Overview of the System

The system is designed to be a mount made entirely of Lego that holds a standard web camera for streaming images of the surrounding environment.  The mount is also set up to enable movement of the camera such that it can see effectively the entire environment around it.

The camera mount is linked to the PC in two ways.  A USB cable directly connects the web camera to the PC to enable images to be streamed in and the mount is linked to the PC through an IR Tower (connected to the PC) that sends and receives data across a communication channel with the RCX Brick (a Lego-designed tiny virtual machine).  This communication channel enables programs to be downloaded to the RCX Brick (where they are stored), which are then operated on by the user, through the PC, to control the camera mount.

As well as camera movement, the user is able to take snapshots of the current environment in the web camera’s view, which can then be saved to disk for the user to access later to potentially do image processing on.  As a result, Matlab is the user application from which the system is executed because the built-in image processing functionality of Matlab is very good.

The software basically comprises three parts: the PC side, the RCX side, and the Imaging section.