A real-time image capture and processing system for the artificial compound eye of 3D object detection is presented. A light spot in 3D space could be imaged as a series of spots on the image sensor by the compound eye we developed. In order to alleviate the pressure on data transmission, processing and storage, image processing algorithms including medium filtering, single-pass connected components labelling (CCL) and center of gravity (COG) were integrated into the camera. The camera was mainly made up with a single cyclone IV FPGA chip and it is a SOPC based system. The image processing algorithms were implemented as an intellectual property (IP) core that is applicable to the Avalon Memory-Mapped (Avalon-MM) interfaces. Then the output of the camera is a series of spot coordinates which is in a sequential order. From the results of testing, the maximum image processing rate is about 20fps, which has exceeded the maximum frame rate (15fps) of the image sensor at a high image resolution of 2048 × 2048.