Let's Make Robots!

Starting Point For Robotic Eyes

Hi there.

I would like to build a robot head with two eyes that move. I would like to put snake-cam's in each eye, and have the robot able to look around (ie: Following someone's face); and also to use the platform to build from there (ie: 3D object distance estimating, etc.)

I do realise that the above is a huge project, but I need to start somewhere :) To begin, I would like to build one eye that can move around and track a face.

Can anyone recommend software to control the above functions, with in mind that I am only beginning robotics.

Thank you for your time.

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especially since the new Raspberry Pi Cam came out. I've been weighing people's successes with both the Pi and the Beaglebone Black and it seems both work pretty well. This guy has the facial recognition down with his Pi and Pi Cam. His Magic Mirror project is pretty cool too, even with the lag using a non-Pi camera.


You mentioned a "snake cam". This takes my mind to the commercial models used by carpenters and others for snaking wires through walls (Look inside a wall, floor, ceiling for a place to run wires). If that is it, I know they can be somewhat expensive.

As a frugal Scotsman, my personal preference for a camera for eyes is something a bit cheaper. There are very tiny cameras used for web-cams that can be had rather cheaply. In fact, two of my monitors have very tiny web-cams built in that I am tempted to scavenge (without destroying the monitors of course).  However, buying new ones are not that bad in price. Here is an example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/640x480-0-3Mega-Pixel-CMOS-Camera-Module-OV7660-SCCB-I2C-compatible-W-OV7670-/271230081889  The price on that one is $5.99 US with free shipping. You can find more expensive ones and you might even find one cheaper with a careful search..

Now I do not expect you to know how to hook it up right away, but a bit of studying of the spec sheet can help you figure it out.

That is only three tenths of a mega pixel which is not all that much detail as cameras go, but I saw some that are 3.0 megapixels for only a few dollars more.  It all comes down to what you want or need, and how much processing your controller chip can do.

Good luck with it.


Will let everyone here know how I go.

P.S. I like your profile pic! Looks like Dr Horrible :)

If you want to track faces OpenCV is the way to go, with its easy integration with Processing its a simple task. Processing is also very easy to integrate with Arduino so you could to do it that way, or Raspberry Pi (although the it may not be able to handle the processing required to do so).

If you want to see how the Arduino/Processing/OpenCV combination works check out a project of mine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cEp7duDbNU

A good place to start would be here: http://ubaa.net/shared/processing/opencv/

And here afterwards: http://playground.arduino.cc/interfacing/processing

I am really new at this whole robot thing and I was able to do so, if I can, anybody can.

That all looks amazing and great to look into. I shall read up on the links.

Thank you for your time and help.