I am planning to build a camera which will track a target and keep "looking at it" in motion. The camera needs to have vertical/horizontal panning/tilt.

I am not sure if this is the platform to discuss this. I would appreciate if this can be broken down into smaller tasks / units


Thanks Kenneth & Clement. I broke down the problem into smaller bits Hardware interfacing 1) slider motor -- for movement along a track, 2) pan & tilt motor to move in horizontal & vertically.
3) wifi unit to connect to the device remotely 4) control device using an ipad / joystick + visual display

Programming required - 1) identify target and camera always on that - use IR locking (once at start & once at end) and keep the camera looking at it always. Not very clever!

2) use openCV to identify target & use it to 'keep looking' at it - light can be an issue if we are to look at target in low-light conditions

3) smoothing algorithm to avoid sharp movements

4) develop app for ios


2 Answers 2


I would break this down to the following steps:

  • sourcing a pan/tilt module (with servos).
  • working out how to drive the servos so the pan/tilt operates as needed:
    • direction.
    • speed.
  • working out how to identify an object from the cameras stream/image.
  • working out how to identify the object has moved (and which direction).
  • integrating it all together.

Breaking it down like this also allows you to switch to another task if you get stuck on something - give yourself some thinking space...


Building on what Kennet has mentioned I would suggest:

  • Rotate the camera module with servo/stepper motor w/ rotating base you might have some luck here
  • Adafruit has a nice tutorial on controlling servos using python
  • As for the Computer Vision aspect of your project, I think open electronics has a nice tutorial to get you started.
  • Since you will already be using python for both the servo control and image analysis, it should be relatively easy to tie the 2 together. e.g. If you're object moves off the centre of the camera (0,0) rotate your server by that offset.

Anyways, best of luck with your project and have fun!

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