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There are tons of cameras in devices around us these days. There are used photo cameras, smartphones, tablets at my home gathering dust.

I wonder, what the easiest way could be to get a camera module from some device, connect it to my robot project with a soldering iron and make it work from the software point of view. I am planning to use something like Arduino, an STM32 platform, or probably Intel Edison.

May be some camera modules are easier to solder and program for a custom project? Or shouldn't I look this way and better find a camera module that is specially designed for custom projects?

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closed as too broad by Ian, Chuck, Ben, Mark Booth Mar 30 '16 at 10:36

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like you haven't chosen a camera module yet. It also sounds like you haven't chosen a hardware platform yet. Which pair of camera and processor to use is a fairly subjective choice, based on the information you provided. $\endgroup$ – Ian Mar 29 '16 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ I voted to close this question because it's too broad. You have "cameras", and you want to connect them to "microcontrollers" to make a "robot project". Without anything specific, nobody can give you a definitive answer. $\endgroup$ – Chuck Mar 29 '16 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to robotics Sergei Basharov, but I'm afraid that questions like this really aren't a good fit for a stack exchange site. We prefer practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Take a look at How to Ask and tour for more information on how stack exchange works. Also, the Robotics question checklist has good advice on how to write a good question. If you edit your question to fit our community guidelines we can reopen it for you. $\endgroup$ – Mark Booth Mar 30 '16 at 10:36
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Sorry to pour water on your fire... while it is certainly possible, whether it is worth the effort is debatable.

While different tablets/smartphones/cameras will employ different optical devices, they will be more or less the same.

This question has been asked before on SE Arduino, Re-use smartphone/tablets parts like a camera. jwpat7's answer goes into specifics for a particular Samsung tablet. You don't specify which tablet/phones you have, so I can not provide any further detailed information, but open up the device and see if it has HRS on the connector.

Note that cortices' answer advises against doing so, due to propriety signals, and the difficulty in decoding them.

A link to the Arduino forum is also provided, How to reuse quality camera from old / broken phone, which, more or less, also recommends against the idea due to the effort required in reverse engineering.

It would probably be far simpler to use a Raspberry Pi, which has an actual camera interface (CSI port) for use with the camera module. You can then use the Python package, picamera.

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If you have an unused smartphone with a camera, your best bet may be to simply use that for the robot.

Many results came up in my brief google search for smartphone robots and smartphone-based robotics software.

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