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Thread: Human Powered Vehicle with Broadband-Streaming Web Cam

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Human Powered Vehicle with Broadband-Streaming Web Cam

    Hi. Heather suggested I post my project here. Looking for any comments, feedback, corrections, warnings, etc. Will post progress in the next few weeks. Looking to have everything functional by May 7th, 2011.

    Just starting a project to outfit an amphibious human powered vehicle, aka Kinetic Sculpture, with the capability of streaming webcam-captured images. Vehicle in question is a two-person, bicycle-powered giant pink poodle named Fifi. This vehicle will be part of the American Visionary Arts Museum 2011 Kinetic Sculpture race.

    The goal is to video and stream (via the entire race--which lasts on the order of 8 hours.

    The current solution is to hook up a USB webcam to a Dell Mini 10v running Ubuntu with a broadband USB modem.

    The primary challenge is to power this setup for the day. Current thinking is to bundle netbook with a car battery. Or maybe a UPS battery or a motorcycle battery.

    One other consideration is that most of this vehicle is covered in chicke wire -- which forms the exoskeleton of the creature. Worried about puting a wireless modem inside this cage--the interior location is the only viable location for the computer at this time.


    Last edited by Steve Hulbert; 04-08-2011 at 09:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    Hey. So the race went off without a hitch last Saturday. The webcam-enabled Fifi was a popular attraction. Here'ss a link to the American Visionary Arts Museum (AVAM) web site.

    The final configuration for Fifi-Cam was:
    Two 12V solar panel trickle chargers in parallel with two 12 V batteries hooked up to the car charger for my Dell Mini 10v. Camera was Logitech C260. (Solar chargers used for visual effect.) Packed the batteries and netbook and modem in a waterproof plastic bin to protect against water damage during the water challenge.

    Verizon wireless broadband modem generously supplied by!

    Ran the rig for about 7 hours with no problems! Never drew on the netbook battery.

    Streamed via my account on Firefox on Ubuntu 10.10.

    All in a success.

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