Mechanical Engineering The University of Adelaide Australia

Firewire Vision Tools - A MATLAB toolbox for "The Imaging Source" firewire cameras

The toolbox “TIS Vision Tools” comprises a small collection of MATLAB drivers for “"The Imaging Source" ” firewire cameras ( Both CMEX drivers as well as S-Functions have been developed to provide high-level access to the underlying hardware as well as to the algorithms of the Color Machine Vision project “CMVision”. A user can thus work with a stream of live images from the MATLAB command line (CMEX interface) or by using intuitive Simulink blocks (S-Functions). “TIS Vision Tools” can be downloaded here; there also is a short manual and a few comments on how to select the colour ranges.

Some of the toolbox commands include rudimentary image processing capabilities. It is possible to classify image contents according to a programmable colour range and/or object size criteria. The vision algorithms can be used to determine the centroid coordinates of a detected object. The automatic tracking of coloured objects is particularly useful in machine vision based robotics applications such as the “RoboCup challenge” and other camera controlled multi-agent systems.

Internally, the drivers gain access to the video capture card through calls to functions provided by the runtime libraries that come with "The Imaging Source" cameras. Classification of the acquired image data is performed using the algorithms of the Color Machine Vision project (CMVision). This project is an initiative of the CORAL group at the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. The source code of this software collection has been published under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and can be downloaded from the project’s home page at CMVision provides “a simple, robust vision system suitable for real time robotics applications” by means of “global low level colour vision at video rates without the use of special purpose hardware”.

“TIS Vision Tools” is distributed as Free Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License Agreement (GPL). This gives a user the right to copy, re-distribute and modify the source code of the toolbox to suit any of their needs.

Frank Wornle (

The University of Adelaide

School of Mechanical Engineering

October, 2005