Thinking of the Rovio Video improvment

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Gandalf
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Thinking of the Rovio Video improvment

I just bought a new Rovio this week.  I am glad to see from the community that this Rovio is still not out-of-date. So many lovers are still making good use of it, and even hacking/moding it. Now I have started a very time consuming path to make fully use of my Rovio.

The first impression to me is the dark video images, that I can't even see anything in the evening in the room with all lights on. From the threads here, I know it is a common issue, however I can not endure it in this way. I see following options which may help, and like to see you guys opinion:

Improve the lights of the room - I think it may be stupid to do this for me, as my wife would blame me for doing this just for a rubbish robot.

Roviocommander improved the brightness by 200%? - I saw the introduction of that software saying like this. I am not able to install that, yet.  Is it realy true and help?  

Headlights - I saw many examples  of DIY. What's the performance of the Woewee offical released headlights as below? http://www.wowwee.com/en/products/tech/telepresence/rovio/rovio-headlight

Official improvement - I saw threads long time ago, when the folks were optimistic that the brightness could be enhanced some time later by official firmware upgrade. However seems that 1 or 2 years passed but no official solution is there. This made me much disapointed, and making me to think that this issue could not be fixed by any software/firmware change.

Camera replacement - Seems that replacing the camera hardware is quite impossible from some threads.

Adding an IP camera - This is what I really want to dig deep into. Because it is a value-added thing to Rovio. As I see most IP camera can control its angel, directions as well. We can view and control the IP camera in one path, and controling the motion of Rovio in another path. If possible, integrating the interface of IP camera software and Rovio control software to make it like one thing.

Did anybody try this?

 

 

Gandalf
Gandalf's picture

Just tried the RovioCommander, and it can really improve the brightness of the video. At least the previous totally dark area can be seen now, and be able to guide the motion! This is great!

I totally can not imagine why Woewee does not improve the official software at least the brightness control can be put better. Seems that they can just increase the range of the brightness control and that's all which can help. Does Woewee focus on all new products? But how can the fans endure if Woewee does not try to improve the firmware of existing products?

Gandalf
Gandalf's picture

If I could upload image here, I would have shown a sample of the difference between official software and RovioCommander....

maggusscheppi
maggusscheppi's picture

Hi Gandalf,

brighten up like RovioCommander does it, is like you past-tune a foto with
PhotoShop. You won't see more details, if it is dark inside the room.

That's the reason, so many ROVIO-users and also me are modding their robot
with additional lights.

Greets

Maggus

Gandalf
Gandalf's picture

Thanks Maggus.

But for my Rovio, the performance of the camera is poor which not likely to be hardware limitation. That's what I mentioned in another thread that I suspect the camera setting of Rovio is not tuned well by the software.

Unmanned
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I love the idea of mounting a low light IP web cam like

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Linksys+-+Wireless-N+Internet+Home+Monitorin...

You would just need to tie into rovio's power source. Make a DC to DC converter with deans plugs inline with the battery...and a serious battery upgrade to 5000mA or better.

 If you are really good, you'll make a mechanical tie in to Rovio's Arm to make the camera look up and down.Maybe disconnect Rovios camera all together....I would imagine that 2 IP cameras would double the bandwidth usage anyhow.

 

pittom
pittom's picture

that linksys ip cam sucks. one thing rovio camera can see ir so why not put some ir lights on it to see it total dark.

Unmanned
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pittom said:
that linksys ip cam sucks. one thing rovio camera can see ir so why not put some ir lights on it to see it total dark.

Who told you rovio camera can see Ir?

pittom
pittom's picture

if you hold a tv remote control at the camera press a button and could see it on your computer(rovio cam)then it could see ir light.You can't see the light from tv remote with your eye only trought the camera.
if you can't see it throught the camera then the camera has a ir filter on it

Unmanned
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Actually, we use IR LEDS on the wing tips of our night UAVS. You absolutely can see them with the naked eye, barely if you are looking IN them. You can not actually SEE the light it gives off after that point. IR light will absolutely not help the rovio camera.

