USB WebCams

After days of of painstaking exhaustive search for microcontrollers, I am about to buy the fez cobra wifi but i am a sw person and very ignorant about hw and i have a very important question before i invest both time and money in this alternative. Is it possible to connect a standar usb webcamera to the fez cobra 2 usb host and API to it via the premium library so that i can stream images to my pc at at least 15 - 20 fps ??


Yes it should be possible.

Hi AlexGP,

Simply put, I would say no you should not assume this is capable of delivering what you want.

It is possible to connect the webcam to Cobra2. It is possible to connect to a network. The amount of data for 15-20fps can quickly overwhelm a network, let alone a microprocessor.

Why don’t you just purchase an off-the-shelf IP based camera?

Edit: I see Architect says it is possible, I still think there are real challenges that won’t be easy to overcome. What resolution do you want? Are you streaming the data to an application or as a web page?.. many things to think about

At 320x240 you should be able to do that. The camera must use the standard USB class, not all cameras do. When it comes to stream of images you typically have to keep your expectations low on embedded systems.

If you buy a cobra, put this note in your order “talk to Gus about adding a free USB camera.” And I will add a free camera that I know works for free. How is that for good support? :slight_smile:

Welcome to the community.

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Another option is Spider with camera module. Our a raptor.

These modular products are hardware designed specifically for software guys.

Well i need to use hardcore computer vision so i tought to do it in a computer like a lap or tablet, now that you say that I do realize is not that important to know every second whats happening 20 times, i guess 10 fps is good but for the cv i need a good resolution, so lets say 720x640 at 5 fps is possible ?? i guess the objects i am trying to track are not really that fast to need 20 fps

over what medium are you thinking of transferring data?

And why don’t you just plug the USB camera into the PC? :slight_smile:

Because i really need a WiFi capability, to have the heavy computing somewhere else not tied to a cable, I did consider all those options but a spider or raptor with wifi are more expensive than the cobra. Thanks a lot for the wellcome

Because i want to have the camera in a robot platform

I basically want to create a wiFi robot… So you would say that 720 x 640 at 5 fps would be possible using the Cobra ?

640x480 is the max IIRC and you will end up getting about 1 to 5fps I think. We can try it but it will not be more than 5fps I do not think.

So, if its going to be a Wifi robot and the robot doesn’t actually do anything with the video data itself then why not just use a WiFi webcam? A bit more expensive but a lot easier to implement and you’ll free up a ton of resources on your NETMF board for other more interesting things.

you are totally right., I didnt want to create something that you had to plug something in your computer to use, other than instailling the sw, but the image streaming seems to be an exception. I just wonder how do ip cameras manage to keep costs kind of low like around 90 some even 50. with an ip camera the costs will still be much better than the other plausible option which was phidgets. Ok thanks a lot for the help i will get the cobra and will b asking alot of dumb questions jeje, see ya !

i have Wifi cam ON my bot, but not connected to it directly…it streams back to my PC from which i use OpenCV to analyze the images, which in turn sends command to a Cerbuino board via xbee. It works fairly well.

if you wanted an embedded solution, something like RaspberryPI or BeagleBoard might be better (although i’m not up-to-speed on the latest board offers from GHI…perhaps there is one that can handle the processing power needed).