Kris Kersey is an embedded software program developer with over 20 years of expertise, an academic YouTuber with 30,000+ subscribers, and a lifelong lover of comics and cosplay.
These pursuits and experience got here collectively in his first-ever undertaking utilizing the NVIDIA Jetson platform for edge AI and robotics when he created a completely purposeful superhero helmet as portrayed in one in all his favourite Marvel Comedian movies, Iron Man.
The 3D-printed helmet comes full with computer-vision capabilities in a heads-up show (HUD) that presents data wherever the person’s trying, identical to within the film.
The NVIDIA Jetson platform processes knowledge from two cameras — one by every eye slot — that see what the helmet’s wearer is seeing. The HUD then presents data together with the present temperature, humidity, altitude and GPS location. It might additionally classify what’s within the person’s view based mostly on deep neural networks for object detection.
To let others take part on the enjoyable, Kersey shared his total workflow on his widespread YouTube channel, Kersey Fabrications.
Superhero movies and science fiction remind Kersey that cutting-edge know-how requires collaboration throughout disciplines, he stated.
“Usually, as with this undertaking, artists and storytellers use their imaginations to provide you with sensible concepts — then, it’s as much as scientists and engineers to make them actual,” the developer stated.
In regards to the Maker
Kersey, who studied pc science at Southern Polytechnic State College — now a part of Kennesaw State College — in Georgia, has broad expertise working with embedded microprocessors and architectures. He specializes within the Linux working system, which is suitable with the NVIDIA Jetson platform.
“Writing software program on the Jetson platform didn’t require that I study a brand new programming language or working system, which made it very straightforward for me,” the maker stated.
By day, he’s a software program engineer at an Atlanta-based startup. By night time, he’s engaged on initiatives in his private makerspace.
“I’ve by no means used my storage for vehicles,” he stated.
As a substitute, it’s stuffed with instruments, boards and different gear that allow his marvelous initiatives.
Kersey emphasised that what’s vital to him most of all, nonetheless, is his household, with whom he likes to play board video games, watch motion pictures and go on hikes.
Kersey’s fascination with know-how stemmed from his childhood. His mom was a trainer centered on computer-aided drafting and mechanical design.
“From a really early age, I may tinker with computer systems that she had entry to, which all the time fascinated me,” he stated. “My cousin additionally as soon as gave me an previous 8-bit pc, however there wasn’t a lot I may do with it, so I keep in mind pulling out the handbook and studying the entire thing — that taught me fundamental programming.”
Extra not too long ago, Kersey acquired into 3D printing whereas serving to his son with a undertaking for Science Olympiad.
“From that second on, I acquired actually into 3D printing as a interest — my son by no means actually took to it an entire lot,” he mused.
In 2018, Kersey created his YouTube channel with a give attention to 3D printing as a strategy to delve deeper into the maker neighborhood whereas instructing others what he’s realized alongside the way in which.
A Jetson-Powered Superhero Venture
Kersey’s 3D-printed, absolutely purposeful, wi-fi Iron Man helmet — which he even sanded and painted himself — may very well be straight out of the long-lasting movies.
The prototype used the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX developer package because the core powering its HUD.
“For this entire expertise to really feel as superior as Iron Man’s tech, it must be actual time, low latency, excessive decision and excessive body fee,” Kersey stated. “It additionally must show a number of data on display, which requires a robust graphics processor — that’s why I selected the Jetson platform.”
Jetson developer kits are outfitted with a robust, onboard NVIDIA GPU and AI capabilities to supercharge embedded purposes.
Kersey additionally tapped the NVIDIA TensorRT software program improvement package to allow high-performance deep-learning inference with low latency and excessive throughput for the undertaking.
For the following era of the helmet’s HUD — a undertaking that’s “not completed until it’s completed,” based on the maker — Kersey used the NVIDIA Jetson Orin Nano developer package. Launched in September, the package has set a brand new customary for creating entry-level AI-powered robots, clever cameras and extra.
It solely took Kersey two hours to get from opening the Orin Nano field to having the software program deployed and working, he stated.
He’s now trying to improve the undertaking with the Jetson Orin NX 16GB system-on-module, in addition to construct a full swimsuit past the headgear, beginning with prototype aluminum repulsors.
And the developer will quickly make the undertaking’s code open supply, so others can simply flip themselves into superheroes, too.
Kersey plans to put on the upgraded superhero gear at Dragon Con — the world’s largest multimedia, widespread tradition conference — happening in August. Plus, at this month’s MomoCon in Atlanta, he’ll current on a panel titled Making It Actual: Excessive Tech in Cosplay.
Requested if Iron Man is his favourite superhero, Kersey stated with a smile: “He’s proper now.”