OpenMV low-cost, hackable machine vision board
Michael Shimniok over at bot-thoughts.com has posted about a new project he’s working on called OpenMV. This is a small, low-cost machine vision board that lets you easily add advanced vision capability to any electronics project.
All vision tasks are handled directly on the board. Possibilities mentioned include face detection at 25 frames per second, or color blob tracking at 60 fps, but these only scratch the surface of what it might do. The board itself is scriptable through MicroPython scripts, loaded from a micro-SD card.
This sort of development is exciting for hobby robotics because vision is hard, but the results are great fun. A robot that can see is far more interactive than one that can only feel or build a rough obstacle map through distance sensors. A low-cost board like this could be added to any robot to greatly expand the interesting behaviors it can do, without greatly increasing the difficulty of the project.
It seems to me that this project has all the right goals to have a huge impact on the robotics hobby. To finish development and fund production, a Kickstarter is planned. I’ll be supporting them — I hope you will too!