Using CMOS camera for sensing applications
Ibrahim Kamal from IKALOGIC informed me about his latest article on the use of CMOS camera for sensing applications posted on his website. It’s true that interfacing a CMOS camera with 8-bit microcontrollers has not been very common. There’s a stereotype that much faster and powerful microcontrollers are required to process the output of a CMOS camera, which may not always be true, as illustrated by Ibrahim Kamam. In fact, it all depends on the type of application you choose with a CMOS camera.
The article discusses about the possibility of using a CMOS camera for sensing applications by reducing the image resolution and getting rid of the color information. The downgraded image requires lesser computation, and therefore, is feasible to process using a simple 8-bit microcontroller. With this arrangement one CMOS camera could replace an array of conventional light sensors (made of LEDs and photodiodes) that are used in many embedded applications including robotics. A quick illustration on how to interface the TCM8230MD CMOS camera (available from SparkFun) to an AVR XMEGA processor has also been discussed in the article.