Let's Make Robots!

Anyone used a camera via microcontroller?

Hey All,

Calculon wonders if anyone has used a digital camera and been able to send the image as data? (serial or i2c)? Basically, Calculon wants a bot to send pictures to his PC/Webserver without having to get involved. Is this sort of thing possible with Arduino? Or perhaps XMOS?



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There was an article in Circuit Cellar (Aug 2000) on doing this with a Picoweb.

The Picoweb is based on a AT90S8515 with a 16kb Serial EEPROM, so it can be done.

If you want to use a big camera see http://photopc.sourceforge.net/

The source can of course be ported but the important thing is to understand the interface protocols.

all the best


One option is to use a more powerful microcontroller as a co-processor to the AVR for image processing / internet connection.  I've been experimenting with hooking a Beagleboard (www.beagleboard.org) to an Arduino for this purpose.  The Beagleboard has a powerful ARM Coretex A8 CPU which runs Linux, giving you access to lots of software options.  It has a USB port useful to hook up a cheap webcam (I'm using one designed for the Playstation3 - "Playstation Eye") and wifi or network dongle.


More details of my experiments here: http://mechomaniac.com/robots

We probably have code you might be able to re-use for this. See:







However this might require *some* involvement.

Do you want the onboard microprocessor to process the image data in any way, or is it just to send an image back to a remote operator?

If it's the later, why bother putter the data throught the microprocessor in the first place? Just buy a normal wireless camera and slap it on the robot, and set up the reciever w/screen next to the remote operator position.

Check out Eye-Fi, a wifi-enabled SD card. That'd be the easiest way to not "get involved" that I can think of ;) Certainly not the cheapest though.

Honestly, I've no idea (ya, big help, Rudolph).

I did notice in one forum page a comment of "I only have 256KB of RAM" as a reason the photo was so ugly and b/w. The Arduino (latest Duemilanove) has only 2KB, the Xmos thingie says it has 64KB. Don't have any idea if the camera has to be read into memory, or if data can be transferred and forgotten as it comes in.

You may also have a look at AVRCam and CMUCam for ideas.