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Using the Ladybug in a Mobile Setting
KB Number: 10567
Technical Application Note TAN2008007
Revised July 31, 2015
Technical Application Note (TAN2008007): Using the Ladybug in a Mobile Setting
Application Note Description
This Technical Application Note describes the factors to consider when using a Ladybug spherical vision camera to record images in a mobile operation.
You can use the Ladybug spherical vision camera to capture video in a mobile environment. One common scenario involves capturing location-based visualizations for display in geographical mapping applications. Some of the components necessary for setting up a mobile operation are included with the camera. Other items must be acquired separately.
The factors to consider when using the Ladybug in a mobile setting may involve some or all of the following:
Using a Laptop (Notebook) Computer
In all likelihood, you will require a laptop computer as part of your Ladybug mobile setup. You need a laptop to do the following:
Included with your camera are the following components for interfacing with a laptop computer:
The Ladybug5 has worked successfully with the following laptops:
Additionally, you need to consider the capacity of your laptop to write the streaming video files produced by the Ladybug system. Ladybug images are saved in sets of stream files that are written to the hard disk of the laptop at up to 240 MB/second on USB 3.1 and 80 MB/second on FireWire. To accommodate this input, we recommend your laptop be configured with striped disks, such as provided by a RAID 0 configuration.
The following is a recommended system configuration:
Here are two component configurations for optimum connectivity and extended cable range.
Powering the Camera
The Ladybug5 requires 12 – 24 volts of power which must be provided by an external power supply connected to the GPIO cable.
The Ladybug3 requires 8 -30 volts of power. The IEEE-1394b ExpressCard for notebooks requires an external power source to provide power to the camera. However, if your notebook includes a built-in 1394b port, power to the camera can be supplied through the FireWire cable.
One source of external power is from your vehicle’s battery. To tap into this power with ready-made connectors, use a 12 V DC-to-AC electrical inverter in conjunction with an AC-to-12 V DC power adapter (“wall wart”). This should output at least 200 W, enough to power both the camera and the notebook computer. The power adapter connects to the GPIO power cable for Ladybug5 or directly into the side of the ExpressCard for Ladybug3.
Attaching the Camera to Your Vehicle
Many third-party mounting systems are available for securing the Ladybug to your vehicle.
Using a GPS Receiver
When a GPS receiver is connected to your laptop, you can use the Ladybug SDK to insert NMEA data into Ladybug images. The data can then be extracted at a later time to generate HTML data for display as a Google Map or KML data for Google Earth. The GPS receiver should have a serial or USB interface for connecting with your laptop and be able to stream NMEA data in real time.
To get started using the GPS functionality of the Ladybug library using the LadybugCapPro application, refer to the topic, “Working with GPS Data” in the Ladybug SDK Help. To get started using the Ladybug library directly, refer to the topic “How-To: Using GPS.”