Archive for December 2nd, 2008

Easy Telepresence Solution!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

We’re always on the lookout for useful and inexpensive gadgets to add to our Robotics Lab, and while searching around for a small, inexpensive Wifi (as in 802.11) camera for use in Mech Warfare I finally settled on the Airlink 101 SkyIPCam250w Part #AIC250W. Personally I found mine at a local Fry’s Electronics for about $105, but we also sourced them online here.

Here is my quick review here on the forums of this camera:

Image quality is mediocre, but good enough to view things at a max of 8-10 feet. Frame rate is 30+ and response time is in the 50ms range running the camera at 320×240.

Main board is 10cm x 5.5cm. Camera board is 5.5cm x 3cm and attaches to the main board at a right angle. It appears to be a 1mm spaced header pin port, so it could easily be extended for custom mounting solutions. Entire camera unit stripped down and including antenna weighs 91 grams. The antenna is a u.FL connection, so this could be replaced with a custom solution if needed.

Overall a solid little camera for the price. If you’re on a budget, this is about as good as it gets. Keep in mind for ‘competition’ performance, you’ll need to run it at 320×240, but that can be stretched. Image quality is enough to pilot and aim I would say, but I wouldn’t expect to read text with it. Definitely usable for Mech Warfare within 10-15 feet though. Oh and the IP web interface uses Java and/or Active X, so you could pull the control from it and add it into a custom form easily.

Here are some pictures! (click to enlarge)

Since we don’t care about the bulky exterior casing, here’s what it looks like stripped down:

And this is with the camera board removed: