to pass show you what it can and can't do and then you can make up your own mind will quickly go to the bench and have a look what it comes with ok so what does the wall about come with and how much does it cost when it comes in this kind of neat little case i'm not sure what the other kids come as but this is the case that the pro arrived with it comes with this little getting started manual it comes with an on-the-go OTG connector to connect it to a phone it comes with a USB 3 cable to connect it to a pc it also comes with this little disk which that can be actually applied to a stack to a phone because there is a powerful magnet in here and this will stick to that to search your phone is stuck to the back of this even with the magnet in here it's kind of sticking to the phone but the idea is that you can kind of stick the phone on there then you've got a mobile device which you can use for scanning or looking into things it literally is a plain and simple case the antennas on this side so you could kind of use it like this to kind of scan through look at things it's got just a couple of connectors now the pro and the maker have two connectors the one USB connector is literally just for providing power and this USB 3 connector is the one that you can connect you to your pc or the OTG connector or on-the-go connector goes in there to your phone this pro version with the 18 antennas or nine pairs goes for five hundred ninety nine dollars the maker version of this with 15 antennas goes for 2 99 and then the starter kit goes for a hundred and forty nine dollars and that's the one with three antennas and they've got a table on their site which are flip up here which shows the capability of each of the units are some of them have got more I think 3d capability and better scanning then obviously the starter kits but it is quickly open it up and have a quick look at the board to get inside it's literally just four screws that come out the corners and then the case clips open this is the main business end with the electronics on the board so these are the main electronics the name of the company that produces it is they are as i remember it's an Israeli company and this is their custom chip it's the VAR v yr 2401 a three and this chip is a panicky the device which actually generates the signal which is the three point three gigahertz – 10.
3 gigahertz that generates and transmits a signal and then also receives it so it's true it's quite a broad bad a big part of the spectrum which it sends out and then receives the other chips are to do with a connectivity to the host and pulling the data in from that and then also sending it out to your pc or phone to the application the jumper over here I think of our call dictates where it's getting its power from whether it's this USB input over here or this one here you can see the fine stitch two lines which are going through to the 18 and tanners so these are all the antennas and we'll just pick up the board and see what they look like on the other side so this is the other side of the board with some electronics on the other side and then the big important side of it is all these pairs of antennas so we've got our say . of antennas these are that 18 and tennis which according to the application for more I'm have read are paid to get us a say i'm not too sure how they work with the other units which have gotten odd number of antennas whether they're just pairing to and using one for something else but supposedly here these antennas are paired together to transmit 11 of the antennas will transmitter signal and then the other one is used for receding let's put it back together and try and demonstrate what its capability is so in this demonstration we're going to test just a big empty piece of a kind of PVC pipe in the conduit or what could be water pipe then also piece of two by four which will be acting as a piece of stead work so we're going to put that we're going to check out works in up free space and then also through my desk and it has to be my desk because the application the cable for me to swing that around and look at the application on the pc is a problem so i'm using my desk what I've gone and done underneath my desk I've gone and placed a piece of electrical wire I've gotten traced out on top of my desk where that runs so if i go underneath that is the piece of electrical wire and it's not completely flat against the disc you'll see it does take a dip down so we just don't treat see whether can pick that up and over there ok so on your pc you've got this wall about demo application at the moment 1.
02 they still refining and and also be playing around with this this is supposed to be a little high level demo of what can be done but ultimately you can gain access to the api's and write your own programs to pull in the signals from the device and use it for well whatever your imagination comes up with on this device I've got what they call a target detection sense breathing which is quite an interesting when I'm really that last they got imaging short range and then the wrong signals so in this target detection you've got like a picture of what the RF signal is coming through the heart the red areas are kind of the stronger signal where it's going to lighter and light blue that's so a weaker signal so that might give an idea of depth that then also got this little radar on the side which is supposed to give you an idea of depth as well there is a calibration process and you can vary various settings but let me just give you a basic demonstration so if i put my hand written start moving it around this is the side of the antennas you can see we get some funny imaging going on now every time you put it on a new service or environment what you're supposed to do is do a calibration that kind of cleans up and understand what's there and what's not so here we go bang now it's all clean now if i bring my finger nearby you can see how it's detecting it i'm a raise app quite high and you can see up here about 30 centimeters away and if you look at the radar image day you can see how that jumps around a year again i'm going to say when you start playing with radio waves it's like black magic so they don't always do what you want to do but it certainly is able to see and detect from quite a distance what am I try and do is trying to a proper demonstration to see how far it will actually detect because that's something I had not played around it i played around with that probably within I'd say half a meter 2 meters range about four feet so that's it looking in sensing things is now you can do a couple of things that I just keep my hand your static you'll see it retains the image if I move around it tracks it you can set this for multiple targets i'll give that a bachelor's quickly somerset it for 2 i'm going to apply and calibrate and then we're bringing in one finger and then a second and i can see on the radar on the right