Low Cost Remote Controllable Camera System
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Robots replacing human labour is not a new phenomena. Robots are more labour and cost ecient than their human counterparts. The idea for this thesis originates from the company Norsk Automatisering AS. Their project is a robot capable of being the eyes for the maintenance personnel on dicult to complete visual inspection tasks. A robot constructed for the given task, could make it possible to complete the task faster and increase the quality of the inspection, as the robot can access areas unreachable for a human. On high altitude objects, e.g. wind turbines, dangerous situations can be avoided by replacing maintenance personnel with a robot.The assignment for this master thesis was to evaluate potential remote controllable camera systems and, based on the gathered information, propose a solution for a remote controllable camera system. There exist many candidates, every manufacturer has their own solution, making combination of equipment from dierent manufacturers tough. IP cameras provides many possibilities, but purchasing a complete solution is not necessarily the best option. Creating a tailor-made solution with independent camera, gimbal system and software allows a higher degree of customization. Exchanging parts will also be easier with an this kind of solution.The control protocol LANC by Sony was selected for this thesis. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics was already in possession of LANC compliant camcorders by Sony lowering prototype cost considerably. The protocol is based on the well-known RS-232 standard, and there exist a hobbyist community with expertise on the LANC protocol. This is mostly because many quadcopters are equipped with LANC controlled cameras. Sony is a signicant camera manufacturer and many of their camcorders are compliant with LANC making it possible to nd the right camera for the task.An older Sony camcorder has been borrowed for the thesis and a hardware circuit has been constructed, making it possible to connect the camera to a BeagleBone Black embedded computer. A software application with a web interface has been implemented making it possible to control the camera from a web browser. The input of the application is commands like ZOOM and STOP allowing the user to control the camera without knowledge of the LANC protocol. Feedback from the camera is inserted into an SQL-database that can be used with the web interface.The application created during the thesis demonstrates the potential of using a standard camcorder together with an embedded computer like the BeagleBone Black. The conclusion of this project is that the LANC protocol in addition to an embedded computer like the BeagleBone Black is a feasible solution for a remote camera control system. The author would like to point out the potential if the solution is made compliant with the standard from either ONVIF or PSIA. This would allow the use of other equipment compliant with the chosen standard together with the created solution.