Tonight I finally got my Pan and Tilt camera system working. This is a system I started several weeks ago with a servo kit I bought online and some code that my friend Michael lent me. It uses a USB Phidget to control the servos and OpenCV to tell them what to do. Well, I got the code looking really pretty and then burnt out my Phidget on my nice aluminum Macbook Pro. Good job. So I had to wait for a replacement Phidget that showed up right in the middle of the move to my new apartment. Needless to say the project got put on hold.
The last couple nights, however, I’ve been really working hard on it. With a little help from Michael I got the software to pan correctly but was having terrible luck with the tilt servo. Lucky for me I am a mentor for FIRST. My friend AJ at FIRST has put together these pan and tilt camera systems before and said I’d probably gotten my coordinate axes mixed up, so when I should have been subtracting my PID adjustment to the tilt motor I was instead adding it. So home I went and sure enough I got it to work!
Crazy that a little negative sign can make all the difference. It is even pretty quick to center in on the correct image. Image in this case being a blob that’s colored the red of your skin. But hey, it works. Next up is to see if I can’t streamline the code and then add in facial recognition. Ideally I’d like it to find one face in a picture and follow it. I don’t think I’ll aim for recognizing faces of individuals until much later, but this is a step in the right direction!
I’m really very proud about this and I think I’ll try and write another instructable soon so that I can share this success with others.