hand side it's got two targets but it can sometimes be a bit hit-and-miss to see when it's picking up something kind of correctly or not and that's going to come out in some of the later demonstrations as well then the other thing if i go back to one target apply you've got a setting which is a moving target indicator so what it will do when you when you enable that it will slowly remove any static images so click apply and calibrate it cleans up then if something's moving around with that MTI enabled it picks it up but if it goes still it'll slowly phase it out because I've got a little bit of movement in my hand it keeps coming back which can see it slowly there we go it faces out and then when it moves it starts picking things up again so it's at least is doing a little more than a normal sensor would do it certainly tracking and trying to map out the space and distance but let's see how well it picks up through materials for this next demonstration we're going to click to the imaging short range I can see you again it's doing a little calibration I've got it flat on the surface over here and of course got this map where I've got the electrical wiring now what this does is it obviously using the radio signals just to draw a straight shot up lines as i move this there we go you can see it's picking up an image and then it's got that straight line and it kind of gives you a debt it's saying about three centimeters which if i look at it yes it probably is about three centimeters and it gives you a confidence level if I turn it around the you can see it disappear and I can move it in and this is what i found it can be a little hit and miss some time as to whether it's detecting that now that the line of course indicates where that why is not as I got over it slowly there you go it's picked up that wire through my desk I can turn it around now if i start going forwards what happens when i started missing the target shows that's going offered ask you this is so I turned to match that you can see it's not totally lined up at the moment Roger Sumer you see as I stopped going straight now if I was trying to track exactly what was in the screen over here I might not be tracking that so-called why exactly where it is because in theory I've got it lying straight here we go ad so it's come right if you move around sometimes it does come right someone go straight what happens when I go off that curved things disappear when I come back and you saw there we got lips in the screen i'll bring it to the center so as you can see in terms of it doing some high definition scan through war and give you a nice little image no this application sitting in the demonstration as you can see it it doesn't do that it's certainly using that that RF radar if you want to pick up and detect the the differences or a substance under there and then it's drawing a straight line to it thinks it's finding something so just come back i'll come back to wear the wire is ready to be straight we can see it there we go off target there we go we move out somewhere come back so it's certainly has got some interesting capability back as I said sometimes it can be a bit hidden this and this all come out a little later but there you go so that's a tracking the wire I'll just do one more check here we go I'm on top of the the wire and I twist this around there it's picking up the wire remove off all got a bit slower to give it a little chance to scalar and it picks up sometimes it gets it and sometimes it doesn't and I think that's just a function of the RF and what the radio waves are doing because you can't always magically control radio waves to do what you want them to do ok so next let's look at pipes and things like studs now the orientation changed I'm removed the piping across underneath and there we go now i can quite clearly see how to picking up this PVC pipe as i gently moved across are not going to pull it in an angle so here we go I'm going in at an angle just pull the pot I'll just pull the pipe across and you can see again how sometimes that manages to pick it up there you go it's just in the corner but I don't cross and then it doesn't quite there we go and then it picks it up and then it doesn't I'll just do a little another check over here as if i'm scanning fruit and there he picks it up and we change the orientation and you can see that orientation is having a problem picking it up where's of a good landscape with it the antenna is also having a better job of actually picking up that pipe that does pick it up i'm just going to lower it I've got it literally five for graphing more than 10 is the limit then it disappears but probably had about 10 centimeters it is actually picking up that pipe next we'll see how it copes with little piece of two by four if this was standard work so I've gone and recalibrated are put this underneath on the slide across there you go you can see as I go across it certainly is detecting at a murdered slowly move across It's a bit touch-and-go when it gets it i might try and stall this around and see that works scanning the other way you can see it's getting its wires a little bit crossed in terms of the exact direction what I'm going to do it's got this application on the phone I'm gonna go to a proper wall drywall with studs in it and we will try this again but certainly here you can see with a piece of wood it's able to see that there's the object underneath and it's got that representation on the screen before switch over and i'll show you the raw signal test I've got it on the front of my pc over here store that short range imaging i'm just going to use my finger so as I use my finger there we go as I change the orientation that's picking it up switch it around switch it back so it certainly is doing an interesting job of picking things up in the environments the application is also doing its best to try and map map out that straight line with the radio waves that it's getting back now the other application is a simple demonstration of the raw signals down on the left hand side here you can see it says and 10 appears you can select certain and 10 appears that you want to see a signal for and then up on the screen you can see the signal strength now got my hand in front of it and you can see how it's picking up and changing that signal as I waved down below and just waving my hand in front of it i'll pick up a couple of other antenna peers and as I do that little show you the kind of signals which are coming across but the last little demonstration on the pc application here is the breathing sensor so the moment will see this works I've got that that sensor set down over there in front of my pc pointing at me now i'm sitting behind the camera so we'll see if this works if it doesn't I'll move it and we'll go to the sensor breathing now what I need to do here now bearing in mind i'm about half meter way I'm going to hold my breath so we get a clean signal