A pan - tilt mount for the Playstation Eye

A robot with a webcam needs to be able to look around to survey its surroundings, and this can be accomplished using a pan / tilt mechanism to move the camera. The first step in construction is to disassemble the Playstation Eye webcam to remove the heavy metal base and unnecessary extra bits of plastic.

There are four sticky rubber pads on the back which can be pried off, then the screws underneath removed. It's then a matter of forcing the two halves of the plastic case apart. The main circuit board and base can then be unscrewed:

Playstation Eye webcam disassembledPlaystation Eye webcam disassembled

With all of the casing removed to leave just the main PCB, the webcam is much lighter:

The four black cylinders at the top are elements of the array microphone. This is a unique feature of this webcam which will be used to give the robot a sense of hearing and allowing it to determine which direction sound is coming from.

The pan / tilt mount is constructed from a mini servo and a micro servo. Without any appropriate brackets on hand, I decided to make my own. After considering balsa wood, I ended up choosing sheet aluminium for its combination of strength and low weigh. Cutting by hand with tinsnips is fairly messy and crude, but the result is two custom brackets:

The first bracket is attached by two screws to the mini servo:

The micro servo is then attached with two screws and some hot-melt glue:

The final bracket is attached with a small bolt on one side, and glued to the servo horn on the other side:

Finally, the webcam is glued to the tilt bracket:

With the bracket completed, I'm going to start working on a chassis to attach it to the robot. Driving servos with the Arduino is very easy using the "servo" library, and the latest Arduino software release 17 allows servos to be attached to any pin on the Arduino, leaving PWM signals free for the Ardumoto motor controller.

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