Carnegie Mellon University
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The CMUcam Vision Sensor (CMUcam)
This project is no longer active.
Head: Illah Nourbakhsh
Contact: Illah Nourbakhsh
Mailing address:
Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Associated lab(s) / group(s):
 CREATE: Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment
Project Homepage
CMUcam is a new low-cost, low-power sensor for mobile robots. You can use CMUcam to do many different kinds of on-board, real-time vision processing. Because CMUcam uses a serial port, it can be directly interfaced to other low-power processors such as PIC chips.

At 17 frames per second, CMUcam can do the following:

  • track the position and size of a colorful or bright object
  • measure the RGB or YUV statistics of an image region
  • automatically acquire and track the first object it sees
  • physically track using a directly connected servo
  • dump a complete image over the serial port
  • dump a bitmap showing the shape of the tracked object

Using CMUcam, it is easy to make a robot head that swivels around to track an object. You can also build a wheeled robot that chases a ball around, or even chases you around. In the Gallery, you can see pictures and videos of some of the robots we and others have built with CMUcam.