[ANN] AVRcam: Real-time image processing engine based on the AVR

Hi All,
I thought I would pass along some information on my latest project: the AVRcam. The AVRcam is a small, low-cost, image processing engine
based on the Atmel mega8 microcontroller. The AVRcam provides the following capabilities: * Track 8 different objects of 8 different user-defined colors at 27 frames/sec * Provide real-time tracked object statistics (color, bounding box, center of object, and more) through a standard serial port (UART) * Tracked image resolution of up to 88 x 144 (at 27 frames/sec) * Low power consumption (the ENTIRE system draws 5V at only 53 mA running at full speed) * Small size (Experimental Version with breadboard area: 3.5" x 3.1" Final Version: 2.3" x 2.0") * In-circuit programmability for expanding its capabilities
In addition, a PC application called AVRcamVIEW supports the AVRcam, allowing the user to test and calibrate the AVRcam. AVRcamVIEW provides the following: * Take full-color snapshots (176 x 144 pixels) with the system and display the images (both raw Bayer data and interpolated data) * Easily create a Color Map of colors to track based on a snapshot (just click on the colors of interest and add them to the Color Map) * Adjust the precision of each tracked color (i.e. provide a range of acceptable R-G-B values for each color), allowing the user to adjust the Color Map to the available lighting conditions * Display the real-time tracking results of each tracked object (with color and bounding box information) * Record a tracking session for playback at a later time * Test the system out in any OS supported by Java 1.4 (Windows, Linux, Macintosh, etc.)
You can find out more about the AVRcam at: http://www.jrobot.net/RobotProjects/RobotProjectsIndex.html
by clicking on the AVRcam link (there are also links to some of my other robot projects here...you'll have to forgive my "basic" website...I'm just starting to figure out this HTML stuff ;-)
I'm continuing development on the project, but wanted to get the word out to those of you who may be interested in it. I'm planning on posting both source code as well as schematics and other info about the project as time becomes available. I also may end up doing a small production run of the system as well. If interested, drop me an email at
snipped-for-privacy@jrobot.net
Thanks for reading,
John Orlando http://www.jrobot.net
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Impressive!
--
KC6ETE Dave's Engineering Page, www.dvanhorn.org
Microcontroller Consultant, specializing in Atmel AVR
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On Sun, Aug 29, 2004 at 07:39:20PM -0700, john orlando wrote:

Nice!
Excellent! Also, thank you for supporting the Non-Windows world :-)

I'm certainly interested. I must say that your "AVRcam" is one of the more impressive uses of an ATmega8 that I've seen. It it quite a little "beast" :-)
-Brian
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Brian Dean
http://www.bdmicro.com/
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Hi John,
this is impressive! Seems like a miracle to me how you managed to fit all this in to an AVR with a few hundred bytes of SRAM only. My first thought was you must be kidding. But now as I've seen the pics on your website I'm convinced that this is actually working.
Do you plan to lay the µC source code open?
Jan

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On Mon, Aug 30, 2004 at 01:17:47PM +0200, Jan Weber wrote:

The ATmega8 has 8K of flash and 1K of SRAM. Still impressive, though. 27 frames per second is about as fast as a human perceives the world.
-Brian
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Brian Dean
http://www.bdmicro.com/
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: The ATmega8 has 8K of flash and 1K of SRAM. Still impressive, though. : 27 frames per second is about as fast as a human perceives the world.
. . And if that isn't enough, the Mega16 is (if I remmber correctly) pin compatible and doubles the amount of flash.
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==========================================================
Chris Candreva -- snipped-for-privacy@westnet.com -- (914) 967-7816
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On Sun, Sep 05, 2004 at 01:50:42PM +0000, Christopher X. Candreva wrote:

I think you are thinking of the ATmega168 - pin compatible with the ATmega8, but with 16K FLASH and a host of other neat goodies, not to mention that it can clock at 20 MHz for a nice speed boost even over the already speedy 16 MHz. In actual instruction execution, this clock speeds translate to roughly 20 MIPS and 16 MIPS respectively.
The ATmega16 is a 40 pin DIP, if I recall.
-Brian
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Brian Dean
http://www.bdmicro.com/
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Although open-source is always beneficial to the community. You should probably take a serious look at putting this into production. Especially if you have any plans of merging the camera chip/lens and processor onto a *small* smt-type board. Could be serious competition for CMUCam.
m2c, Jason
john orlando wrote:

