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Thread: Video and sound capture with time/position indexing?

  1. Video and sound capture with time/position indexing?

    I would appreciate some advice regarding approach and products for a requirement I have to capture
    video and sound while a robot moves around. But, I need to generate information that allows me to
    correlate video and pose later at some given interval.

    I've not dealt with capturing video, much less know how to get video frame count during capture.

    Here are some requirements, followed by some questions. Note, these are not formal requirement, just
    my way of defining my situation.

    Requirements:
    1. Capture video that is either wide angle or panaramic
    2. Camcorder quality video, or within reason. Video/sound will be reviewed by people and
    not necessarily used for image processing. But people need to recognize objects in view that are approx within
    15ft radius.
    3. Camera will use USB interface and not require special USB drivers
    4. 1 hr recorded video/sound/indexing/pose data will be stored for later review or copied off to removable storage
    5. Preferable to have sound integrated into video capture, but it can be separate
    6. If sound captured by microphone separate from video then it would use typical 2.5mm
    plug connector.
    7. Lighting conditions are normal and no additional lighting needed or expected
    8. Additional camera, lens, and mic hardware will contribute very little weight to robot
    9. indoor use.
    10. Different ways to integrate this capability into existing C++ software, but at some point
    pose or video frame index information will have to be exchanged between navigation and
    video capture components. Would like this mechanism to be an API.
    11. All software runs on an embedded Atom x513 board running linux.
    12. camera hardware is mounted on the robot.

    Questions:
    1. The requirement to correlate pose with video frame indexing is the trickiest
    aspect of this effort because off-the shelf or open source capabilities readily available won't a) accept pose to record,
    or b) output frame indexes for recording. Any thoughts?
    2. My sense is that the code to record video is relatively straightforward to develop and in doing so I'd
    generate frame indexing to output in the process. Any thoughts?
    3. What webcam, or other would you recommend that would provide good quality video?
    4. My first challenge working on this issue is getting familiar with terminology and concepts related to this topic to use in
    my search and in seeking advice...like this. Can you offer a review of terms that you think might help me communicate in
    this area?
    5. Assuming I'm right about writing the video/sound recording software, any suggestions what open source libraries or projects to
    look at to start?
    6. Any other projects doing this that I can learn from?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Re: Video and sound capture with time/position indexing?

    You could look into the RC community and see what they're using for POV systems. It's very likely that you will be using a seperate RF transmitter for your camera/mic if you just want to view it with recording systems on the receiving end. One camera you could look into is the GoPro. It is a very small HD camera (broadcast quality even) with lots of extra attachments you can pick up (including a mic I beleive). It's capable of recording to a memory card and outputting to your transmitter.

  3. Re: Video and sound capture with time/position indexing?

    Thanks for your thought, RavenW. I've got an Atom Z530 running Linux on the platform, so at this time there's no need to transmit the images. I was not aware of the GoPro. It appears to connect to a wifi which may be a useful feature. At least it claims to do streaming. I wonder how I'd use that.

    The challenge with a full featured camera like this is that I ultimately need to correlate time. Not sure how that would be done. In theory, I'll be recording a lot of 1 hour segments, maybe on different media so unless time is in some form of UTC I will have to provide an alternative means which may not be as robust/reliable as I need.

    Hmmm?

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by RavenW View Post
    You could look into the RC community and see what they're using for POV systems. It's very likely that you will be using a seperate RF transmitter for your camera/mic if you just want to view it with recording systems on the receiving end. One camera you could look into is the GoPro. It is a very small HD camera (broadcast quality even) with lots of extra attachments you can pick up (including a mic I beleive). It's capable of recording to a memory card and outputting to your transmitter.

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    Re: Video and sound capture with time/position indexing?

    Since you are using linux, check the linux uvc driver site for any compatible webcams that meet your resolution requirements. After this, you use a program with Video4Linux2 to retrieve each frame and overlay the time/date on the frame before storing it to disk. 'GStreamer' with 'cairotimeoverlay' or 'cairotextoverlay' may work well enough (could even add in the current pose being run or other debug info). If not, there are likely many other possible solutions such as creating your own small program to retrieve the RGB/YUV images from the webcam using Video4Linux2 and add your own timestamp.

    There are plenty of wide-angle and panoramic security cameras, but I cannot think of many that are actually USB based (they were mostly analog (requires frame grabber card) or Gig-E (proprietary hardware requirements?) the last time I checked, but that may have changed in the last year or so). There have been several on the forums and many other places to experiment with webcams and spherical mirrors (even as inexpensive as metallic spherical christmas tree ornaments) to get omni-directional video.
    Please pardon the pedantry... and the profanity... and the convoluted speech pattern...
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