Let's Make Robots!

Video for robots

I would like to build a robot that uses a video camera, processes the data, and then reacts to that data. Basicly I want to be able to designate a destination using a laser and the robot will chase the laser. I do not know what sort of micro processor I will need for this and also I do not know what kind of camera will work.

 I have been looking at the parallax propeller as a possible processor, but i do not know how to interface a camera to it, or servos (which I also need to control).

 (I have only ever used the arduino, and a 8 bit freescale processor so my experiance is limited.)


Thanks for any advice

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Since I have yet to read that section in my book why don't you ask the designer directly? Here a few links to his site.

His home Page

An article on the DanceBot vision robot

His Forums for more questions.

With Open CV and viewport, what is the propeller processor actualy doing? Because i think they have the computer doing some of if not all of the computation. Is there any system that can process video while not tethered to the computer?

 Also is an ADC chip required if im using the propeller bord that has usb embeded?

My knowlege is limited but the only Microcontroller that can capture video and display video is the Parallax Propeller. There are many projects that display video. I gave you links to the OpenCV and ViewPort.

Chapter 7 in this book details controlling a robot using vision. It takes a simple ADC chip to input to the Propeller a video signal. It has chapters on Sensors, Wireless links and several projects. I just got my book and haven't finished it yet. It includes schematics and code examples.

I forgot about another good book that details robots with video links.


also what sort of board should I use, should I buy a pre made board/ kit or should I build something else.

 I think that I need 5 pwm channels, and I need to be able to read ntsc signal. Are there any dev boards that can do all of that, or do I need to look in to building one.

NTSC is a terrible format - I'd recommend either getting a proper serial/parallel interface digital camera board, or finding yourself a USB host board and connecting it to a webcam. Either option will give you a visual feed that's more-or-less ready for processing, unlike NTSC which will require decoding/digitising before it is usable, and even then it won't be as clear as an originally digital video stream.
Check out Viewport and OpenCV. It offers video processing.