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CMOS camera chip + microcontroller = Home made camera

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Hugo Muccho, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. Hugo Muccho

    Hugo Muccho Guest

    I am studying digital electronics and I need to build a low-resolution
    camera unit which can transmit the captured frame over an RS232 comm
    I will use a CMOS camera chip and a low cost microcontroller (ATMega or PIC)
    because of limited student budget.

    Can you tell me if you can see any design tricks/pitfall on this project
    that I need to be aware of?

    Where can I order a low-res CMOS camera chip in Australia?

    Hugo Muccho, Aug 23, 2005
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  2. Hugo Muccho

    Padu Guest

    Do you have to make one or use one? If the second apply, then take a look at
    the CMUCam, they have exactly what you described for an excellent price
    (less than $100 if I'm not mistaken).
    Padu, Aug 23, 2005
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  3. Hugo Muccho

    Dave Guest

    Be aware that there are two basic types of camera chip - those with analogue
    output - ie video, and those with a digital output. If you build something
    that can 'read' video signals, then you can accept input from just about any
    video source. Digital camera chips tend to be much more complex and you
    really need to understand the datasheet. If you are unsure about this kind
    of thing, go for a CMUcam or AVRcam instead.

    If you can find a local distributor for eg Ovonics, you can probably get
    free chip samples - they are so cheap these days that the distributors only
    want to sell you thousands. The bare chips are not particularly easy to work
    with - you will need to be confident with surface mount. By the time you
    have the skills and equipment you need, you will have spent far more than
    simply buying the modules.

    Note that you will also need to add a lens assembly to the basic chip.

    On balance, unless you really want to get into this low level stuff, I'd buy
    camera modules.

    Have fun !
    Dave, Aug 23, 2005
  4. Hugo Muccho

    jro Guest

    I am studying digital electronics and I need to build a low-resolution
    Hi Dave,
    I developed the AVRcam last year that fits this exact specification:
    CMOS image sensor mated to an Atmel mega8 microcontroller. It is
    capable of tracking up to 8 objects of 8 different user-defined colors
    at 30 frames/sec. It can also spit out a complete color image over a
    serial port. Check out:


    for more details. There is also a forums section there that discusses
    what people are doing with the system, and what issues arise with such
    as system.

    Feel free to post any questions you have over at that forum (or here,
    though I check this less frequently). Embedded image processing is
    certainly a fascinating topic (especially when you're trying to do it
    on an 8-bit micro), and it will provide a fun and exciting challenge to

    Good luck,

    John Orlando
    jro, Aug 23, 2005
  5. Hugo Muccho

    Stef Mientki Guest

    Interesting !
    I see you use a resolution of 88 * 144,
    wouldn't then an optical mouse (I think 64*64) also bee enough ?

    Stef Mientki
    Stef Mientki, Aug 23, 2005
  6. Hugo Muccho

    jro Guest

    An optical mouse may be usable for some rudimentary vision tasks, but I
    have no idea how it would actually work for capturing full-color images
    that could then be processed. The 88 x 144 is due to the fact that the
    OV6620 provides a 176 x 144 output format, and then I am decimating the
    data in each row so there is less to process.

    jro, Aug 24, 2005
  7. Hugo Muccho

    blueeyedpop Guest

    The old mice were 16x16x6 bits. New may be different, but possibly not as
    blueeyedpop, Aug 24, 2005
  8. I was unaware of any of this .. .

    Does someone have a URL?

    As someone looking for ultra cheap computer connectable motion detection for
    a security camera, this may be of interest to me


    Luc The Perverse, Aug 24, 2005
  9. Hugo Muccho

    blueeyedpop Guest

    look at agilent's site, look under optical navigation.

    Newer units have 30x30 pixels, larger substrate as well.
    blueeyedpop, Aug 24, 2005
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