Micro Air Vehicle Cameras

The machine vision cameras used on our micro air vehicle are very tiny and have an USB 2.0 High-Speed (480 Mbit) interface. The software interface is proprietary, however both interfaces are available in source code to customers. While the cameras look like webcams, they offer machine vision grade camera images. They offer also a global shutter (CCD), which prevents the edge artifacts a rolling_shutter (found in CMOS webcams) can cause.

Related pages

Rolling Shutter Effect

Rolling Shutter Effect Rolling Shutter Effect

These two images show the effect of a rolling shutter. They have been captured with a very short exposure time and a CMOS high quality webcam.

Please note the bend rotor blades, which have been totally straigth in reality.

Almost all modern webcams suffer from the rolling shutter effect, as this shutter type is the default (because it is cheaper) in CMOS image ICs. Global shutters can only be found in CCD Webcams or automotive or machine vision cameras.


PIXHAWK Camera for Gumstix Overo COM

We're currently working on our own camera module to connect to the Gumstix Overo COMs. The Linux driver is however not ready yet. If you're interested in using our module and you can solder usual SMD parts yourself, we would be interested to support Linux driver development by supplying camera PCBs.

Several single board computers offer raw sensor interfaces, allowing to directly connect imaging sensors to the SBC. As the SBC vendors offer the hardware drivers, this is actually easier than interfacing an USB device.

Aptina MT9V032


  • 752×480, COLOR or monochrome, up to 60 FPS
  • 1/3” sensor (~6mm diagonal)
  • 48 CLCC package, 11.43 x 11.43 mm
  • 3.3 V, 97 mA supply (<320 mW at max. data rate, 100 μW standby)
  • Active imager size: 4.51 mm(H) x 2.88 mm(V), 5.35mm diagonal
  • Pixel size: 6 μm

The Aptina MT9V032 is the same sensor as in the monochrome wide-VGA uEye LE cameras from IDS Imaging.

Typical application schematic for MT9V032

MT9V032 typical application schematic ]

Point Grey FireFly MV

We are currently using the Point Grey / PtGrey FireFly MV USB 2.0 machine vision cameras with OpenCV (highgui) as software interface on our systems. They will be replaced or complemented with the PIXHAWK camera once the Linux driver is finished.

PtGrey FireFly MV

Technical Details

  • Interface: USB 2.0 (libdc1394/OpenCV or Point Grey API in Linux)
  • Sensor: CMOS (Aptina MT9V022)
  • Resolution: 752 x 480
  • Frame rate: up to 90 frames (Our OpenCV driver supports 60 Hz)
  • Global shutter
  • Power: 5.0 V, 300-350 mA (1500 - 1750 mW)
  • Weight: 18g (with lens)

Software Interface Details

We are using OpenCV to interface this camera. The two tutorials below will make it work out-of-the-box in Ubuntu and OpenEmbedded.

Hardware Interface Details

This camera has a 7-pin GPIO connector on the back of the board. It is a JST SH connector


Matrix Vision mvBlueFox

We are currently evaluating the mvBlueFox-MLC cameras on our systems.

Matrix Vision mvBlueFOX

Technical Details

  • Interface: USB 2.0 (Windows/Linux proprietary drivers)
  • Sensor: CMOS (Aptina MT9V034)
  • Resolution: 752 x 480
  • Frame rate: up to 90 frames
  • Global shutter

IDS Imaging uEye LE

uEye LE Camera

We have two monochrome and one color uEye machine vision cameras from IDS Imaging. However the Linux driver is not yet available in source code. This will hopefully change mid-2009.

Technical Details

  • Interface: USB 2.0 (IDS API library)
  • Sensor: CMOS
  • Resolution: 752 x 480
  • Frame rate: up to 90 frames
  • Global shutter
  • Power: 5.0 V, 300-350 mA
  • Weight: 18g (with lens)

Sentech TC33USB


Sentech offers the driver in source form, which allows us to use this camera right from the beginning on the embedded platform.


  • STC-C33USB-B (640 x 480, Color) Product
  • STC-B33USB-B (640 x 480, Monochrome) Product

Technical Details

  • Interface: USB 2.0 (Sentech Linux API library)
  • Sensor: CCD
  • Resolution 640 x 480

Philips SPC900NC/00

640 x 480 CCD Webcam with global shutter suitable for machine vision applications. However the quality is unknown. It has only an USB 1.1 interface, which implies that JPEG compression artifacts are visible at 30 Hz.

Analog Video In: Delock 61534

  • Delock 61534 (Reichelt)
"modprobe em28xx card=19" and "Input 1"



Related Sites

Micro Air Vehicles

2009-2011 System

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