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Recommend a wireless camera
Jose  [4 posts]
10 years
I want to get a wireless camera to mount on a robot, but i have not been able to choose one.  I like those micro cameras (like the one used on the NXT ball picker tutorial) but I've read that they are not very reliable.  On the other hand, wireless web cams have better image quality but need to be plugged in to the power supply.

Can you share your experiences with your particular wireless camera and make any recommendations?

Thanks,

Jose
Camera Recommendations
Anonymous
10 years
Hi Jose,

Yes, we agree with your option on the small NTSC type transmitter cameras .. they are really nice and small, low power but don't give a reliable video signal. (We even developed a "reception module" to try to deal with that issue.

The other cams like the DLink and Axis Cameras are probably the more frequently used internet cams. We have serveral DLink wireless cams and really like the picture but have also had issues with reliability.

I think that logictech also has a wireless cam but we've not had a chance to experiment with that one yet. So, in fact, the camera issue is still an issue even for us and we find that each project seems to like different cameras for different reasons so there really isn't one that fits all.

It also really depends on what you're willing to spend. It seems that cost really does make a different in terms of image quality, color, lighting, etc.

If you have a list ... post them here. Perhaps we and others can comment on experiences with certain cameras.

STeven.
web cam
Tom Amara  [13 posts]
10 years
I have a X-10 model no. XC19A remote camera that uses 4 aa batteries. It has built in wireless transmitter but it runs at 2.4GHz. I do not know if that helps. It works great on my train set mounted on a flat car. The only problem might be Bluetooth conflicts, ( may slow thinks down just a tad if you use bluetooth to connect to your remote hardware. Anyway they can be seen at www.x10.com .

Tom Newbie
Anonymous 10 years
The Axis cameras look nice but they are so pricey!  I guess i'll have to compromise on the image quality/reliability to lower my cost.  In any case, i was wondering if anyone had video footage of their cameras mounted on a robot so i can compare image quality.

Thanks,

Jose
Jon Hylands from Canada  [3 posts] 10 years
I'm using this camera:

http://www.inesun.com/list_1.asp?id=2639

$125 USD for a wireless CCD camera is a pretty good deal. That price includes shipping anywhere in the world.

I would recommend getting a couple decent 2.4 GHz antennas to replace the ones the camera & receiver come with - they are not great.

I made a little video of the camera feeding through RoboRealm:

http://www.bioloid.info/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=MicroRaptor+Vision

- Jon
Jose  [4 posts] 10 years
The video looks pretty good.  I order one of the cameras and i can't wait for it to get here.  Also, the MicroRaptor renderings look very interesting.

Thanks!
Robert Waters from United States  [2 posts] 10 years
Here's a really cheap and small serial output cam. I'm planning on using it with a WiPort 802.11 module for my robot vision.
http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2027/.f?sc=8&category=233
Jon Hylands from Canada  [3 posts] 10 years
That digital camera is one I looked at for a while, but decided I couldn't get the kind of vision processing out of that I wanted to do.

Note that you can (in spite of what the documentation says) actually run that at 921 Kbps, so you can grab frames at a decent rate if you're Wiport can handle that rate.

- Jon
Robert Waters from United States  [2 posts] 10 years
I want pretty basic vision functions and my robot (Robonova) won't support a big camera. The WiPort does run at up to 921,600 bps.
Anonymous 10 years
Jon,
How reliable is the wireless link on this camera? I need my robot to be able to roam my house which is made of bricks and mortar. In reading some of the other posts it would appear that connectivity is often the weak link with many wireless cameras.

Thanks

Ian
Jon Hylands from Canada  [3 posts] 10 years
Ian,

Honestly, I don't know - I haven't tested it much, and my house is wood, so I couldn't tell in any case. I wouldn't say that its great - from 25 feet away its already starting to get noisy, but that may be a function of interference with my wifi system as well. When I first set it up, I had to switch the channel my router was using, because every time I turned on the camera, my internet connection would drop:-/

- Jon
Wireless Cam
Anonymous
10 years
Hi All,

Just came across another supplier that appears to actually have the camera we used in the ball picker tutorial. At $50.00 it still seems like a good price. We'll probably pick up another one just cause they are so small and run quite well from a 9V battery. Note as previously mentioned they are not perfect cameras in that the reception can become quite fuzzy and distorted ... but you can't expect too much given the price.

http://www.superdroidrobots.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=187&catid=36

Making the camera decision is a hard choice. If you need very high reliability (i.e. you are running a very expensive robot) then buy an expensive camera (like one of the DLink cameras) but if you're just using it for fun as a hobby then the above camera should suffice (just make sure you have a very steady hand when tuning the receiver). Like CPU's camera's will continue to get cheaper and better all the time!

If anyone else has cameras they like please post them here ... esp. any good internet based cameras.

STeven.
Ian Drennan from South Africa  [9 posts] 10 years
Jon
Thanks for the feedback on the wireless link reliability. Will be interested to hear what you find once you get to experiment more.

Your project with stereo vision looks very interesting.

In the meantime I am learning much with various filters using a fixed ceiling mounted web cam.  So far I have managed to get my robot to navigate with plus minus 1 pixel resolution (7mm). Consistent lighting is still an issue to be addressed however.

Steve

Thanks for the camera link.

Ian
Anonymous 10 years
Having just started with RR, I also bought a wireless camera.  My question is how did you get the video feed into the computer?  I have used a wintv card that accepts composite video from an external source. I get the picture on the computer screen but RR doesn't have a format for the wintv card.  
Anonymous 10 years
This is a common problem.

What model of winTV card did your purchase?

Try changing the format of the winTV card to something that RR likes. Do this by clicking on Options Button->Video Tab->Video Format Button and you should then see a dropdown list that shows several formats. Can you try to select something like RGB or YUV. If not can you post which formats you see in that list?

STeven.

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