RoboRealm now supports the Lego Mindstorm interface. Using an
inexpensive usb webcam and the PC you already have you can now add
vision to your Lego projects!
for an example of how to do
RoboRealm is a powerful computer vision based application for use in
machine vision, image analysis, and robotic vision systems. Using an
easy point and click interface complex image processing becomes
And best of all ... it's free!
I'm not from RoboRealm, but I think you're a dollar short and a day
(actually two weeks) late:
From their page, on 8/14: "RoboRealm now uses DirectX 9.0! We saw a 2x
speedup in frame processing from VFW but we will still default back to
VFW for those that do not have DirectX installed. If you're running
RoboRealm and have directX download the latest version to see a speed
DirectX 9 implicitly indicates WDM capture support. No one with anything
later than Win98 will only have VFW.
The site is great about listing other open source/freeware vision
packages. I'd add DirectShowLib, for those using .NET 2003 or later.
It's not a vision package per se, but provides easier interfaces into
DirectShow than C++ programming. You can create systems in Visual Basic
or C# where you can build a capture graph; you can pick off the bitmaps
of each frame as it comes through. Nothing beats the speed of a native
C++ program for actual image processing, but if the process is simple,
you can do basic analysis using functions built into the .NET framework.
As DirectShow is pumping frames through the graph as fast as your system
will allow -- easily 30 fps for 320x240 on a Pentium 4, any bottleneck
is in the analysis code, not the capture code.
The page I read said it was VFW dependent. However if this is not the
case with XP then it is certainly worth looking at. It seems to me
a rf video link with a PC is the most practical and cheap way to give
your little bot vision with the potential to expand its capabilities
only by software and of course your imagination :)
I don't know about RoboRealm, but most of DirectShow (we shouldn't call
it DirectX, as DirectShow is no longer a part of the DirectX distro)
actually has a fairly low memory footprint. With the right coding it
could be possible to get a vision system to work on a pocket PC or
something similar. It might not be capable of full 30 fps video, but
many processing tasks don't require full motion video anyway. And of
course it'll run on one of those Mini-ITX boards just fine. You don't
really need a separate PC for the vision work. It would be interesting
to know if RoboRealm can be run on an MS Windows smartphone...
This robot (on a BudgetRobotics.com base, no less! ) streams video
from a smartphone via Bluetooth:
The creator of the Wimo Robot, Brian Cross, has a Web site here:
Thanks for the interesting link to wimobot. I imagined using the desk
PC rather than a special on board PC because I already own one and
have installed software. I imagined it would be more comfortable to
view images from a single point and programming it would be simpler.
A remote controlled "mars rover" with the potential to be controlled
by PC software, as well as manual control, all from a convenient home