XY Positioning webcam

heya!
i've posted this in alt.comp.preiphs.webcam and it was suggested i ask the question here...
i'm after a solution for a webcam that does XY positioning. the best way i
can describe it is this: you know those 'claw' games/acrcade where you control a claw and the claw drops down and tries to grab a stuffed bunny rabbit?
THATs what i want to do, but put a webcam where the claw would be. (and not try to grab a bunny rabit... maybe focus on the bunny rabit though? ha ha!)
(if you can't picture what i'm talking about, it's one of these thingies: http://www.rainbowcrane.com/ )
i'll then put a pan/tilt/zoom cam where the claw would be for extra versitility.
i know about things like http://www.trackercam.com . that dohicky that moves the camera around is nifty! but i need to move this camera horizontaly and vertically by several feet before the pan/tilt/zoom helps. (8 feet by 2 feet)
it also needs to be cosmetically appealing as this is for a fish t@ank so looks matter! :o)
any links or ideas are greatly appreciated!
ty!
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I don't know of a source for an 8' x 2' XY translation table, but I do like the lynxmotion (www.lynxmotion.com) pan/tilt mechanism. Do you plan to build your own translation table or do you want an off-the-shelf unit?
I would like to hear about what your working on - it sounds like it might be very cool.
I am currently working on a robotic web camera, so I have been doing some work on web server CGI control of motors, servos, etc.
BRW

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heya, thx for the reply!
the pan/tilt/zoom i'll just let the camera take care of. i'm using a 'veo observer' which lets you pan/tilt/zoom. if the project takes off, i'll probably upgrade to a nicer quality camera (of course costs money), but there are several on the market that have the pan/tilt/zoom built in.
having said that...
i'm also considering just getting a higher end webcamera and then doing a second controller for pan/tilt so i can relay the video signal from my cable modem to my web server in texas which is behind a 15 gigabit link (ev1) and then relay that video to several users simultaneously. if i use a camera like a veo observer, i don't think i can capture/relay the video (at least it would be difficult) as the thing installs an activeX component to control it. this way, software can be written to queue the 'controller users' but anyone can 'watch along' w/ the video feed.
if you'd like to see an example of the veo, hit me up at: http://www.whodah.com/contactWD.php
and i'll send you the link/user/pass to see the veo in action. they had one up on their website, but i cannot seem to find it atm... their site is: www.veo.com and i'm using the 'observer' webcam.
i took a look at that link you posted, thx!
translation table eh? i ddin't search for that, didn't know that was another name for them!! :o)
i'm not against a DIY or a off-the-shelf system (provided it doesn't cost as much as a lexus lease payment), but i am after asthetics and size. i dno't want it to interfere w/ the fish t@nk too much!! :o)
thx again for the reply! i'll search around using 'translation table' tomorrow. if this post makes something click in your head, i'd love to hear about it!
<Bennet Williams> wrote in message so

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If modest resolution is OK, the model sailboat guys use a servo-mounted drum to trim their sails. A loop of line goes thru a pulley and deadends on the drum. The servo is either purpose-built or modified from stock to get three or more complete turns of the drum. The drum size determines how long a run you can pull. A three-inch drum and ten turns gives you 3.14 x 3" x 10 94" of throw.
Search on "sail winch" for more info.
so

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If you have access to the four corners of the space that you want the camera to traverse, check out this web site:
http://www.ent.ohiou.edu/~bobw/PDF/DETC01a.pdf
I believe Mcdonnell-Douglass experimented with a three dimensional version of this for the space station.
Good Luck, Dave
so

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:-0
wow, that's a concept i had not considered at all!
i'd imagine 0-gravity would aid in a design like that... thoughts?
so

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Sorry Itook so long to reply, I just got back from a long overdue vacation...
I don't think operating this in a gravity environment would significantly hinder it. In order to keep the head stable the wire ropes would have to be under some serious tension anyway. Gravity would of course add an extra force on the robot 'head', but as long as the head were not too heavy, the additional force wouldn't be excessive.
Sounds like a fun project. - Dave

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Since this is presumably for a fish tank, and this is the robotics newsgroup - let me propose another approach ... What if you were to use one of these wireless cameras (check out Ebay) and send video from inside the fish tank. I tried submerging one of these cameras (completely with battery in a ziplock bag) and it transmitted fine (200mW transmitter) - though this was a freshwater tank - not sure how much the signal would be attenuated in a marine tank. If you would like to stretch your hobby skills further, you could wrap a little remote controlled submarine around this camera - imagine a small ~1inch diameter tube, ~3 inches long, transparent plexiglass submarine which would be unobtrusive enough to spy on your fish and look cool doing it. With infrared illuminating LEDs you could even spy in darkness.....and of course you could pilot this sub remotely across the Internet.
Kevin
so

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i had toyed w/ that idea too. but there's a few things wrong (i think)
first and foremost, i want to use a fairly high end 'webcam' that can do some nice zooming. i'm thinking one of the panasonics that are kind apricey that do 20x zoom and the lenses can deal w/ marine lighting (metal halides) better than a 'cheapo' if ya know what i mean?
secondly, this is a reef tank turning ~7000GPH in a 240G tank. my tangs have a hard enough time holding still to pick at a piece of algae on the rocks! can you imagine a mini submarine in there? ha ha ha!
thoughts? (i do love that idea though btw!)
so

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