Easy Telepresence Solution!

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:

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