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VOLUME -25 NUMBER 9
Publication Date: 09/1/2010
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Special Features: PCB and Assembly
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September 2010 Issue
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Vision Components Smart Cameras Power Soccer Robots
Soccer-playing robots from Eindhoven University use smart cameras.
Ettlingen, Germany — Along with various sponsors, Vision Components will present a special eye-catcher at this year's VISION exhibition: at the company's booth, soccer-playing robots equipped with intelligent VC cameras will compete against each other in two-on-two matches and penalty shootouts. The "Tech United" team from Eindhoven University, Netherlands, which recently won the RoboCup German Open in Magdeburg and finished second in the Middle Size League at the RoboCup in Singapore, will be in charge of the robot soccer players.
The robots, developed by "Tech United", are equipped with VC 4458 1GHz cameras which are installed to look up at an angle, thus providing a 360° field of vision. Because of the Smart Cameras, the robots never lose track of the ball. Intelligent algorithms ensure that game tactics are implemented — a strategy that has repeatedly carried the team into the finals.
The VC4458 is described as one of the world's fastest smart cameras, equipped with a 1GHz 8000 MIPS processor, the TMS320C64xx, from Texas Instruments. The speed reportedly rivals that of a 7.2GHz Pentium.
The camera includes 64MB of DRAM, and 4MB flash EPROM for program and data storage — expanded by the standard 512MB SD card inside the camera. The camera also has a high-speed trigger input with absolute constant capture delay, which allows jitter-free image acquisition, even at very high speeds. The camera is insensitive to shock and vibration, and has multiple I/O lines for direct control of external equipment.
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