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OpenMV Cam M7 News and Performance

One of the best features of the OpenMV Cam is the ability to track color. So, with the new OpenMV Cam M7 we maxed out the performance. Now you'll be able to track in color and in grayscale at 30 FPS for almost every resolution. Check it out!

Anyway, right now we're hard at work preparing the next firmware release with the improved find_blobs() code and find_qrcodes(). We should have the next firmware release along with an updated version of OpenMV IDE ready by next week. Note that you'll see a nice speed boost with the new find_blobs() code on your OpenMV Cam M4.

Additionally, we'll finally update the documentation with the next release! This includes lots of updated PYB module info - like pyb.stop() to drop your OpenMV Cam into low power mode (less than 1mA current draw).

OpenMV Cam M7 Manufacturing News

We got our second set of prototypes for the OpenMV Cam M7 back from MacroFab. They more or less work perfectly. However, we're still waiting on one more set of prototypes from MacroFab before we'll commit to the design. The final set of prototypes should be in our hands next week. Then we'll order two panels of 20 OpenMV Cams on each.

In the mean time, please continue to pre-order the OpenMV Cam M7 and get the word out about it.

Other cool stuff

Here's a nice line following video with the OpenMV Cam by Blake Emerton:

And here's an example of what the robot sees:

QR Code Detection w/ your OpenMV Cam

After many requests, we now have QR Code detection support built-in to the OpenMV Cam's firmware. Check it out!

QR Code Detection support is made possible by Daniel Beer's quirc library which was designed to run on low memory systems like the OpenMV Cam. The library is capable of detecting and decoding QR Codes from version 1 (21x21 pixels) to version 40 (177x177 pixels). Best of all, the library code will work on both the M4 version of the OpenMV Cam and the new M7 version.

On the M4 OpenMV Cam you're going to be limited to detection resolutions less than or equal to 160x120 which translates into support for QR Code versions 1-5. So, you'll be able to decode QR Codes that can handle up to 255 character numeric strings, 154 character alpha numeric strings, and 106 character 8-bit ASCII/UTF-8 strings. On the M7 you'll be able to go up to 320x240 which will allow for up to version 15 QR Codes which can store 1,250 character numeric strings, 758 character alpha numeric strings, and 520 character 8-bit ASCII/UTF-8 strings.

Once we release updated firmware with QR Code support you'll be able to use the feature simply by calling the "find_qrcodes" function which will return a list of QR Code objects. These QR Code objects return the bounding box around the QR Code, the payload in ASCII form, and a few other bits of information for advanced users.

OpenMV Cam M7 News

We're currently prototyping the new M7 board still. We'll be getting our next batch of prototypes back in January and once we verify that all features work without any issues we'll start a small production run of 40 boards to test a new programming jig we're building for the M7 boards which can program 20 (a panel) at a time. Assuming that all goes well we'll then start the production of 1000 more boards.

As for the fund raising progress - We've done a lot of sales for the M4 boards and we have enough cash in our coffers to do the M7 production run. So, for everyone who's pre-ordered so far I can say that we should be able to build the next run of OpenMV Cams. However, this is basically going to drain every cent of our bank account to do so at this time. So, please share this QR Code video with friends and colleagues and let them know about the new OpenMV Cam M7 so we can raise more cash!  More money in our coffers means lower prices on everything since we'll be able to manufacture more things like our shields in larger volumes.

Other Stuff

We'll be rolling out a new firmware release soon using the auto update feature built-into the IDE along with an updated library reference. Among other things the "find_blobs" function was re-worked to use the scan line fill algorithm when its finding all the pixels in a blob. This algorithm is 3X faster than the previous code. The function still has to check every pixel for a blob but after it finds one it will figure out all the pixels in the blob 3X faster now. Additionally, "find_blobs" will return a blob object with named attributes like ".cx()" or ".rect()" now so you don't have to deal with tuple indexes anymore (but, indexing into the object like a tuple will still continue to work).

Website Finished!

Hey everyone,

I've finally finished updating the website. It was a lot of work but worth it. We now have:

Complete Product Documentation: All of our product pages are full of information now. We've got pinout images, temperature specs, power consumption specs, and more. We even have the specs up for our original OpenMV Cam using the OV2640 sensor (also, notice how we found OmniVision datasheets we could actually share online).

Better Payment Options: You can now pay via credit card, PayPal, and Amazon Payments if you use Amazon. Additionally, we support Apple Pay too! Finally, I've enabled accounts on the website now so you don't have to re-enter your address anymore if you make an account when checking out.

A Home Page Campaign: Now when you tell your friends about OpenMV you and they won't be disappointed by our landing page. We even have an FAQ now for the all the big questions about OpenMV.

Integrated Mailing List and Twitter: Last but not least, we have our mailing list signup and Twitter built-into our webpage now. Even better, our mailing list automatically scans our blog's RSS feed and automatically generates emails to everyone on our mailing list and tweets about it when we post a new article. So, as we get more work done we have a much easier way of getting the word out now. That's probably how you're reading this.

Moving forwards, we're still taking pre-orders for the new OpenMV Cam M7. Please help us out and pre-order one or more boards today! We actually need to raise the amount we're looking for to build 1000 boards at once. Otherwise the cost per board will be too high (note that we're only raising money for the additional capital we need, a run of 1000 boards costs way more than what we're trying to raise). And for everyone who's pre-ordered already - thanks so much for believing in the project! I hope our work on OpenMV so far has shown you how much we are committed to making this project succeed.

Anyway, I'll be working on the documentation now and getting that all up to date along with finally posting the tutorial on how to use the OpenMV Cam. After the documentation is complete I'll start work again on finishing up the IDE.

Thanks for reading!

If you see any random issues with the website let us know and we'll fix them (and yes, we know that the map on the contacts page doesn't seem to load).