Category Archives: Mindstorms Vision

LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Ball Chasing Robot using the PixyCAM

PixyCAM Follow the Ball
This article aims to describe how to programme a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot that chases things, like a ball in this example. It’s the same robot and program that’s used in the PixyCAM Video below. This robot and program is a good launching point for other projects, and it’s a good introduction to PID control, which is used throughout robotics and engineering in general.

Guide to using the PixyCAM Camera’s EV3-G Blocks

In this article, I attempt to describe the LEGO PixyCAM block, which is used in conjunction with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Software. Check out the “Getting Started with the LEGO Mindstorms & the PixyCAM” Article for information on how to install the PixyCAM modules (Blocks) into Mindstorms EV3-G Software.

Getting Started with the LEGO Mindstorms & the PixyCAM

I trust this article will get you up an running quickly with PixyCAM and the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (NXT). Please make sure you have a LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT brick with a fresh set of batteries. I will endeavor to be as detailed as possible throughout this guide, but it helps if you are somewhat familiar on how to use your LEGO Mindstorms Robotics System.

Connecting the PixyCAM to LEGO Mindstorms using I2C

In order to use the PixyCAM with the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or NXT kit, you will need an I2C Adapter Cable. You can order a cable through some PixyCAM distributors, including the Robotshop. The PixyCAM for LEGO Mindstorms comes with a special Pixy-to-Mindstorms Cable, and is preloaded with a version of the firmware that speaks with the LEGO protocol by default. If you have Pixy for LEGO, just to the PixyMon Settings section below.

Updating the PixyCAM’s Firmware

When it comes to upgrading your PixyCAM to the latest Firmware is idiot proof. The PixyCam uses a ROM-based algorithm to upload new firmware into flash memory over USB, which makes Pixy “unbrickable” – that is, you will always be able to recover the PixyCAM from an unsuccessful firmware upload or a “bad” version of firmware.

Installing PixyMon on Linux

1. Introduction

The following procedure will walk you through building PixyMon for Linux. This procedure assumes the following:

  • Your system has Linux (Mint-17) installed
  • Pixy firmware has been updated to 1.0.2
  • Your system is connected to the internet

The Mint-17 distribution of Linux can be downloaded here: http://www.linuxmint.com

Teaching the PixyCAM Camera an Object

Teaching PixyCAM an object is super easy. Before we start, which objects will work well with PPixyCAM, and which wont? PixyCAM uses a hue-based colour filtering algorithm to detect objects. Since PixyCAM uses hue (colour), the object needs to have a distinct hue. Here are some objects that are good because they have good, distinct hues.

Installing PixyMon for the CMUcam5 Pixy Camera on a Windows PC

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.

Restore or Upgrade Mindsensor NXTCam Firmware

After receiving my NXTCam a couple of days ago, I experimented with it for an hour or so initially before turning in for the night. The next morning, I found my NXTCam‘s Firmware didn’t like being woken from it’s slumber! I found Deepak Patil of Mindsensors extremely helpful in getting me pointed in the right direction initially when I had issues with my NXTCam v3.0. My panicked emails were responded too very efficiently despite a time zone difference of 12+ hours.

Mindsensors NXTCam on Linux, with aNXTCam

NXTCam-v3Love Linux, have a Mindstorms NXT Kit, and your wishing for a Mindsensors NXTCam-v3, that works in Linux!

If you are a Linux user and own a Mindsensor NXTCam, you life has just become a lot easier with aNXTCam. aNXTCam is a native Linux software suite written by Janosch Gräf for the Vision Subsystem v3 for NXT: NXTCam v3.0.

aNXTCam is a subproject of aNXT. It has been developed for configuring the Mindsensors NXTCam on a Linux machine. To my knowledge there is no other software available for Linux platform at this time that gives you complete control over your NXTCam.



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