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Author Topic: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?  (Read 5025 times)

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Offline AdminTopic starter

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CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« on: March 11, 2008, 07:31:43 AM »
I'm strongly considering getting the CMUcam3 for my ERP robot.

At $239 its a bit expensive . . .

But it has source code for face detection, some support, and can be reprogrammed without any special hardware. Would be nice to get to play with vision programming without a required PC . . .

datasheet:
http://www.seattlerobotics.com/CMUcam3_datasheet.pdf

Now, I do realize the AVRcam is also reprogrammable and is much cheaper . . . but the support and source code just isn't there. Whats worse is that the creator ignores emails, and his forum blocks new members . . .

Anyone use the CMUcam3 before?

Offline hgordon

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2008, 09:36:28 PM »
I looked at the design, as it's based on a 60MHz ARM7.  Frame rate and computing power is somewhat limited, but they've done a good job with the software. 

You might also want to take a look at our Blackfin board - it's less expensive, but features a 500MHz processor with 32MB SDRAM that supports DMA transfer from the 1.3Mpix camera at 200Mbytes per second.  We've already programmed a fair set of vision functions, with a lot more in the works, including optical flow.  There are already 4-5 groups at CMU that are working with these boards.
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Offline JesseWelling

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2008, 10:35:54 PM »
Just looking at the specs, I'd go with the Surveyor.  :P

Offline siempre.aprendiendo

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 03:04:16 AM »
I looked at the design, as it's based on a 60MHz ARM7.  Frame rate and computing power is somewhat limited, but they've done a good job with the software. 

You might also want to take a look at our Blackfin board - it's less expensive, but features a 500MHz processor with 32MB SDRAM that supports DMA transfer from the 1.3Mpix camera at 200Mbytes per second.  We've already programmed a fair set of vision functions, with a lot more in the works, including optical flow.  There are already 4-5 groups at CMU that are working with these boards.

It looks very interesting, but price is 2x/3x than cmucam3  :-\

Sorry, I confused the Surveyor SRV-1 Blackfin Robot with the SRV-1 Blackfin Camera Board :-[
It's only 195$, cmucam3 $239


« Last Edit: March 13, 2008, 01:51:21 PM by siempre.aprendiendo »

Offline Steve Joblin

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2008, 07:15:45 AM »
have you looked at www.roborealm.com

you can use any inexpensive webcam and the free roborealm software running on your PC does all the video processing.

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2008, 07:28:08 AM »
Quote
It looks very interesting, but price is 2x/3x than cmucam3

Actually, its $195, which is less than the $239 CMUcam3:
http://surveyor-corporation.stores.yahoo.net/srblcabo.html

It has tons more features than the CMUcam3, too. But I just sent a long email railing hgordon on the current lack of Blackfin documentation :P

(FYI: the CMUcam website has been down for the last day)

Quote
you can use any inexpensive webcam and the free roborealm software running on your PC does all the video processing.

Putting a laptop on my 3 lb robot is entirely not optimal. Huge power drain, really heavy, and big. And a wireless connection is another layer of complication, and not allowed for a competition I'm entering my ERP in.

And a slightly unrelated question . . . for both the CMUcam and Blackfin . . . anyone know where I can buy a ribbon cable made for those cameras? I want to put the circuit board inside my bot, with only the camera on the pan tilt servos. And yes, I realize I can wire it pin by pin manually. But I prefer to be professional with a reliable nice looking ribbon cable :P

Offline hgordon

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2008, 10:32:16 AM »
Right - it's $195, and there is an available 10% education discount.  There is also a wide angle lens set - http://www.surveyor.com/blackfin/lens-set.jpg -  that is worth considering.

I haven't found a good solution for ribbon cables.  I got a quote from Samtec for cables, and they came in around $100, so I didn't pursue it.  I believe our Omnivision OV9655 camera has the same AA format pinout as the board used by CMUcam.

