Let's Make Robots!

Can I stream a wireless camera through wireless usb?

I was thinking of wireless cameras since the beginning of time and I've finally come to the decision of buying one. For me, there are two options: a camera that transmits to an rca/composite 2.4Ghz receiver which in turn is connected to a rca/composite to usb converter, or a camera that transmits to a 2.4Ghz USB receiver. In both cases, however, it seems like the stream must first be recorded by some program and that doesn't really fit useful applications for robotics. I want to process the data live with OpenCV and then relay information to the robot. Lastly, there's a wireless camera that communicates live through usb, but streams to some obscure robotics IDE which I don't plan on using: http://www.robotshop.com/ez-robot-2-4-ghz-wireless-camera-2.html.

Here's the 2.4 Ghz wireless USB: http://www.ebay.ca/itm/2-4G-Wireless-USB-DVR-Recorder-Video-Wireless-Camera-1-/280771412228?pt=US_Security_Cameras&hash=item415f47c104&_uhb=1#ht_6927wt_953

Here's in case I decide to go with an RCA receiver: http://ca.startech.com/AV/Converters/Video/USB-S-Video-and-Composite-Video-Capture-Device-Cable-with-Audio~SVID2USB2

http://dx.com/p/easycap-usb-video-capture-adapter-5707

Any help or comments on how you guys achieved to set up a wireless video link with a robot is awesome!

Meanwhile I'll explore what wireless webcams have to offer...

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Markamas's picture

Thanks a lot for all the help! I think I'll settle for the EZ camera. It mentions a receiving USB dongle so it's a complete package. I'll post my experiences with the module when I receive it.

chickenparmi's picture

Look forward to seeing how this goes, you are a pioneer!

Protowrxs's picture
Personally I have one of the EZ cap devices and never could get it working reliably on my home automation server. Likely just me but just saying. One thing about the Rotation listing is it says it is USB video and audio "driverless" which should mean it will work on an XP SP3 and up system without any drivers and most apps using OpenCV I have seen can use that USB video device easily. I'd love for someone to test and recommend a small footprint and affordable solution as well as it can really add some features to small mobile bots. Chickenparmi's solution works well as I've played with it on iphone 4 and ipads but I don't have an old phone that will run the app to dedicate to a project as my oldie is just an iPhone 3 and it can't run the proper iOS required. Good luck and update us with your final recommended solution! Stephen
Markamas's picture

It's actually the same camera I've spotted yesterday: http://www.robotshop.com/ez-robot-2-4-ghz-wireless-camera-2.html.

I'm just not sure if OpenCV will be able to directly process the stream coming from the USB receiver. The camera's website says the camera will display in some obscure robotics IDE called EZ robotics or something. If I can clear that up I'm pretty much buying it.

Protowrxs's picture
I would definitely ask if this comes with the receiver though. I do not see one in the pics but surely it does... But I would validate for sure as that is cheaper than the other links I've seen for similar looking camera. Just in case.. Stephen
chickenparmi's picture

I believe you would be able to, as that software acually uses OpenCV. It should come up in windows as a normal webcam device, therefore being capable of reading a stream. Although Ive never bought one, so I dont know. 

Bajdi's picture

I bought a RaspberryPi + cheap USB webcam + USB wifi dongle. Maybe that's an option?

Markamas's picture

It sure is a great way to go, but I just don't have enough space left in my robot for a raspberryPi :( . 

chickenparmi's picture

Im no expert, but if you have a smartphone you could even use that if you wanted too. There is an app on the iPhone called mobiola (http://www.mobiola.com/) which allows you to stream the video from the phone to a computer running the desktop program through a WiFi connection. I used mobiola on an FPV build I did and am also using it now on my newest project, so I can back up its performance. The good thing about this app is that it also streams audio aswell, allowing for some speech recognition aswell for some added functionality. Im guessing that there is a similar app for other makes of phones but I haven't used any. Thats my two cents.