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Color object tracking with an 8-bit microcontroller

[Craig] sent in a link to this project which manages to implement color tracking on an 8-bit microcontroller at 60 frames per second. That’s some pretty incredible performance, but we’re also not talking about using a hobby-grade microcontroller. The C8051F360 is an ARM microcontroller with 100 MIPS throughput and with a system clock that can operate at up to 100 MHz. You also must consider that the chip will be able to do nothing else while in the tracking mode. Even with those gotchase, it’s still pretty incredible.

The setup uses an Omnivision OV7720 camera module. It has its own 24 MHz clock, which is used as the clock signal on the microcontroller’s PLL to generate a 96 MHz system clock. The code, which is written in a combination of C and assembly language, pushes captured tracking data to a PC via a serial port connection. After the break you can watch a bare-bones demo video that illustrates what the camera sees and what data shows up on the PC.

If you had the system in hand, what would you use it for? Perhaps it’s a perfect addition to that paintball sentry gun at which you’ve been hacking away?

Comments

  1. Tywin says:

    For the record, a C8051F360 is, as the name suggests, an 8051 microcontroller, not an ARM.

  2. sqkybeaver says:

    the c8051f360 is an intel 8051 variant manufactured by silicon labratories

  3. Ferdinand says:

    The C8051F360 is not an ARM processor but an 8051 derivative (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/8051).

  4. Jim says:

    The C8051F360 is an 8051 core MCU, not at ARM.

  5. dan says:

    you know what. now i may be wrong… but i think it’s not an arm. but i mean i don’t know alll those fellas seem to think it needs to be reiterated^

  6. Tom says:

    So who reads the comments before blindly posting?

    (not many people…)

    That’s some damn impressive performance there, not bad for a £6 processor…

  7. someone says:

    Yo, I heard the C8051F360 is not an ARM, but in-fact an 8051 derivative.

    What’s with the wood-paneling theme on Hackaday, or is that just me?

  8. astro73 says:

    So he built a CMUcam? While cool, color tracking alone has some very serious limitations and doesn’t necessarily work well in the real world in my experience.

  9. NsN says:

    Apparently someone is trying out different templates for the site, i saw one other template before it changed back to normal

  10. Colecoman1982 says:

    Hey, I can’t remember where I saw it, but I’m pretty sure the 8051 isn’t an ARM processor.

  11. Looks like Mike Szczys got some of the facts wrong. Here’s the original post that this article is taken from: http://chipsight.com/easy-eye-silabs-camera/

  12. Hey thanks for all the comments on my project!

    I am designing for a $2 (BOM) vision system including processor. Some of the methods I use on other projects include no frame buffers and no random-order memory accesses, so no DMA needed. Check out the ChipSight slides: http://ChipSight.com/chipsight-slides/

    If a microcontroller like the F360 (or Stellaris or MSP430) had a pixel-processing peripheral, you would get the best of both worlds – easy, low-cost, low-power vision with high resolution, high frame rate, multiple object targeting.

    Here is a short tutorial on consumer vision:
    http://chipsight.com/computer-vision-for-everyone/

    Right not I am building a camera module (4Cam) with a $10 BOM, includes camera and pixel processing. Connect it to your microcontroller via I2C. The main idea being that for vision functions you want object information from the image, not pixels.

  13. Ray Moore says:

    Might have to see if I can hack his code up to run on an AVR I might I might. No way I could do 60fps but I bet I could do 2 to 5 fps on a 20MHz AVR without too much trouble. Time to start HACKING!

  14. o says:

    >gotchase

    Goat cheese?

  15. Hitek146 says:

    “>gotchase

    Goat cheese?”

    LOL..
    Should be “gotya’s” or “gotcha’s”.
    Short slang for “Got you at a disadvantage”…

  16. Hitek146 says:

    ^And, yes, the apostrophes are inappropriate, but I wanted to isolate the root word… :)

  17. ewertz says:

    @Ray Moore

    Pretty much done years ago.

    http://www.jrobot.net/Projects/AVRcam.html

  18. pRoFlT says:

    i love how people are pointing out the avr 8051 thing. the first couple posts all happened at the same time. dont you read posts first!

    Anyways cool project. i have the f320 model of that chip. maybe i can get the code working on it..

  19. My graduation project should have the same Idea

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