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Camera Sensors For EV3

Jan 24, 2014 at 2:29 AM
This may not be the right place to ask this, but I'll ask anyway. I have several planned robots & projects that involve pictures as input. This obviously means that my EV3 robot needs to have a camera. I was very surprised by the fact that even with all the third-party sensor makers, I could not find any camera sensors. I do not need a camera with high resolution or any special features, just a very basic picture-taking Lego piece that I can attach to my EV3 brick. One idea that crossed my mind, although this would probably involve a lot of complex code that might be beyond me and the documentation I have access to, was to use one of my old Windows Phone 7's by attaching it to the EV3's USB port. However, even if I did get the code for that idea to work, the camera (well, phone actually) would be hard to attach to the robot because it is not a Lego piece. I think that sensor manufacturers have tried to avoid using the USB port for the sake of consistency and to keep the USB port open for WiFi, which I believe is good for the most part, but I also think that if a sensor is complex enough that it needs USB rather than the other ports on the EV3 (or even to just be used as a 5th input port), people should make full use of it. But back to my original question. Does anybody know of any available camera sensors that can be used with the EV3? Thanks.
Jan 25, 2014 at 3:54 AM
@njsokalski

Found this expensive thingy...

mindsensors.com - Advanced Sensors

Vision Subsystem v4 for NXT or EV3 (NXTCam-v4)
$150 !!!
http://www.mindsensors.com/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=78

LA Guy :)
Jan 25, 2014 at 4:29 PM
Thank you, that looks like it might meet my requirements. I will probably end up getting it when I start working on one of my projects that requires a camera (one of which is going to be a QR code reader) and some of the ones that require more colors (I have also been trying to find a color sensor that does the actual RGB values rather than just one of a predefined set of colors). Thank you.
Jan 27, 2014 at 5:51 AM
You're welcome.

Let us know how you like it if you buy it.

What is a QR code reader ?

For the color sensor
you might test what sensor values return for all Red , all Green and all Blue, all Yellow colors, white and black.
Then you can "extrapolate" / compare the color to these known values.

Wait, in the Lego IDE Loop Until Block can specify the Color Sensor allow you to test for specific colors.
But this is probably not available in the API right ?

Best, LA Guy :)
Jan 27, 2014 at 6:25 PM
QR codes are a type of 2-d barcode, which has been growing in use since smartphones started becoming popular. You can read more about the details of, see examples of, and even create QR codes at:

http://www.qrstuff.com/

The most common use for QR codes is to be used as a "link" to a website in ads that you see when walking around or sometimes on items, when you use the QR code reader on your smartphone, it will automatically take you to that webpage. But they can also be used for other things, and I was planning on using them as "labels" that my robot would use to identify things that it would either sort or use in some way.

For the color sensor, I haven't had a chance to do any testing yet to test the values, but the impression that I have gotten is that the color sensors that return an individual color identified by an index, and don't even send the RGB values. What I think would really be nice would be a color sensor that returns 3 integers (the RGB values) so that we can use those values to create a color structure. Even if something is not built into the API, it can still be done if the sensor hardware returns the necessary data, but I'm not sure which color sensors do, which is why one thing I want to find out (and that I think should be available in documentation on the sites for the different sensors) is exactly what is returned by different sensors. Not just for color sensors, and not just what type of data it is, but everything all the way down to the bit. I will post more once I get around to testing my color sensor.