Not having ever owned a Linksys IP cam, what sucks about them?

pittom
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just look it up and read reviews
I had 2 of them 1 would not work wireless called support and camera was bad they sent me a new one
2 camera was a pain in the butt to get working wireless then it would just stop working wireless nad would have to config it all over again. After 12 times i sent it back. I have 10 ip cameras(not linksys) in 3 diffent houses and record them at my house and never had a problem

Unmanned
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I tried Logitech security cameras. They work ok locally but getting the IP functions to work, horrendous. I returned it. What camera's are you using?

pittom
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Panasonic BL-C131A very very good sound is great(no ir)
FOSCAM MODEL: FI8904W outdoor ir
FOSCAM MODEL: FI8908W indoor ptz with 2 way audio

the foscam are from hongkong and are very good price
BE CAREFUL THERE ARE FOSCAM IMPOSTOR AND IF YOU BUY THE FAKE AND TRY TO UPDATE IT WILL BECOME A PAPER WEIGHT.

Unmanned
Unmanned's picture

I'll look into it. What I need is indoor IR with 2 way audio and not spending 1k. Tall order. There is a Panasonic for 300 Im looking at. Glad to hear you are liking the Panasonic.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Panasonic+-+Wireless+Network+Video+Camera/72...

There is also this lorex that looks promising.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Lorex+-+Easy+Connect+Wireless+Pan/Tilt+Netwo...

pittom
pittom's picture

that is the panasonic i have, the lorex do a google search and read all the reviews from owners

jgeidl
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Has anyone taken the "official" headlights apart to see what the LEDs in them are and how they are powered and switch on and off? Since they designed these things with little attention to detail (like you can't recharge anymore) I am thinging about making my own and would like to stay as close as possible to the original except for the housing.

Thanks,

Jim

Unmanned
Unmanned's picture

jgeidl said:
Has anyone taken the "official" headlights apart to see what the LEDs in them are and how they are powered and switch on and off? Since they designed these things with little attention to detail (like you can't recharge anymore) I am thinging about making my own and would like to stay as close as possible to the original except for the housing.
Thanks,
Jim

Doesnt matter all that much since you cant find them for sale anywhere anyhow. But there are some videos that show them.

http://www.robocommunity.com/search?search=rovio%20light%20mod&type=forum

zinkoxyde
zinkoxyde's picture

jgeidl said: Has anyone taken the "official"
headlights apart to see what the LEDs in them are and how they are
powered and switch on and off?

I am guessing here, but my money is on a photo trasistor in the base of the headlight unit. That way they can simply turn on and off the headlights by turning on and off the built in light.  I am working on a similar setup (the plus side is that it is compleatly removeable). 

 

On the subject of IR, the rovio can't see its beacon's through the normal camera, which leads me to believe that there is an IR filter present.  This would also account a small amount for the camera's output being dark. 

Rombo
Rombo's picture

The camera can see IR, I removed my filter and it runs fine with IR lighting. There is issue however with some colour bleed. The camera is similar to the ones found in BB Bolds and it is NOT necessary to remove the lens from the base.. simply firmly unscrew the lens.. note the hot glue. Only attempt this if you have a need for IR... it will pooch you quality of video... however put it this way... if the camera is not really usable.. and it isn't in its stock form to those not living on the sun... you have nothing to loose...

chris451
chris451's picture

I run the rovio with video bright all the way up all the time, and its still unusable at night. In a house with most windows unshaded,it is too dark to make out much of anything in hallways etc.I read here there are some registers that can be tweaked to bring up the camera baseband level.Most cmos cameras arent bad if you can do that but they may then saturate in daylight.. I tried the alternate rovio s/w and that didnt help brightness much.Need to get the tweaks that actually raise black level (gamma adjust) way up on this device.I coded my router to assign the same address to rovio all the time, and that seems to help the problem whererovio dissappears from my router right after docking.It seems to reboot. upon docking, especially on low batt while motors are full up.It seems the DHCP fails at that time then the robot is off line.If I set the router to assign the same IP address each time then the robot still reboots, but becomes accessible in 30 seconds or so(have to point the browser somewhere else then come back to rovio.This reboot doesnt seem to happen if I inch in slowly to the doc or if the battery is full (as in re dock right after running off the dock) The rovio is operated at a location twenty miles away, so it is done for a few days or more if it becomes inacsessable.Its like the problem where it gets too low on battery and you dont get it back to dock in time....or if it tries to self dock and fails.A new battery cured a problem where the IR sensors would not work and the motors would keep running to find 'zero' points or the wheel sensors did not work and it would keep turning as if motors were stalled or slow.Wowee had sent out new IR sensors to fix this but it may have been a bad battery, this problem began as the batteries aged.