Thursday, 6 May 2010

Developer shot by Arduino™!

Here is the first photo taken by my latest acquisition, a low-cost CCD colour camera and Arduino-compatible trigger/capture board.

I bought them both from S K Pang - a UK supplier who provided very quick delivery. They appear identical to the camera and trigger described on the SparkFun website.

Sadly, supplies of both components are likely to be limited. The manufacturer has replaced the camera with a higher-function model at a much higher price. The trigger is no longer offered on the S K Pang website and Sparkfun shows the camera as out-of-stock.

This is frustrating, as the combo are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. Picture quality is not what you'd get from a digital camera but it's good enough for robotics vision projects and for the boat security application that I'm currently working on.

The camera has a well-documented UART interface. When fired, the trigger board requests a jpeg image from the camera and records it on a microSD memory card.

The trigger board is driven by an Arduino-compatible Atmel atmega328 chip. You can solder a header to the board so you can reprogam it using an FTDI TTL USB cable. Sparkfun have provided the source, so it should be easy to extend the software.

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