Let's Make Robots!

The feasibility of using webcams from labtops?


For a project that I plan on doing, I wanted to mount a small camera onto my robot.

I wondered if taking the camera out of broken laptops would be a resonable way to get a camera for my bot.

Thanks in advance!

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I was afraid someone would say that.


Thank you very much for the suggestion.

A webcam in a laptop typically has 640 x 320 or better resolution, 3 bytes color and with a framerate of 15-30 fps.

So that means the little robot brain needs to handle 650 x 320 x 3 x 30 = which is about 18 Meg per second.

Then there's the complexity of the driver software for the camera, etc.

Basic answer - no ... not so simple.

However, may people around here have interfaced Arduinos with WiiCameras (Gareth, CTC, and myself) 

You can look for WiiDar as an example - most of it's processing is done in the tiny little camera - there is no image that goes to the micro-controller, only coordinates of Infra-red blobs.  This is something an Arduino can pretty easily handle.

The data from the laptop will be raw pixel values - which take some effort to put back into a picture, and a large amount of effort to get a robot to understand the picture. 

Forigve me...

A Picaxe.

In order to answer your question, I will need to ask you a question.  Which is, what will the "brains" of your robot consist of? 

Because, if you want to put eyes on your bot, your bot will need a brain to use them.