Wireless Camera Recommendation
Steve Woodrough from United States  [47 posts]
10 year
I have a Robo Magellan bot to which I would like to add a vision system. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Njh77bur4aQ  I'm a ME with limited programming experience using SPIN and the Parallax Propeller chip.   I have used RR to control servos via XB through my laptop mouse, so the back side of the goal is covered.

Since the truck chassis is already loaded down with battery and all the other stuff I thought it would be best to add a light weight FPV camera system to the Bot, transmit video to RR on a laptop, and have RR transmit steering and throttle signals to the bot via XB.  I’m not looking to do any really long range work; 100 m or less would be the full limit of video range required.  

I have considered FPV camera systems used by the RC guys but this approach seems overkill in the range department, and I’ll need a video A-D converter to get the signal into RR on the laptop.   Since this is just a hobby exercise to learn more about robot vision and exercise the brain, I really do not want to dump $700 into GoPro cameras and 5.8 GHz systems.  

Any recommendations for wireless cameras that are most easy to integrate in RR, decent frame rate updates, and at a reasonable cost?  

Best Regards,
Steven Gentner from United States  [1446 posts] 10 year

Since you seem to have a handle on embedded devices, I'd go with a regular webcam of my chosing and use a TP-Link WR703 flashed with openWRT to stream back an image. You could also then use it to connect to the Parallax and stream serial commands using ser2net to the device. This is a more complex route but also more flexible if you are comfortable with OpenWRT/Linux.

Otherwise, DLink makes some inexpensive wifi cameras that we often use in the FIRST robotic competition. Nothing fancy but image and speed are acceptable. Just saw the D-Link Cloud Camera 1150 for $60 available at some stores. They should work with the DLink module (1150 has not been tested) and if not, the HTTP Read module should suffice.

Steve Woodrough from United States  [47 posts] 10 year
I'm making some progress, but could use a bit of guidance.  I’m way out of my depth when it comes to networking type matters.  I ordered my TP link and got the firm ware updated with OpenWRT from the Chinese version.

So far I have flashed the OpenWRT images below from the original Chinese firmware.  This should be the standard images:


When I log on to the server using IE the firmware is shown as:

Madox TL-WR703N Standard 35706_2013-02-23 / LuCI Trunk (trunk+svn9668)

I set up to my wireless router in my home, and got the wwan highlight to turn green.   It looks like it’s connected.  
Uptime: 0h 33m 12s
MAC-Address: 0C:82:68:DD:CB:4A
RX: 574.73 KB (2747 Pkts.)
TX: 1.26 KB (5 Pkts.)

I added the following instruction set to the Open WRT start up menu:

mjpg_streamer -i "input_uvc.so -d /dev/video0 -r 640x480 -f 25" -o "output_http.so -p 8080 -w /www/webcam"&

The above allows me to view camera images over a wired connection at using Google Chrome, although I do not have the foggiest notion of what much of the above means.  I’m just following instructions from a few different websites.  

MY Questions are:

How do I view the video over the wireless connection?  Currently if I have the network cable plugged  into my laptop and TP-Link and in Chrome I address I can view the image. If I unplug the network cable and in Chrome I address :8080 (IP assigned by my home router) I get nothing.   There is some detail I’m missing.  

How do I configure RoboRealm to process (“see”) the video over either the wireless connection once I get that to work.  

Steve Woodrough from United States  [47 posts] 10 year

I’m so close to having this done.  Just one last push for the finish.

I have wireless video from my old Logitech QuickCam 5000 through my TP-Link flashed with OpenWRT.  It’s been a heck of an odyssey to this point given my lack of background in these sort of matters.  

I’m trying to use the RoboRealm Read HTTP Read module to view the video stream.  Following the HTTP Read documentation I determined that the video source from the TP Link server is: <img src="/?action=stream" />   this matches the source snippet advice shown in the OpenWRT server.

My TP link IP is

My question is what information and where do I place it in the HTTP Read dialog box?

I tried making the URL:<img src="/?action=stream" />   but that did not work.  I tried putting <img src="/?action=stream" />   in the HTTP headers sections but that did not work.  
I tried URL: and did succeed in getting Logitch QuickCam Pro 5000 to show up in the RoboRealm 2.58.7 header so some data is getting through.  