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john orlando wrote:

I would be interested in buying a kit if the price is right.
Especially if it is open source/hardware. -- D. Jay Newman http://enerd.ws/robots /
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Same here! I'm truly impressed.
I recently did a 4 inch thermal printer in the M8, which I thought was rather cool spitting out paper at many inches per second (more than 14 but I forget) 832 pixels, 2000 times a second, plus stepper accel and decel, analog measurements, and burn density calculation and control, all running concurrently.
It's an amazingly capable chip.
--
KC6ETE Dave's Engineering Page, www.dvanhorn.org
Microcontroller Consultant, specializing in Atmel AVR
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Cool project Dave! I wholeheartedly agree that the AVR mega8 is one heck of a processor. I really don't think anything else comes close in capability vs. power consumption vs. size. Geez...you'd think I work for Atmel or something...I don't...I'm just a happy customer using their products.
I wonder if this is going to stir up the PIC camp to respond...here we go again...
John
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I'd be interested too. But it's not that easy to buy something overseas when you're an EU citizen like me. All the added taxes and shipping fees easily double the prices.
Therefore, I'd prefer to take a look at the software without having to buy hardware, although I'm willing to pay for your work. Maybe you'll offer the source code only?
Jan

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: Hi Jan,
: I am seriously considering open-sourcing the software. I'm in a bit : of a quandry about my next move with the project. I'm still : considering selling a kit form or a ready-to-go version, though I have : a feeling that putting the system into "production" will take much of : the enjoyment out of it (though making some $$ to fund my next project
There's no real reason you can't do both -- open the source, AND sell a kit.
Looking at the pictures of the board, it doesn't appear overly complicated. Another alternative, rather than a full kit, would be just having a run of PC boards done and selling those. That's probably the most expensive part.
--
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Chris Candreva -- snipped-for-privacy@westnet.com -- (914) 967-7816
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Christopher X. Candreva wrote:

Another possibility would be to sell the board, the preprogrammed controller, and the camera module. -- D. Jay Newman http://enerd.ws/robots /
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john orlando wrote:
>>Do you plan to lay the µC source code open? >> >>Jan > > I am seriously considering open-sourcing the software. I'm in a bit > of a quandry about my next move with the project. I'm still > considering selling a kit form or a ready-to-go version, though I have > a feeling that putting the system into "production" will take much of > the enjoyment out of it (though making some $$ to fund my next project > would be nice...). I'll be sure to post back to usenet as progress is > made.
John:
I can understand your quandry. I went through a similar quandry when various members of my robotics club encouraged me to commercialize RoboBricks (now RoboBRiX). There is a huge amount of work required to take something from "works for you" to "works for everybody else". For RoboBRiX it is still a work in progress. Sigh.
It would be a shame to let what is obviously some pretty slick engineering fall by the way side. A suggestion would be to form a yahoo group to get the interested parties together to form a self support group. Such a self support group could perform a group buy of the camera, boards, installing the GCC compiler, etc. I know I would sign rup, and I suspect a dozen or so other people would as well. This would spread the effort of taking something from the "works for you" to "works for other people" out to a bunch of interested people.
Just a though,
-Wayne
P.S. The snipped-for-privacy@PacBell.Net is a spam trap. To repond to me directly, Wayne AT Gramlich DOT Net. Make sure the subject looks pretty interesting, or my spam filter will get to it before I do.
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Wayne C. Gramlich wrote:

Me too! -- D. Jay Newman http://enerd.ws/robots /
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UNBELIEVABLE
FANTASTIC..
INCREDIBLE..
MINDBOGGLING..
ASTONISHING..
PHENOMENAL..
..

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<cvs> wrote in message

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Is your source code (hopefully) in C or assembler ?
...

...
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