AVRcam for small robot machine vision

It’s neat how a project from 2004 can still be relevant if it’s done really well. This is the case with AVRcam.  It uses an Atmel AVR mega8 and can do some pretty impressive things, like track up to eight objects at 30fps. The hardware and software is also open source, so it should be possible to build one yourself. There are many projects like it on the internet, though often they require much beefier hardware. Although, these days you can fit a computer inside a match box, so we see more and more projects just throwing a full USB camera on a robot to do simple things like line following.  It’s debatable which solution is more elegant, but maybe not which one is more impressive.

Comments

  1. Boricua says:

    Great and interesting.

  2. nes says:

    Neat. I think it could be updated to get rid of the extra ATTiny to bootstrap the clock output. The modern line of AVRs can do dynamic clock switching in software so can start up on internal RC and switch to external once the camera has been set up.

    Omnivision cameras are in a lot of PDAs and cellphones but getting datasheets is near impossible without an NDA.

  3. Muzza says:

    holy crap thats simply amazing! considering the amount of computing power and ram that mega8 has I think tracking 8 colour objects at 30fps is pretty dam cool… considering a single frame is ~30KB and the little micro only has 1K ram.

    I am always impressed at the level of functionality that can be squeezed out of devices with limited cpu and memory resources..

    This project has inspired me to once again look at motion tracking with an 8 bit micro.

  4. Jonathan Wilson says:

    Great looking robot and good use of the LEGO motors.

    Only problem with replicating project is that those wheels are hard to find these days (that silver one at the front especially)

  5. noah vawter says:

    This is a great project… I especially love that little DIP chip that does video grabbing. holy crap!

  6. ewertz says:

    @Jonathan Wilson

    That’s not the only problem with cloning it. The Comedia camera module that was used with this (and a number of other projects) has been discontinued. The replacement is, eh… semi-compatible, but is about 50% more expensive than the model it replaces (maybe $75 vs $50).

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