Video cameras for Computer Vision

Hello,
We are working on a project which will follow a target on a road. The authonomous system will use a video camera as an input, and process
the frames on Linux operating system and will instruct tyres, etc to follow the target.
Which video camera do you suggest for such a project. We will use this video camera on Linux distribution. And the camera should be economical of course :)
Best regards.
Halil
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I posted here about the Z-Cam by 3DV Systems. It is a camera that uses time-of-flight from a set of LED's that emit a pulse. The special imaging chip that has a fast gate so that each pixel can have a depth value.
I imagine that this technology is going to revolutionize navigation for robots. The best part is that they want to market it to gamers, and price it under $100.
For computer vision, it can provide a method for creating a 3-d map of the environment. For your specific application, it provides a way to filter out objects in the background. I believe this "depth cropping" is onboard the camera, so it doesn't need computer processing to do it.
It is supposed to be out this year, but doesn't seem to be for sale yet to the public. They do have a SDK for sale (and I imagine the camera is available to developers as well).
Joe Dunfee
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cadcoke4 wrote:

Very nice. It's a gated imager, rather than a per-pixel time of flight counter, so you don't get full Z data in a single frame. The price is great, though.
                    John Nagle
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John Nagle wrote:

My understanding is that they *do* get a full Z-map per frame: the gating is designed so that each sensor pixel accumulates light for a duration that is proportional to depth. Presumably they use another imager, or a second non-gated pulse, to account for differences in scene reflectivity between pixels.
Any clarification about this product is welcome. If they can market it for ~ 100 USD, it is going to have a huge impact on mass-market and homebrew robotics.
AC
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A. Caspis wrote:

There's plenty of hype on the web, but even though the company's site says the product is for sale, they don't even offer anything you can actually buy, not even a developer kit. No data sheets or manuals, either.
The thing should work, but they may not have the manufacturing yet to hit their claimed price point.
If they have a gated imager that good, I'm surprised they don't make a set of binoculars with it. There's an expensive system "http://www.laseroptronix.se/gated/gatsys.html " used for seeing through fog.
                John Nagle
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That's quite a project. You may want to consider the awesome RoboRealm vision software. It's free and it works quite well for target tracking. That could save you a ton of work. I experimented a little with it. You can stream the X,Y coordinates of a located target out of the serial port of the host PC. I was amazed that within a couple of hours of downloading the software I could track my cat across the living room floor. It helped that he was the largest black object in the room.
BRW
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You can try PTgrey.com They sell professional quality FireWire cameras with windows and linux drivers. I think they cost a few hundred bucks. They may have tracking software too. -howy
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