Webcam + Programmable Controller

Below is a copy of an email that I sent to the support email address at

Hello, I’m looking to attach a webcam and some robotic legs to one of your “Programmable Controllers” because it says that they can operate on C++ and that’s something like what I’m looking for…

Originally I was going to hack my iPod touch or iPhone to install Linux/Windows on it, and then plug in robot components via the USB ports on the phone/iPod but I can’t seem to find any suitable robot parts that will plug in via the USB drive… what you’re offering sounds great. I need to make sure first though that it will be able to support what I’m looking for…

Will I be able to attach a webcam to the “Programmable Controller” and access it’s data via C++ and then control the robot legs/arms via the Programmable Controller? Can you help me find what I’m looking for?

Basically what I want to do is have a program that can scan images coming in through the webcam, and then control the robotic legs/arms based on what the program says about the images in the webcam, what products do you offer that will allow me to complete my project? Price is not a problem and if you have to refer me to another company, please do… =)


I responded to your email earlier, but I will also post some of what I wrote here for the benefit of other readers:

- Kevin

There’s a library called OpenCV for doing computer vision. I haven’t used it so all I can say is that it might be useful to you. You can learn about it here:


What exactly is that library going to help me with?

It can help your robot process the video stream and extract data from it that is meaningful to your application. For example, I think you can use it to detect certain objects and calculate their positions. Of course, you didn’t say exactly what type of processing you want to do with the video stream so I’m not totally sure that OpenCV will help you. How about you explain a little more about what you want to do?


Exactly what kinds of objects can this program detect? You’re not telling me somebody has already extracted a full-scale visualization program are you?

I’m not sure why you keep asking for “exact” answers. I haven’t used OpenCV and I don’t know very much about it.

OpenCV is not a program: it is a library, a collection of code that is used to help write other programs.

I don’t know what you mean by “extracted a full-scale visualization program”. The verb “extracted” doesn’t make sense in this context. Maybe instead you meant “developed” or “created”. In previous posts we were talking about video processing, which is turning videos into meaningful data. We were not talking about visualization, which is basically the opposite.

There are plenty of websites and books about OpenCV which can provide you with more information than I can.

If you decide to use OpenCV and learn what kinds of platforms it can run on, we can help you pick a platform that is also capable of controlling our motor controllers.


Well yes I am interested in OpenCV (not that I need the library to do what I need to do, I am sure I’ll have no problem writing my own image recognition program in C++).