The project I’m looking to build will have 2 Arduino’s. One is connected to a toy RF helicopter. The other is connected to a video camera and used to track the helicopter as it flies, keeping the helicopter in its field of view. The camera will be motorized to control its camera angle.
So if the distance between the helicopter (while on the ground) and camera is 30ft, and the helicopter then moves vertically by 30ft, the camera should track-up by an angle of 45 degrees.
There seem to be a few different ways of doing this, I just need some advice or maybe I overlooked a simple solution:
1) Use a GPS module in the helicopter and transmit the GPS co-ordinates to the camera. This will require a GPS module in both helicopter and the camera, and some complex math to calculate the required camera angle. While there is an error of around 3 meters in most GPS tracking chips, depending on the distance from the camera, it should still remain in the field of view.
2) Use a GPS module in the helicopter and transmit the directional movements to the camera. This assumes some starting reference point, which with constant error adjustments over time, might go out of sync with the camera. There isn’t a way to re-sync the angles.
3) http://info.ee.surrey.ac.uk/Personal/Z.Kalal/tld.html Not sure if this is even possible on the Arduino, but something like this would be nice.
As for the communications, the XBee modules seem to be the easiest to use, but I’m open to other suggestions. XBee Pro w/ chip antenna giving a range of about 1,700 feet should be more than enough. Bluetooth (30 meters) doesn’t seem to have enough range as I’m expecting around 300 meters.
The main issue seems to be calculating the required camera angle accurately and quickly. Any ideas?