Religious philosophers have long pointed to the eye as evidence for “Intelligent Design”: an organ so complex and intricate that the component parts couldn’t possibly have evolved and come together in just the right way to provide vision through a mere accident of nature. When our inevitable robot overlords start to have a similar conversation about their own origins and capacity for eyesight, maybe they’ll point to OpenMV Cam.
“Machine vision” technologies are nothing new. Digital cameras have been around for decades, and we’re all familiar with software that can recognize elements of digital images like faces, text, and QR codes. But OpenMV Cam puts it all in one place, creating a self-contained development board that can give eyes to any device.
The board includes a microprocessor, a 2-megapixel camera with interchangeable lenses, a pair of infrared LEDs for night vision, and servo headers for controlling tripods and other motors. Developers can expand its capabilities with “shield” modules that add Wi-Fi connectivity, an LCD screen, or infrared heatmap overlays.
Built-in software provides all the building blocks for face recognition, object tracking, recording and streaming video, and other tasks. Developers program OpenMV Cam’s behavior with short Python scripts.
OpenMV Cam is an open-source project released under the MIT license, and the code is available on Github for developers to dig into and collaborate on improvements. As the creators write at Kickstarter: “OpenMV Cam can do a lot right now, but as a community, working together, we can revolutionize machine vision for hobby electronics, education, and artistic pursuits.”
The crowdfunding campaign runs through February 25, and OpenMV Cam is scheduled to ship in August.
See it in action in the video below.
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