Rovio's Camera: Suggestions, Upgrades, Hacks

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NanoTek
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Rovio's Camera: Suggestions, Upgrades, Hacks

Hi everyone,

Eventually I would like to replace Rovio's camera with something more versatile: Night vision, zooming capabilities, greater resolution, etc...

I will not be proceeding with this project until I know what I am getting into, and that what I am getting into will work.

I feel that many of you would also like a more versatile camera for Rovio.

What do you think?, what would you like?, can it be done?.

Cheers

RobosapienPet
RobosapienPet's picture

Comments/Suggestions:
To replace the internal camera with a different chip would take a lot of work. Also the Rovio camera boom is already filled up with electronics. The firmware may be hacked to support other camera models, but that's also a lot of work.
See the Rovio Internal photos.

IMHO: if interested, do it for the challenge of hacking a consumer electronics device and bragging that you have the only one ;->.
----
If looking for a solution to the problem, try the more tried-and-true method: Find a remote spy-cam that has an RF transmitter. Tape/Glue it onto Rovio. Hook the RF receiver to your TV (or a TV capture card on your computer). Voila instant second camera!

Rovio becomes the motion base. You can control it like always.
If the camera is lightweight enough, you can tape/glue it to the camera boom and the new camera will see the same thing as the main camera (don't cover up the NorthStar window).
Start with the camera on its own power supply. The Rovio battery is already overtaxed. Also when the Rovio battery goes flat (and can't get back to charger), the nightvision camera can keep going. If you have reliable recharging, then consider tapping into the Rovio battery.

This lets you have the best of both worlds, the Rovio color camera for bright light situations, and a night-vision (probably B&W) for low light.

There are other options, but usually require heavier camera mounts (zoom lens, tilt/pan servo bases). That's also possible, likely mounted onto the robot base, but you may be better off with a more heavy-duty basic robot (ie. one with *4* wheels ;-)

MrScott
MrScott's picture

When the question "is it possible" to integrate some existing bit of technology into a robot is asked, the answer always depends upon how much rip up and rebuild of the robot you are willing to do.

It certainly is technically possible to gut the robot and start again. It's probably not possible to simply clip the existing camera's leads and splice in the new camera's connections. The camera control in the firmware will almost certainly need adjusting at a minimum.

The downside of adding a second camera, rather than replacing the integrated one, is that it won't be streaming through the oboard server of the Rovio.

If you wanted to see the feed from the strapon camera, you'd need to receive it and pump it through a web server as a separate feed from the Rovio.

NanoTek
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NanoTek
NanoTek's picture

It appears that I will not be making changes to the camera for a long time to come, as it would void my warranty should a problem arise with Rovio.

SharkBaitpokergear
SharkBaitpokergear's picture

I was wondering if another wireless wi-fi camera such as Linksys WVC200 could be mounted to the Rovio and you could use the Rovio control panel to move the rovio around and another web browser to wiew the new wireless Wi-Fi camera image.

roschler
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@SharkBaitPokerGear,

How will you power the Linksys WVC200?

-- roschler

SharkBaitpokergear
SharkBaitpokergear's picture

Yeah, You're right. I guess I was trying to think of a quick fix without thinking through the enire problem. I have decided to just return this ROVIO. I just cant believe they made such a product without really thinking about how us customers would view their product. In a well lit room, I cant even see with my Rovio!!!!!!

roschler
roschler's picture

It depends on the room. Many people, like myself, have brightly lit rooms and have no problem with Rovio's camera as you can see from videos I made with it on YouTube. Others have rooms that aren't brightly and for them Rovio's camera is dark. So which camp you're in determines dramatically what opinion you have of the camera. In either case, all of us hope that WowWee finds a way to enhance the brightness level.

-- roschler

patwf
patwf's picture

hi everyone,
like many of us i would like to replace the vid/cam and increase the time the unit will run on a charge. in reading the posts it would seem possible to put another webcam on the body (or on top of the "head") you would then have two streaming signals (i'm assuming a logitech webcam with wi-fi can be controlled without interfering with the wowwee signal - someone please correct me if i'm wrong).this is related to the battery problem of course. has anyone, corporate or hack, found a solution to that problem? i have read numerous posts where the unit operates less than an hour before recharging and the unit is rarely successful in making it back to the dock.
thanks for any help.
sincerely,
patwf

stevebarret
stevebarret's picture

Just looking for a best budget action camera to install on mine. I might be replacing multiple times, better get a cheaper cam.