Installing PixyMon for the CMUcam5 Pixy Camera on a Windows PC

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I have finally gotten around to purchasing a CMUcam5 PixyCam for myself. The (CMUcam5) PixyCam is a Smart Vision Sensor, with advanced Object Tracking. One advantage of this Camera is that you can quickly “teach” it to locate objects. It saves you time and data flow by only outputting the object data that you’re interested in. A multitude of connection options are available which means you can use PixyCam with almost any microcontroller, including Arduinos, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone Black and a dedicated LEGO Mindstorms version. I settled for the dedicated LEGO Mindstorms version of the PixyCam which plugs directly into a LEGO Mindstorms NXT or EV3 Sensor Port.

Included in the box is some mounting hardware to attach PixyCam to your robot creation. The Mounting Kit allows connection to LEGO Technic type Liftarms.

The firmware, software and hardware are all open source. This means you can tweak to your heart’s delight.

PixyCam Mounted on EV3

Installing PixyMon:

You will need a USB Cable with mini plug for your computer to talk to Pixy. This cable isn’t included with Pixy.

Don’t plug in your PixyCam into your computer yet though.

Begin by downloading the latest PixyMon version, and run the installer.

When installing PixyMon on a Windows Vista, 7, or 8 machine, installation will proceed as expected, until you get to the driver pre-installation. The message “Pre-installing device drivers. Please be patient!” will be displayed, and after a few moments, you’ll see a dialog that looks like this:

Tick the “Always Trust“, then click on “Install“. Windows will will do its thing and eventually display the same dialog again. (Pixy has two device drivers that need to be installed.) Tick the “Always Trust” followed by clicking on “Install” button again when you see the new dialog. Windows will set a system restore point. Depending on toy machine, the driver installation can take a couple minutes, so be patient.

Now it is time to go ahead and connect the PixyCam to the computer with a USB mini cable.


Run the PixyMon program by selecting it from the Start menu (or the Start screen if you’re running Windows 8.) When PixyMon first comes up, you may see the
message “error: No pixy devices have been detected“, until the driver is finished installing. You should see a system tray message like the one below:

When the driver has finished installing, PixyMon will start displaying “CCB1” data from the PixyCam. This is the default data that’s streamed from PixyCam. The data consists of a list of detected objects, their locations and sizes. Since the PixyCam hasn’t learned any color signatures yet, this information isn’t really of interest.

In the next Article we will teach PixyCam an object!

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