Saturday, February 8, 2014

OpenMV Update: MicroPython, More I/O, uSD and Lots of Other Things!

Time for another update, sorry this took me so long, I've been very busy working on OpenMV, the good news is I have lots of new features implemented! There's a new (smaller :D) hardware revision with more I/O (USART/I2C and SPI) and a uSD socket, MicroPython support, an IDE for the camera, and for those of you who have been wondering, I'm working with Michael Shimniok from Bot-Thoughts on doing a Kickstarter campaign for OpenMV, soon, hopefully, you will be able to get one for a very reasonable price :) so stay tuned!

Okay, so on the software side, you've probably heard of the MicroPython project, if not make sure to check it out, basically MicroPython is very efficient, lightweight Python VM for microcontrollers, the plan was to script the camera with Lua/eLua but MP has some really neat features already implemented, so long story short, I've decided to script the camera with MP... after lots of work, I managed to get MP running on OpenMV, and wrote some MP bindings to export the subsystems of OpenMV to Python, eventually it will be completely controlled with Python.

So how this works so far, basically, on reset OpenMV runs a default Python script with the old serial camera interface (receive commands from the serial port, process and return result) but it also shows up as a small USB storage device where you can copy your own Python script(s), reset and it runs that instead of the default script.. In addition to that, you can also "talk" to the camera directly using a Python shell over the com port while watching the framebuffer in realtime :)

I've also combined all those nice features into a single "IDE" for convenience, written with Python, PyGTK and PyUSB. The IDE has a Python shell, a framebuffer viewer, and it can run scripts or save them to flash:

Moving on to the hardware, the new revision is 1.0x1.30 inches, it has a tiny uSD socket (which will be available to Python user code) USART, SPI and I2C broken out on the main 2.54mm header and a separate 2mm SWD debugging header.. There's also a switch, which will be used for boot or reset.
Here are some pics of the 3rd (2nd?) revision:

Compared to the old one:

That's it for now, please let me know if you have any comments :) thanks!
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