4Cam

by Craig Sullender on September 18, 2012


Embedded Vision for Microcontrollers

1. Purchase 4Cam – contact for manufacturing schedule
2. Develop vision apps on your PC – tools and examples provided
3. Run the apps on your microcontroller – most of these can be done with an 8 bit microcontroller

Front

 

Back.

 

The Power LED is lit when 3.3V is applied.

The Function LED blinks until the 4Cam system has completed power up or reset: the system is reset, the camera registers are loaded, and the camera is running. It takes four seconds after power (or reset) is applied, and then the Function LED will be lit and stable (no flashing).
For development use the USB-I2C bridge supplied.

4Cam has 3.3k pullups on SCL and SDA.

PC connected to 4Cam with the USB-I2C bridge.

4Cam draws from 20-120mA at 3.3V.

The USB-I2C bridge has a 3.3V voltage regulator on board to supply the 4Cam.

The USB-I2C bridge also has 3.3k pullups on SCL and SDA.

 

In Circuit Development (ICD)

A second header can be installed so that the bridge can be used in-circuit.

The signals for GND, SDA and SCL are the same on the 4Cam connector and the ICD connector.

Pin 4 of the ICD connector is not connected to the USB-I2C 3.3V supply by default.

 

pImp Cam

Example embedded device connection.

For illustration only, needs modification.

The Imp board has the same 4 pin connections as 4Cam, but GND needs to moved to the other end, and 4Cam should face the other way.

 

pImp Cam with ICD.

For illustration only, needs modification.

 

4Cam with TI MSP430 wireless

Example embedded device connection.

For illustration only, needs modification.

The TI chip has I2C connections somewhere.

 

TI MSP430 wireless with 4Cam ICD

For illustration only, needs modification.

 

4Cam with TI MSP430

Example embedded device connection.

For illustration only, needs modification.

The TI chip has I2C connections somewhere.

 

TI MSP430 with 4Cam ICD

For illustration only, needs modification.

 

 


What can this version of 4Cam do?

Some terms to get us started:

Computer vision: Extract information from an image to perform a task.
Application: Processing that has knowledge of the task.
Pixel processing: Convert pixel data to information needed by the application.

For example, an application tracking a basketball needs information such as the location of a round orange region in the scene.

 

Block diagrams of an embedded vision system, 4Cam, and pixel processing in hardware:

 

The current version of 4Cam is configured for motion detection and color recognition.

See here for more on the technology.

The main idea is that 4Cam outputs the information your application needs. The segmentation modules can be configured for various types of features: motion, color, edges, corners, etc. The ChipSight module performs the data grouping and feature encoding and outputs feature lists to the application. The user writes their own application for their own processor. The user processor operates on image information instead of pixels, so a much less expensive (and lower-powered) microcontroller can replace the monster Davinci/Omap/frame buffer system previously required.

 

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