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Author Topic: Looking for cameras  (Read 3377 times)

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Offline NyxTopic starter

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Looking for cameras
« on: February 06, 2007, 11:57:04 AM »
Hello to all,

I posted here several months ago about my robot building project, which is going to be based around my laptop. Well, I now finally have my laptop, and started ordering parts and looking at options. I plan on using two webcams to obtain stereo vision, and implement the system under linux so I can program things on my workstation and easily compile them remotely on the laptop in the robot.

Hence, I basically need to settle on a webcam to use. My basic criteria is that it should work under linux. It should also support USB 2.0. I would ideally like something that can produce a quality image at 320x240, with a frame rate of 30 FPS, ideally with as little motion blur as possible.

So far I found this: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2456643&CatId=130
Apparently it works with some linux "UVC" driver, but I don't know if that supports USB 2.0, I don't think it is.

Some people have suggested firewire cameras, but I only have one firewire port on my laptop, so this is just not going to work...

Does anyone know of a USB 2.0 webcam that is truly supported on Linux (with USB 2.0 speeds, not USB 1.1)?

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Re: Looking for cameras
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 12:43:41 PM »
just a thought . . .

you may want to search for source code already available, and then buy the webcam for that source

Offline dunk

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Re: Looking for cameras
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 03:14:07 PM »
hi Nyx,
so i did exactly the same thing a while back.
after a bit of research i found that the some of the Logitech QuickCams are indeed supported using the spca5xx driver.
http://mxhaard.free.fr/spca5xx.html
looks like yours isn't though.

i can't comment on any other Linux webcam drivers as i've never used any other but here's how i got on with the spca5xx in case that influences your decision any...

so, i ended up with a Logitech QuickCam Express II for around $20 each
and a Logitech QuickCam chat for around $30.
both are comparable to each other quality wise with the QuickCam chat giving slightly better colour.
they both do up to 640 x 480 pixels and are USB2.

the cameras are both hot pluggable on my laptop running ubuntu and ran on a machine running fedora with out too many problems if i remember correctly.
the spca5xx driver wasn't too difficult to install on the embedded processor that's on board my latest bot either.

output from dmesg after plugging them both into my laptop:
Code: [Select]
[17705453.572000] usb 2-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 56
[17705453.900000] Linux video capture interface: v1.00
[17705453.992000] drivers/usb/media/spca5xx/spca5xx-main.c: USB SPCA5XX camera found.Logitech QuickCam Express II(SPCA561A)
[17705454.000000] usbcore: registered new driver spca5xx
[17705454.000000] drivers/usb/media/spca5xx/spca5xx-main.c: spca5xx driver 00.57.08 registered
[17705640.568000] usb 2-2: USB disconnect, address 56
[17705646.100000] usb 2-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 57
[17705646.240000] drivers/usb/media/spca5xx/spca5xx-main.c: USB SPCA5XX camera found.Logitech QuickCam chat (SPCA561A)

let us know how you get on!

dunk.

Offline NyxTopic starter

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Re: Looking for cameras
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 10:09:34 PM »
Thanks Dunk. That's very much the kind of info I was looking for. Just out of curiosity though, why unpaired cameras? Is there an issue with installing two of the same camera?


**********EDIT:

On a side note, I just checked out the Quickcam chat (http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2456644&CatId=130), and it says it has a 352x288 CMOS... Plus it's "USB 2.0 certified"..., and not USB 2.0 :(
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 10:11:34 PM by Nyx »

Offline dunk

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Re: Looking for cameras
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 03:03:51 AM »
hey Nyx,
so i shouldn't have said "exactly the same thing". i meant i was looking for easy to use Linux compatible USB webcams.
so i'm not using those 2 cameras together. my on board computer won't have enough processing power to work on 2 real time images at once. (as to why i got 2, one took ages to arrive so i got boared and ordered a 2nd....)
i'll be using the Parallax technique with a single camera for laser ranging.
http://www.seattlerobotics.org/encoder/200110/vision.htm

as you are wanting to do stereo vision i would try and get 2 identical cameras.

as for the Quickcam chat, my system definitely registers it as USB2. i think it will do either USB1 or USB2.
my laptop happily gets close to 30fps from it which wouldn't happen with a USB1 device.

dunk.

Offline NyxTopic starter

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Re: Looking for cameras
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2007, 07:23:02 PM »
Well I bought two Quickcam Notebook Pro, USB 2.0, 1.3 MP last night. They are supported under linux. Now I just have to manage to build a platform to hold them perfectly parallel.

Offline dunk

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Re: Looking for cameras
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2007, 01:21:25 PM »
cool.
keep us informed about how you get on.
there's always quite a lot of interest in peoples machine vision projects.
mine has been stalled for a while now, waiting on me finishing my USB peripheral controllers so it has a bot to drive round on.

dunk.

 


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