coming through ok yeah so as I'm breathing out you get this little double bump so as I'm speaking that's of course picking that up as as well it's not the audio it's my chest moving I'll take a big breath but I mean there is very little movement in my chest and it's amazing to see how easily it picks it up so that's me talking I'm kind of not moving my test I'm not moving my chest I'm gonna start breathing gently and normally take a big breath now and that is literally half a meter away and pointing at me with that the camera sitting in the way and is able to do that so it certainly has got a very fine granular level of detecting movement and change and supposedly velocity as well so that is the all the applications on the pc let's see how does with the phone application so here we go up now gone and connected the water bot to the phone I've got along the back here there's a little bit of a magnetic field i'm not using that disk and I've got it on the disc and what I'm going to do you every time you put it on the new super so what have you do the calibrates I'm pushing the calibrate I go start and then you got to move it around there's a calibration is done and now i'm just going to put my hand underneath and bang there you can see it's actually picking up my hand again with this like pipe application and you can set it for drywall or concrete so what I'm going to do I've got this PVC pipe I'm going to stick this under the desk there we go so I've got that there and as I move it I'll do it slowly you can see it picks it up it tracks it I'm gonna come in at an angle so that's at an angle I'm a twisted a bit you can see it's going a little awry and we'll pull it flush to the table move it around and within reason it tracks it let's do the other tested by have the pipe set there and I actually move the phone so come across there we go that's seeing the PVC pipe underneath come back to our twist the phone it tracks it what happens if i pull the pipe off out now it the application assumes it's a continuous piece you're not going to see the end will disappear so when i get this kind of going past the sensor and then disappears but certainly it's not doing a bad job here under these circumstances of this application picking up that pipe I'm just going to lower it it's got a little gauge on the side there is little measurement on the side and that's saying how many inches so I'm gonna take it further down and that measurement tends to bubble around I take it food there we go said about I'd say well probably six inches away it's not seeing it I bring it up it starts picking it up so i don't have to have it directly underneath touching the discs are moving it around and there we go you can see it let's try the piece of wood here's the piece of wood which could be a stud in the wall hold it at an angle pull it across the sensor there we go and it's picking bad up you see sometimes blips in and out let's see we do it kind of scan across the area there we go but you can see how it sometimes gets that men sometimes things disappear and I'm we go to a real wall in the moment and we'll see how well it does there let's just see how does with electrical wiring I've just picked up moved over here i did another calibration to make sure that it it's aware of the environment you can calibrate it over something that doesn't matter if something's underneath it or not so I'm going to move this you can see the measurement is coming up there there we go and it's actually that angle is about right yeah it's kind of showing that it's turning their it's lost it go along and see it come back carefully move it gently but you can see how tends to swing around so if you're trying to use this in the real world back practically trying to trace something could get rather tricky let me bring it back to where this wiring is straight and twist it disappeared does it pick it up and there we go and it's gone and picked it up so it's not doing too badly here but just before we end off let me just take this to a real war with studs in it and see how well it works there so now i want a piece a real drywall I've got it set up for drywall and pipes i'm going to calibrate it my wife's gonna love me because I'm marking the wall so I know there are several studs in this wall I can see them with a thermal camera in fact i'm gonna move this across I see the MIT there we go there's something coming into view up there but it's at an odd angle something happening there are angle coming over there so i know that i can tell you now there's are the stead but you can see it's not properly translating and getting the graphic right and I've tried this in several places all also around electrical outlets in the wall electrical Plex and the same thing it can be very hit and miss whether it's easier or not so the ego that is the water bottle a big thanks to Malcolm for sending this to me and also for putting another phone in my hands to demonstrate the application it's an interesting device i would say it's going to take people to write their own applications tinker and come up with their own ideas to kind of exploit and find interesting uses for this it's off the top of my head it's very difficult kind of come up and say oh here we go Anna this is the exact application maybe I've seen the put it on a little like robotic car I've literally just gonna danced around the room I didn't show it on camera cause of the book about pathetic I've danced around a check I've seen this range go to out about four meters and on their application says five hundred centimeters so it's not far off and I'm not sure whether it can do any further net with kind of modifications to it or or to the application it does certainly sense things it's got an awareness of the environment but as I said RF is like black magic if you're trying to create an image and see what's going on radio waves content do what they want it's certainly as far as i can tell and if someone comes up with some amazing application which interprets the signals back from this it's certainly not going to give you some high definition image of something behind a wall or I can't see how it's going to look at a substance like a glass of beer and say that's beer and this is the alcoholic content so I think some of that imagery that they've done in their promotional videos is a little bit misleading and has certainly got people off on the wrong foot that certainly have potentials and they're very interesting application as an advanced sensor and I say I be key to see what you guys think of it I'm going to actually put this one in the hands of the good gent at the meetup he said he would love to play with this and receive he comes up with some interesting application if he does i'll make another video and show what he's done with it but anyway thanks very much for watching this video if you get any value please give it a thumbs up and I'll catch you soon for the next one Cheers yeah.