Ibrahim KAMAL writes:
Today I am going to talk about low cost and effective image processing for very specific embedded applications. I am not talking about robots recognizing their environment or finding their way to a power plug, but rather using small CMOS camera as better sensor. We have used this technology for various clients in our consulting service, so I am not going to get into the very specifics of any of those applications cause it would be a breach to our NDAs. Still, IKALOGIC aims to educate and share knowledge to the world. Considering that, I thought about writing a short tutorial, showing to beginners how to get started in that rather intimidating field.
CMOS camera as a sensor - [Link]
This is the eagerly awaited 3.0 version of Photoduino. Photoduino is an open source camera controller based on the Arduino platform which you can use to automatically take pictures with your DSLR camera.
It serves as technical support for shooting high speed photos but you can also use it as an intervalometer to make Timelapse videos or for animals and insects photography.
Photoduino is an electronic circuit that is placed on an Arduino board as a Shield taking all the inputs, outputs and power pins. It has all the necessary electronic components and connectors for connecting the camera, flashes and sensors. You can control the shutter and camera autofocus, and you can also trigger two flashes. It also has a sound sensor, a shock/impact sensor and a laser or infrared barrier that can be used to take pictures when you register an event on any of the sensors. The configuration is done entirely through a small LCD screen using only two buttons, so it works independently without the need for a computer (except for firmware updates).
This system currently supports a wide range of DSLR cameras with a remote shutter cable connector.
Both hardware and firmware are completely open (like the Arduino platform on which it is based) and it is released under an open license.
Photoduino – The opensource camera controller based on Arduino - [Link]
Panoramic photography creates fascinating images. Very wide angle images are closer to the human field of view than conventional pictures. If seen through a panoramic viewer they let you experience a location as if you were there.
Panoramic image stitching can create panoramas from pictures taken one after another. Unfortunately, acquiring the images takes a lot of time and moving objects may cause ghosting. It is also difficult to obtain a full spherical panorama, because the downward picture cannot be captured while the camera is mounted on the tripod.
A throwable panoramic camera solves these problems. The camera is thrown into the air and captures an image at the highest point of flight — when it is hardly moving. The camera takes full spherical panoramas, requires no preparation and images are taken instantaneously. It can capture scenes with many moving objects without producing ghosting artifacts and creates unique images. [via]
Panoramic photo? Throw your camera in the air - [Link]
Focus stacking assistant for EOS cameras @ Circuits@Home. [via]
One of my favorite shooting techniques is focus stacking. Many pictures on Circuits@Home site are made using this technique. I use Helicon Focus for post processing and even though this program has camera control built-in, it obviously requires a computer close to the object of shooting. In order to be able to control my camera in the field, I wanted to replace a laptop with simple lightweight controller able to move focus of camera lens and take pictures between steps. In this article, I will show how to build one from Arduino, USB Host Shield and several small parts.
Focus stacking assistant for EOS cameras - [Link]
adafruit.com writes: [via]
This tutorial is for our new TTL serial camera module with NTSC video output. These modules are a nice addition to a microcontroller project when you want to take a photo or control a video stream. The modules have a few features built in, such as the ability to change the brightness/saturation/hue of images, auto-contrast and auto-brightness adjustment, and motion detection.
TTL Serial Camera Tutorial - [Link]
Company, Inc. (Saelig) (www.saelig.com) announces the availability of the C429-RS232 a highly integrated, compact serial and encoded video camera module
This highly integrated, compact serial and encoded video camera module can be attached to any host system requiring an economical video or still camera for embedded imaging applications. The module uses an OmniVision™ CMOS MT9V011 VGA color sensor, matched with a versatile Vimicro VC0706 control chip to provide a complete low cost, low power camera system. C429-RS232 has an on-board RS232 serial interface for direct connection to any host PC system with a COMport for control or image communication. Video output in NTSC or PAL is also simultaneously provided. A built-in hard-wired JPEG codec supports up to 30FPS encoding or decoding with VGA resolution. It can compress the captured video stream to M-JPEG stream and output through the UART interface
C429-RS232 comes in a compact form factor (38mm x 38mm x 25mm) with built-in 60deg lens. Simple serial protocol commands instruct the camera to send 640×480 for viewing or storage. Serial transfer rate is at 115.2Kbps for transferring color or monochrome images in VGA (640×480), QVGA (320 x 240), or QQVGA (160×120) resolution. Real-time video output is provided at 30 fps as CVBS signal, NTSC or PAL. C429-RS232 needs only 80mA from a 5V supply
Vimicro’s VC0706 SoC also offers additional processing functions for economical surveillance applications. Motorless pan/tilt/zoom image functions minimize product size and power consumption, eliminating mechanical maintenance. Auto White Balance (AWB), Auto Exposure (AE), and temporal noise reduction automatically enhance video signals under low-light environments. VC0706 also integrates a JPEG codec and a motion detection engine that enable equipment designers to optimize video transfer and storage.
Applications for C429-RS232 include general purpose embedded imaging and control, security and access control systems, elevator and remote monitoring, robotics and vision, object detection, industrial control, automotive and medical instrumentation, electronic toys and learning systems, etc.
C429-RS232 is available now from Saelig Company. Inc. starting at $39.50$44.50 USD (qty 1). For detailed specifications, free technical assistance, or additional information, please contact (toll-free in the US) 1-888-7SAELIG, via email: email@example.com, or visit www.saelig.com.
C429-RS232 – a highly integrated, compact serial and encoded video camera module - [Link]
Siliconfish used to build IR cameras for a living, so he knows something about the effects light of various IR wavelengths can have on a camera. When his town installed photo cameras on the traffic lights, he decided to experiment with an array of IR LEDs mounted on a license plate frame to see what effect this would have on traffic light cameras. He presents his project details here for educational and research purposes only.
IR LED speed camera license plate blocker – [Link]
A 5-wire unipolar stepper motor (these could also be salvaged from old 5¼” floppy disk drives), ULN2003 IC (stepper motor driver), wire, stripboard (or a solderless breadboard ), solder and DB-25 Male connector (buy these two if you can solder. Soldering is not necessary for doing this project, but it will ensure that your connections are secure), DB25 (female/male) parallel port cable, a multimeter, a power adapter (with voltage rating depending on your motor’s requirements)
New Disposable, Medical Camera Is the Size of a Grain of Salt [via]
Thanks to a German research institute, in the very near future, we may not even see the cameras looking back at us at all.
It may not be news that camera technology is getting smaller, but it is newsworthy when an important milestone is reached. Take the announcement from the German Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration for example. They recently reported the development of a camera with a lens attached that is 1 x 1 x 1.5 millimeters in size, which is the size of a grain of salt. At about a cubic millimeter in size, this camera is right at the size limit that the human eye can see unaided. The camera not only produces decent images but it is also very cheap to manufacture…so cheap in fact that it is considered disposable.
New Disposable, Medical Camera Is the Size of a Grain of Salt – [Link]