Let's Make Robots!

NerdCam3D has arrived

Hi folks,

it really has been a while, my last post is months ago. But in the meantime I have made major progress. First of all I have bought an Axial Wraith, a RC-car that offers lots of hardpoints to mount and attach devices. Then some guy from the Geman FPV-community made a small GRP-case for the camera. In this way I was able to crawl through my backyard in FPV for the first time (see 1st attached video).

First trials with new 3D-camera attached to Zeiss Cinemizer Plus

Hi there,

As I have announced in my last post this one is going to be on the first trials of my new 3D stereoscopic camera
module. But before we start let's first take a look on the hardware.

A Preview on the NerdConv1

Today my wife went to the cinema with my kids and I took the resulting moment of quietness at home to build up two new NerdCam1 modules. I wanted to have them ready as the new base PCB for the NerdConv1 - my new video side-by-side converter - is approaching.

The two new cams with customized optics and spacers for firm attachment

NerdCam1 - Something I have been waiting for...

With this post I would like to introduce to you my latest creation - the NerdCam1. You might wonder why to take the risk to self-develop a CMOS-camera module when there are plenty of other commercial modules available, with a wide price range, with different features, in small sizes. The point is, I personally did not find a commercial and affordable board camera module that fits all my needs for stereoscopic vision, where camera synchronization is a big issue among other aspects like a documented I2C-interface.

OMFG - It's Stereoscopic, Baby!

After about 8 months part-time development, after many VHDL-related headache, after lots of failures, after few successful moments, after anger, after surpises and finally with a big portion of luck I am today very proud to annouce the first working proof-of-concept for live stereoscopic vision using two CMOS camera modules, the Zeiss Cinemizer Plus video eyewear and of cause with my DIY side-by-side encoder.

How to synchronise two CMOS Camera Modules for Stereo Vision

It has been a while since my last posting on this topic. In the meantime I made significant progress as you can see here:

Video Encoding with CS4954


I have some new and interesting stuff to share. The attached photos demonstrate my progress with generating baseband video signals (CVBS or composite video) for wireless transmission (see my other blog posts). As I finally realised that video stream editing at 27MHz data rate (towards stereoscopic vision) is hardly possible with the Parallax Propeller, I turned over to hardware editing. In the first step I thought I should start with discrete logic IC's but a colleague of mine "persuaded" me to use an FPGA. Well, he was definitely right.

Getting angry about the availability of electronic components in Europe?

Hi there,

it has been a while and I am still working on the stereoscopic vision issue for my small robot. Meanwhile I learnt, that the Parallax Propeller chip is by far to slow to handle and stream-edit an BT.656 conforming digital video stream, at least for what I have in mind. Therefore I am now working on a hardware-based video filter made of discrete components - a poor man's FPGA, so to say.

Decision on RF video link form robot to handset

This afternoon I finally realised, that transmitting baseband video via two XBee transceiver modules with their maximum data rate of 250kbps is simply not feasible, or well not to an acceptable quality. I read some chapers of Adrew LaMoth's book on the Hydra Game development plattform and some stuff on Wikipedia in order to understand the basics of NTSC and then I made a small calculation:

First Trials with Propeller Video Output

Today I have got a 2.5" TFT-LCD-Display I bought on ebay for 17€ exluding shipping fee. See my first results in getting video out of the Propeller onto the display in the attached film.