The Camera, I do not know where to start.

I need some help with the camera. I have no idead where to start with the camera.

Is it necassary to use Labview?
Can I just load code on the bot and plug in the camera and it will work?
If I need Labview, what do I need to to on it?

I am very lost. Help me please.


The only reason you might need to use LabView with the camera is to focus it correctly. Once it’s focused, the camera code from Kevin Watson’s site ( will Just Work if you follow the directions included with it.

you don’t need labview.

once you properly assemble your camera and connect the PWM cables (4 in total) you area ready. you do not even need to connect the DB9 to the PC to see it operate right out of the box.

here is what you do…

go to kevin’s site and read the camera FAQ (its good to have these thoughts in your mind before you turn on your camera so you know how to fix it if it doesn’t work).

then, download kevin’s default code, version 2.1 as of today, and download the HEX file to the RC.

after you download the code and power up, the camera will search for the green light… if it finds it, it will track it. the green light came in your kit & you need to build it.

the DB9 and camera GUI are really only used to set the focus of your camera and to see the view range.

i haven’t used labview so i can’t say for sure, but i think it does all of the above except in a pretty way. but it comes with a small string attached, you have to ALSO learn how to use labview first… we really didn’t have time for that this year so we skipped it, and haven’t missed it either.

good luck!

in 2005, there was a good java gui. go here to get it :

get CMU-2 Getting started. Hook up a computer thru it’s serial port to the DB9 connector on the CMUcam anf=d run the java gui in the folder called standalone.

For reference, you don’t need to know how to program in LabVIEW in order to use the CMUcam2 LabVIEW app. You simply have to install LabVIEW, download the app files and run the appropriate VI (please follow the directions carefully to avoid “file error” confusion and don’t try to connect the camera to both the PC and RC at the same time).

As mentioned in an earlier thread, you don’t “need” LabVIEW in order to build a successful robot. LabVIEW is provided in the kit to help assist teams with robot design. In particular, NI, WPI and others have created a set of applications that allow teams to test their camera (set focus and hopefully gain some confidence in its usage), gather data and simulate motors/robots.

I hope you get a chance to install and use LabVIEW. It’s a very powerful tool for science and engineering.


Labview gave us an edge last year with a couple of things, but not required. I’ll go over a couple of points.

  1. Camera settings for EasyC. You can play with the filtering and color settings to get what you need. Labview dumps a configuration file needed to initializes the camera. Of course you can use the default configuration file, but we didn’t like it because it picked up white fluorescent lights in the shop. We have settings for the camera that would see a green light but not a fluorescent white light using onboard filtering in the CMUcam. We got these settings playing with labview cmuCam application sliders and buttons to change the filtering and coloring.

  2. We used Labview to help us understand our shooter PID wheel. We could watch the response from the PWM by building a custom dashboard monitor and watching all the values and having labview log this information into a graph so we could watch response and tuning of PID’s. Using three trim pots onboard and labview, we could tune our PID, sort of ok…

If you don’t have labview, you atleast need that Java GUI mentioned above. So you can verify your focus on your camera. Once focused, tape the lens or loc-tight the lens so vibration doesn’t cause it to come unfocused during match play, since screwing it in and out changes the focus.

Focus is critical for depth perception of the camera. If the image looks blurry, then your blob size looks bigger and throws off your range based on blob size. Atleast that how we determine range, watch the blob size of the light and make calibration scale on your field “masking tape on the floor” and come up with liner scale in the software world. 10 feet away from the light, the blob size is equal to “X”, 20 feet away and the blob size is equal to “X”.

Thanks Alot guys for the help. I have the GUI and am using it. I have the camera focused, but it still cannot find the green light. I have the Camera Code loaded on the board, and when I switch it on all it does is scan but never really finds the light. On the GUI it can track the green light but not when it is on its own, I need some more help please.

What are you using? MPLAB or EasyC?