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CMUcam on a Toddler? — Parallax Forums

CMUcam on a Toddler?

pasimonpasimon Posts: 4
edited 2005-02-23 17:16 in Robotics
I have several questions about the CMUcam that I am hoping that those more experienced than I can answer.· They are, to wit:

1.· Can a CMUcam be mounted on a Toddler without overbalancing the robot?· How about the camera and a pan and tilt mechanism?

2.··Will the camera·system plug directly onto the Toddler prototype board?

3.· Does the BS2 have enough power to do anything interesting with vision?· (light following, edge detection, shape recognition, etc.)?· Would I be able to upload·video to my PC via wire?· Radio?

4.· Can anybody point my to Toddler/Boe-Bot camera application/project information?

5.· What does "CMU" stand for?




  • Tom WalkerTom Walker Posts: 509
    edited 2005-02-14 21:06
    CMU = Carnegie Mellon University

  • allanlane5allanlane5 Posts: 3,815
    edited 2005-02-15 17:28
    The "CMU-Cam" was developed at Carnegie-Mellon University by two undergrads in order to use it during a robotics competition held every spring. They built a cheap CCD camera on a board with a Ubicom SX processor programmed to follow a line, drive a servo to steer the camera, and identify a 'blob' of color in the image and follow it.

    The CMU-Cam does have a serial output that can talk to a program on a PC and generate a picture that can be seen on the PC. I don't think it can go through a BS2 to do this, the BS2 does not have enough horsepower.

    A BS2 CAN make use of the CMU-Cam's ability to tell another processor where the "object of interest" is in the field of view. Line following and color 'blob' following can be done by the BS2. Edge detection and shape identification are better done on the PC.

    Note the Parallax version has been customized a little to simplify interfacing with the BS2 (I think they use a lower baud rate, and +5 Volt RS-232 interface).
  • pasimonpasimon Posts: 4
    edited 2005-02-19 23:56
    Thank you both. I take it from the lack of replies that the CMU-cam/Toddler idea is not very popular. I have read other threads where people have taken web cams apart and done various sorts of interfacing but this is beyond me.

    I was hoping for something that would more or less plug in to a Stamp or Toddler board, wihch I get the impression from Allan that it does. I could deal with on board programming, if it is do-able at all. I would not know how to go about reading a signal into an array on my PC, although if I could get it there I could deal with it in C or Java.
  • JavalinJavalin Posts: 892
    edited 2005-02-23 17:16

    I've been using the CMU2 with the Javalin with some success. Their seems to be three ways to do this:
    1) Use a RF transmitter/reciever to take the pictures from the CMU2 composite feed and display them on a tv like that
    2) Use a seperate dedicated wired/wireless link to the CMU2 direct from the PC at 115K (only way you'll get pictures back in a timely fashion). Or if like me you only have 1 wireless on the robot and several devices you can network them using something like RS485 - but this is not for the faint hearted!
    3) If you only want to use the tracking functions, the Javalin will do this owing to its 255 byte buffered RS232 Virtual Peripheral.

    For pan & tilt, its easy the CMU2 will drive the servo's either from your serial commands or following an object.· Get a pan/tilt kit from

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