Adding pan and tilt to a webcam

[Brent] and his wife wanted a way to provide more family time for Grandparents that lived far away. They tried a webcam, but their daughter just didn’t oblige by staying in the frame. Instead of chasing her around the room with with the camera¬†he added pan and tilt features to the device. He settled on IR control using a common television remote, similar to our USB remote control receiver tutorial except that it drives servo motors instead of forwarding signals over the serial connection. [Brent] used a Picaxe 08M, connecting two servos together as a base on top of the project box. If you try this yourself there’s a lot of room to grow. Once you’ve assembled the hardware it wouldn’t be too hard to make this web enabled so that Grandpa can click on a web interface to look around the room.

11 thoughts on “Adding pan and tilt to a webcam

  1. Ultimately you could allow control over the internet, perhaps using serial from the PC which would host a page with controls. Grandpa could then pan and tilt adding an extra bit of interactivity.

  2. For web-based steering, an alternative would be a couple of Phidgets-controlled servos via one of their language interfaces, Java or Python being the most obvious. They used to support Perl, but I didn’t put enough work into a CGI to get it working remotely.

  3. Thanx for the code. I needed some good code for servos. I plan to translate it to freebasic and use the parallel port for servo control. Give the web server something else to do.

  4. I’ve used paired servos for a P/T camera mount and it works remarkably well.
    I worked my own up and used it on a couple of wheeled ROVs with great success.

  5. Weird Deja-vu, I actually just finished my own version of this kind of thing yesterday: http://stonelinks.org/archives/856

    Unfortunately it is more me ranting about an idea I had, but you get the basic idea of what is going on from the pictures. If people are interested I’d do a tech write up / provide code.

    I’m using php (sorry everyone) to communicate with the MC, mjpg-streamer for the video feed, and ajax/jquery to make everything look awesome. I have plans to expand the whole thing out into an awesome robot if I get time over winter break.

  6. just use two pir motion sensors to actually track the girl. It’s in the 101 spy gadgets for evil geniuses book. (page 90)

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