Project advise required


I am considering using an Arduino board for a project but was hoping for some advise and direction.

Basically, I need to use a camera with an Arduino and I need the Arduino to recognise a laser point on the ground, via the camera. I then need it to translate this into DMX via a DMX shield to make an automated stage lighting luminaire track around and land on the dot.

I presume the best way is to do it using a video camera, but if anyone has any other suggestions that would achieve the same thing, then that would be much appreciated. I haven't touched an Arduino before and having done some research around the forums and example projects, I haven't been able to find the information I need.

Many thanks,


Arduinos don't have the processing power or memory capacity to deal with still photos, never mind video.

Maybe a RaspberryPI would be suitable?

Why not use a PC or laptop?


Question... Who or what is controlling the laser pointer? If you set up the laser pointer on a gimble and as the operator moves the laser, arduino can capture the encoder data off the gimble and with a little math, give commands to the light gimbles.

You won't even need the laser, just a targetting mechanism(fake crosshairs).

You can also look at using a couple of tilt sensors on your targetting device rather than encoders.

Thank you both for replying to me,

Robin2, I think this is the problem I have been facing with the Arduino not being powerful enough to handle the raw video and apply calculations to that too. I think the better way to go would be to use a mac or pc to analyse the video.

Titanium 69, the Idea would be for a lighting designer to have a laser pointer in hand, point that at the stage or on the set wall, for the automated luminaire to then track to and focus on that point.



I think finding the spot of a laser pointer would be quite complex.

If I understand him correctly, @Titanium69 may have a good idea. My understanding is that the laser pointer body is mounted on a device that can detect the direction it is moved. The purpose of the light is so the human operator can see what s/he is pointing at. But the computer (and an Arduino would be quite suitable) would just read off the angles through which the pointer body was moved.

It may even be possible to use a couple of potentiometers (like in a joystick) to report the angles of the laser pointer body.