Interesting. I thought the same... this is too much electronics power for the task but... it's good to use what is at your hand and it's a good way to learn how to use it.
And also... this will grow right? Let's see how this evolves. Turn on the TV, and the like.
And put an intercom on the outside of your home and connect it to a Voice over IP client and then to the internet so that you can receive a call whenever someone pushes your intercom button and answer and make them believe you're there. Of course you would answer but then sent them away right? :)
keep up the good engineering work!
electryk321 - As the article states, he already had the Spartan kit. What better way to become familiar with it than a "real world" application? This isn't a production design.
Engineering is making things with what you have. An already paid for and in hand solution is cheaper than buying a 39 cent processor and ginning up the circuitry, power supply, I/O and such for it, yes?
I've used a $12000 workstation to weigh airplanes - a horrible price mismatch - because I already had it. Results were pretty darn good too (still used in FAA and EAA reference documents).
Kudos to Robin for a fine article and clear documentation!
Of course you can use FPGA to count fishes (or track their movement) with camera. The complexity of this task probablu will require to use FPGA or fast processor.
If you have a benefit of such work why should I say to stop doing this? I just point this project should be designed in another way. In the text I do not see arguments why FPGA was choosen. If it was a "school project" selecting FPGA make a sense, for instalation in real house IMHO not.
Good engineering practice is to scale resources to task. What will be next? Use supercomputer to blink LED?
If you want to add USB and video processing core, I doubt if Spartan-3E will have enought resources. Probably you should use some chip from Virtex family, or just take some embedded computer (or PC).
@Elektryk: The thing is that when you have a project in mind, this helps you learn the hardware.
I want to make a random-number generator using a camera pointing at a fish tank and using an FPGA to count the number of scales on however many fish are in view at any one time.
Next you will be telling me that this is a waste of my time (Ha!)
Elektryk, I personally think the idea of killing bugs with artillery sounds like a lot of fun.
After I've mastered the 'bugs', I would naturally want to see what else I can do with my artillery. With the Spartan-3E dev kit, I could add a USB camera and video processing core to watch for bugs, and target them autonomously.