Let's Make Robots!

Atmega + camera.

I have thought about atmega + camera idea too, but for use on atmega not sending. I looked at CMUcam but it wasn't so low-cost as it was advertised (100$ it too much). I found http://www.robotshop.us/sfe-cmos-camera-640-480.html . It seems cheap, microcontroller friendly and so on. Only problems are - SMD connections, killer programming and impossible debuging.


So, all thoughts and good links are welcome.

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It has been done before. Check out the AVRcam here. It`s available as a kit for a few cents under $100. I think it`s open source though, so you could try doing it yourself if you had one of those cmos modules.
That actually looked pretty cool until I looked at the last update...2004...  :(
Maybe there isn`t much more that a micro like the atmega8 can do in relation to image processing. But the schematic and source code are still up, drop in a 168 or 328 and it could be a lot of fun/frustration to work on some image processing stuff yourself.
AVRcam looks awsome. I think i will try to find parts and build one. But not now, maybe in a year or something.

The AVRcam is an open source project, I have one and have also played with the code a small amount. By default it will track up to 8 objects (by color only) and send thier positions out the serial port. That's pretty much everything you can do with an AVR and a camera. The AVR is running at ~17.7MHz (it shares the camera board clock speed), and is basically maxed out pulling in frames and processing them (and the code is quite optimized, I doubt you could optimize it much more).

I doubt you will find an easier to use module for lower cost. I've always said that you can either do it easy or do it cheap, it's a rare occasion you can do something both easily and cheap, you're paying someone else to do the hard work here. The camera module is the same as used on the CMUCam, and is $50 itself. Lower cost camera modules won't have as nice of an interface. 


Hmm, that's good to know. I dreamed that it would be possible to use only small atmega and cheap camera to make smaller projects but yea,  laptop then.