The purpose of this page is to provide an illustrated, step-by-step guide on how to install a miniature wireless camera in your robot. Thanks to for the initial idea. Memnon has installed a . This is sweet, since the head turns when you raise and lower the arms he can pan the camera around. Getting the head assembly apart is extremely difficult since it is glued so I went for the easier solution: installing it into Robosapien's roomy chest cavity.
For this project I used a small 'ZT-802' type RF mini camera. They are easily found on eBay, I paid about $40 including shipping for mine. It will transmit both audio and video. The actual camera is about the size of a sugar cube and fits very nicely in Robosapien's chest cavity. The receiver has composite (RCA style) outputs that you can plug into a TV, or a tuner card in your computer. I build and install HTPCs (home theater PCs) and swear by the . With this mod it works great, since it provides the ability to record the audio and video (or snapshots) on your PC. Before you start cutting up Robosapien, it is a good idea to test the camera, to not only make sure it works, but to make sure you are happy with the quality and with the setup (i.e. plugging it into a TV or VCR probably isn't as much fun as plugging it into a PC that can control Robosapien and record the images).
The camera lens is 0.5" inches so that's what size hole we need to drill in Robosapien's chest. I think he'll probably have nightmares of this drill for a long time to come. I tried using smaller holes, but the result wasn't as good as letting the entire lens come through the Robosapien shell. It also looks nicest to put the camera lense flush with the robot's chest.
Here is what it looks like after I drilled the hole. I chose the center location in his chest for several reasons. One, it was the spot where his chest cavity is widest. Also, it is the furthest point away from his arm and waist motors, so interference is kept to a minimum. I didn't even need to shield his motors. This spot is also one of the more stable points on the Robosapien, and since it is dead center, it shouldn't affect his balance. Finally, I felt it was the most aesthetically pleasing place for the camera.
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