No excuses with regard to documentation, but we're moving in that direction with the wiki at http://www.surveyor.com/docs/ , though it has giant gaping holes.
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Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2008, 12:33:25 PM »
Quote
I haven't found a good solution for ribbon cables.  I got a quote from Samtec for cables, and they came in around $100, so I didn't pursue it.  I believe our Omnivision OV9655 camera has the same AA format pinout as the board used by CMUcam.

16 pin 2 rows, right? $100 each? $100k?

Mouser didn't have anything, and this is all digikey had (only 5 left, too!):
http://search.digikey.com/scripts/DkSearch/dksus.dll?Detail?name=C3AAT-1618M-ND
(will that cable work? can't find a datasheet or pic of it)

What was the Samtec part #?

Doing a search on 'AA format' didn't bring up anything useful.

Offline siempre.aprendiendo

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 01:40:40 PM »
Right - it's $195, and there is an available 10% education discount.  There is also a wide angle lens set - http://www.surveyor.com/blackfin/lens-set.jpg -  that is worth considering.

I haven't found a good solution for ribbon cables.  I got a quote from Samtec for cables, and they came in around $100, so I didn't pursue it.  I believe our Omnivision OV9655 camera has the same AA format pinout as the board used by CMUcam.

No excuses with regard to documentation, but we're moving in that direction with the wiki at http://www.surveyor.com/docs/ , though it has giant gaping holes.


Oops, sorry. I confused the Surveyor SRV-1 Blackfin Robot with the SRV-1 Blackfin Camera Board


Offline siempre.aprendiendo

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2008, 01:42:41 PM »
have you looked at www.roborealm.com

you can use any inexpensive webcam and the free roborealm software running on your PC does all the video processing.


Yes, thanks. It's what I'm using now :)

Offline hgordon

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2008, 01:53:01 PM »
$100 each. Samtec HDR-135142-01-HHSC

I looked at Digikey, but I can't tell whether the pin sizes would be right with any of those cables.  Actually, an interesting idea would be to use the rounded conductor flat cables at the bottom of page 56 - it looks like it would be pretty easy to solder these to 32-pin male and female headers, e.g. get 4 x WM08-06A-ND to build a 6-inch cable.

AA format is what you get when you buy an eval camera board from Omnivision, so it has emerged as an unpublished standard. You can see the connector pinout for the AA format here - 
    http://www.surveyor.com/blackfin/AA9655-schematic.jpg
though note the pin numbering is reversed between even and odd

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Offline klims

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2009, 08:08:51 PM »
I know this is an old thread, but it seems like a better idea to reply here than starting a new thread...

Admin: how did you go finding a ribbon cable to suit the Blackfin? I would also like to be able to have only the camera mounted up top instead of the whole unit.
I'm probably wrong, but it looks like I could 'trim' and IDE cable to suit...

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2009, 08:13:03 PM »
Admin: how did you go finding a ribbon cable to suit the Blackfin? I would also like to be able to have only the camera mounted up top instead of the whole unit.
I'm probably wrong, but it looks like I could 'trim' and IDE cable to suit...
I spoke with hgordon about this last year, but we were unable to find a decent (affordable) solution.

Offline klims

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2009, 08:48:55 PM »
I spoke with hgordon about this last year, but we were unable to find a decent (affordable) solution.

Does this mean you gave up on the idea completely?
Do you think an IDE or the mini IDE cables might suit?

Offline AdminTopic starter

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2009, 09:07:38 PM »
Does this mean you gave up on the idea completely?
Do you think an IDE or the mini IDE cables might suit?
Well, there is a chance something new has come out since. Or, you can wire up your own cable. I was just too lazy to do that . . . I'm still interested, I just have other higher priorities right now. ;D

Offline hgordon

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Re: CMUcam3, anyone used it before?
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2009, 09:45:13 PM »
There's a long discussion about this on our forum about extended cables for the Blackfin camera -
    http://www.surveyor.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1248945140

Bottom line is that it depends on which camera we use - OV7725 or OV9655.  With the OV7725, I had no trouble extending 18" and one user has a 36" cable.  With the OV9655, the limit seems to be around 12"
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