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January 20, 2009
about 3 years ago
All the issues you mentioned are clearly talked about in the documentation. The CMUcam4 is not designed to take pictures. The picture taking functionality is simply for debugging purposes so that you can figure out the color you want to track. It’s not a point and shoot camera. The reason the image is distorted is because the image is built out of multiple lines of consecutive frames. This means you can only take images looking at still objects in stable lighting.
Once you take an image you can figure out what color you want to track using the eye dropper tool in MS Paint for example. You can then feed that color back into the camera to track. Once you do this you can start to track colors really nicely.
Picking the color you want to track is the hard part. You can switch to YUV mode to get around lighting problems that come with using RGB mode.
The CMUcam4 is much easier to use with an Arduino Mega because you have multiple serial ports.
The CMUcam4 has a built in PD control loop for doing pan and tilt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ByGZRh62glw
You don’t have to connect the Arduino to the back of the CMUcam4. You can just attach RX, TX, PWR, and GND wires and you’ll be good to go.
Regular servos respond slowly, however, some digital servos would likely be needed to work really fast.
There’s an IR filter on the camera so that it can track colors outside - this means it won’t be great for IR. Please go to the CMUcam website www.cmucam.org for all the details.
The design purpose of the CMUcam4 is to interface with an Arduino and to add computer vision to an Arduino so that anyone who wants to learn work with simple computer vision can get started using their Arduino.
There are much more powerful alternatives. However, these all require you to move from working on your Arduino over to another platform.
Let’s say you want to add a camera to some robot you are building to track some colored object. You could add a computer or Raspberry Pi, then attach a web cam, then write vision processing code, then figure out how to attach that computer to your Arduino, then figure out the Arduino code, and then finally make your application go.
But, if you just want to program your Arduino and nothing else then the CMUcam4 streamlines the process. If you don’t care about Arduinos then get a Raspberry PI and do whatever you want to do.
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