I’m grasping at straws, can anyone provide a bit guidance?

Once we get this done I will document and post.

Best Regards and Merry Christmas.  
Steven Gentner from United States  [1446 posts] 10 year

Good job so far!! You're almost there indeed.


as the url in HTTP Read module.

Steve Woodrough from United States  [47 posts] 10 year
24 December 2013
Last night I had an epiphany and tried /?action=stream …works great.  Thank you.  Below are some notes in case anyone else wants to give this a go.  The notes are just rambling reminders and are NO substitute for the online links and tutorials.  
Below are my notes on integrating the TP-Link TL-WR703N wireless router running OpenWrt and RoboRealm.   I prepared this as a supplement to the tutorials at:
Specifically setting up wireless net work:
and webcam streaming:
I came to this project with extremely limited experience in net work and IP’s.  I’m a gear head by nature and training, the point is, if I can do it, you can too.  
Follow the instructions in the above links.  Read, read, read.  There are many details covered above and on the websites.
Determine your original firmware version.  Watch out for version 1.7.   In my case TP-Link build I ordered from Deal Extreme corresponded to a version 1.6 firmware.
From the Madox site there are 2 bin files.  FOLLOW the instructions and load the factory FIRST then the upgrade, otherwise you risk bricking the device.  Factory overrides the Chinese firmware, and upgrade seems to get installed on top of that.        
Follow the instructions for connecting to wireless network.
Once you are into the device you will need to add a bit of code to the startup section to activate the camera.  In my case I am using a Logitech QuickCam Pro 5000 so I entered:  All this came from the online documentation.

mjpg_streamer -i "input_uvc.so -d /dev/video0 -r 640x480 -f 25" -o "output_http.so -p 8080 -w /www/webcam"&

in the startup section:
# Put your custom commands here that should be executed once
# the system init finished. By default this file does nothing.

exit 0

Next we have to assign IP’s to the devices.  

****The wired and the wireless IP’s in OpenWrt need to be on separate subnets.****  

For my setup:
Home net work is:,  that from Chrome along with ID and PW gets me into my Netgear wireless home router. is the office desktop which has wired connection to the router above is wife’s laptop
A few other similar IP’s are other in house devices is the IP of the wireless TP link previously configured with an IP assigned by the router.  

After some effort and a bit of a learning curve, here is the configuration for Windows 7:

Laptop wired IP     : (2.100 my choice)
Laptop wireless IP : assigned by home router

TP wire IP         : (2.21 arbitrary)
TP wireless IP     : assigned by home router

Within Open wrt in the start up section I have:

usbipd –D              #from the Madox tutorial  Not truly needed for my purpose
usbip bind -b 1-1          #from the Madox tutorial  Not truly needed for my purpose

mjpg_streamer -i "input_uvc.so -d /dev/video0 -r 640x480 -f 25" -o "output_http.so -p 8080 -w /www/webcam"&

Upon rebooting I can view the video stream via Chrome at

Once that is done I can view the video on the wired connection via Chome at: or via wireless at:

Now we have to configure RR:

Use Load Read HTTP module.  

Set URL to:

And voila, wireless video into RR!  

I did need to go back and modify the start up instructions to reduce the frame rate to 15 fps, it now looks like:

mjpg_streamer -i "input_uvc.so -d /dev/video0 -r 640x480 -f 15" -o "output_http.so -p 8080 -w /www/webcam"&
Below are some other useful links.  
Steve Woodrough from United States  [47 posts] 10 year
Attached is the video of the project completion to date.  


Best Regards,
Tomytha from United Kingdom  [2 posts] 10 year
Hello Steve,

The method you have explained above is very very beneficial. I have got to the stage where i can successfully stream mjpg video stream

but once I set url to into the send http module - i do not get a video into the RR ( i get a blank screen with no error message).

Please could you help me with this?

Steve Woodrough from United States  [47 posts] 10 year
try taking out the :8080 I use:

Best Regards
Tomytha from United Kingdom  [2 posts] 10 year
Thank you Steve,

Its all working now !


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