[ANNOUNCE] RoboRealm supports Lego Mindstorm

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!
See http://www.roborealm.com/tutorials.php for an example of how to do this.
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 possible.
And best of all ... it's free!
STeven. http://www.roborealm.com /
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RoboRealm wrote:

I noticed that you depend on VFW (Video for Windows) which I thought was slow and out of date?
-- JC
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JGCASEY wrote:

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 increase!"
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.
-- Gordon
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Gordon McComb wrote:

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 that 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 limited only by software and of course your imagination :)
-- JC
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JGCASEY wrote:

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! <g>) streams video from a smartphone via Bluetooth:
http://blogs.msdn.com/windowsmobile/archive/2006/05/13/596684.aspx
The creator of the Wimo Robot, Brian Cross, has a Web site here:
http://www.wimobot.com
-- Gordon
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Gordon McComb wrote:

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 base.
-- JC
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JGCASEY wrote:

Definitely. And both Bluetooth and Wifi have the coverage (depending on the antenna) that your bot can be in one room, and you can be in the other.
Exciting times we live in!
-- Gordon
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The last time I asked these guys about identifying an image (comparing) they said there were some problems with it. Any updates on that ?
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