The OpenMV project is about creating low-cost, extensible, Python powered, machine vision modules and aims at becoming the “Arduino of Machine Vision“. Our goal is to bring machine vision algorithms closer to makers and hobbyists. We’ve done the difficult and time-consuming algorithm work for you leaving more time for your creativity!
The OpenMV Cam is like an super powerful Arduino with a camera on board that you program in Python. We make it easy to run machine visions algorithms on what the OpenMV Cam sees so you can track colors, detect faces, and more in seconds and then control I/O pins in the real-world.
Introducing the OpenMV Cam H7
The OpenMV Cam H7 is the next generation OpenMV Cam model following the successful OpenMV Cam M7 which has sold more than 10K units to date.
The OpenMV Cam H7 (click here for the product page with specs and measurements) is 2X more powerful than OpenMV Cam M7 and features removable camera modules for global shutter and thermal vision support in addition to a standard rolling-shutter color camera sensor.
What can I do with an OpenMV Cam?
You can build a color tracking robot that's capable of tracking colored objects in the field of view!
Or build a line following robot for competitions!
Or build your own DIY Microscope.
Or whatever you can imagine!
Multi-Blob Color Tracking - OpenMV Cam's have a lot of features. But, folks mainly buy them for color tracking. The OpenMV Cam H7 blows away the OpenMV Cam M7 in this regard easily hitting 80 FPS or more making it perfect for building your own DIY Robocar.
In particular, the OpenMV Cam H7 can detect an unlimited number of blobs per frame found by segmenting the image using up to 16 color thresholds so you can do things like color code tracking. After detecting all the color blobs in the frame the OpenMV Cam H7 will then merge overlapping blobs. Our algorithm returns the bounding box size, centroid, orientation, and more for each blob in the frame. Best of all, picking color thresholds is easy using our Threshold Editor tool in OpenMV IDE.
April Tag, QR Code, Bar Code, and Data Matrix Decoding Support - The OpenMV Cam H7 can track April Tags, decode QR Codes, read every type of Bar Code, and can also parse data matrices too just like the OpenMV M7 - but at 2X faster!
Our embedded 1D/2D barcode support is the easiest way for you to add 1D/2D barcode support to your next microcontroller project. We're actually running desktop libraries such as AprilTag2, ZBar, and libdmtx under-the-hood.
Thermal Vision - The OpenMV Cam H7 brings FLIR Lepton 1/2/3 thermal camera sensor support allowing you to run all of our algorithms on thermal images using our FLIR Lepton adapter exclusively for the OpenMV Cam H7.
Want to detect people entering a room? Thermal Vision + Multi-Blob Color Tracking makes this trivial. With the OpenMV Cam H7 using thermal vision has never been easier!
Finally, you have complete control over all lower level FLIR Lepton features on the OpenMV Cam H7 exposed as a python module built-into the firmware. Getting the absolute temperature of any pixels in the image is no problem.
Global Shutter Sensor Support - And... for folks needing precision machine vision support we offer the MT9V034 camera sensor module providing global shutter sensor support.
The MT9V034 is a gray-scale only global-shutter sensor with on-demand trigger support. It's capable of running at 80 FPS at VGA/QVGA, 200 FPS at QQVGA, and 400 FPS at QQQVGA.
In particular, if you're trying to build an application where you need to perfectly control the sensor exposure with exact triggering the global shutter module will meet your needs. Additionally, if you need more processing power for your application you can hook the OpenMV Cam H7 up to a Raspberry Pi and use the OpenMV Cam H7 with the global shutter sensor module as a low-cost global shutter camera.
CNN Support - Finally, the OpenMV Cam H7 supports loadable neural networks and is capable of running simple CNNs like LENET-6 for number detection. Neural network support is provided by ARM's new CMSIS-NN library.
Once we get done with this KickStarter we'll be able to focus on training networks for the OpenMV Cam H7 to do things like people detection.
The OpenMV Cam H7 (click here for the full specs) is powered by the STM32H743VIT6 microcontroller which has these notable features (in addition to all the standard microcontroller peripherals like a UARTs, I2C/SPI buses, and Interrupts/PWM on all I/O pins):
- An ARM Cortex-M7 processor running at 400 MHz capable of executing 2 instructions per clock with a double precision FPU.
- 1 MB of onboard RAM with a 64-bit memory bus running at 400 MHz providing 3.2GB/s or memory bandwidth - perfect for a frame buffer.
- 2 MB of onboard FLASH with a 64-bit memory bus running at 400 MHz providing 3.2GB/s or memory bandwidth - perfect for random access color space conversion lookup tables.
- A hardware JPEG compressor running at 200 MHz.
These features allow the OpenMV Cam H7 to stream much higher quality video to OpenMV IDE than the OpenMV Cam M7 along with processing frames much faster than the OpenMV Cam M7. Additionally, the STM32H7 processor has a CoreMark score of 2020 which is comparable to the 1 GHz Raspbery Pi Zero's CoreMark score of 2060 putting the OpenMV Cam H7's performance in the realm of application processors running Linux. The STM32H7 is a very powerful microcontroller that only draws about 110 mA on average while processing images and can power itself down instantly while maintaining SRAM memory state to less than 2 mA on-demand making it perfect for real-time low-power machine vision applications (and of-course it can wake back up instantly on an I/O pin changing state).
Powered by MicroPython
The OpenMV Cam H7 is powered by MicroPython by Damien George which lets you program your OpenMV Cam H7's behavior in Python 3! MicroPython is a popular open-source microcontroller operating system that runs on other micro-controllers like the BBC Microbit, ESP8266, ESP32, the Teensy, and Adafruit's Feather Circuit Python boards.
Programming your OpenMV Cam H7 using Python versus C gives you less than 1 second compile/load/execute times allowing you to quickly iterate on your project.
That said, the OpenMV Cam H7's firmware is 100% open-source and you can program the OpenMV Cam H7's STM32H7 microcontroller directly in C if you prefer.
Your OpenMV Cam H7 comes with OpenMV IDE which makes programming your OpenMV Cam H7 easy and fun. OpenMV IDE features a modern Python multi-file text editor, a slick serial terminal, and a frame buffer to see what your OpenMV Cam sees in real-time.
We've been developing OpenMV IDE for over 2 years now and OpenMV IDE runs on Windows, Mac, Linux 32-bit/64-bit, and Raspberry Pi. OpenMV IDE is robust, battle tested, and stable. The IDE supports the OpenMV Cam M4 (OV2640/OV7725), the OpenMV Cam M7, the OpenMV Cam H7, and any MicroPython board over REPL.
OpenMV IDE is also open-source. You can take our code and develop your own desktop application to work with your OpenMV Cam H7 (yes, people have actually done this).
Additional OpenMV Cam H7 w/ OV7725 camera module - add an extra $49 to your pledge to include an additional OpenMV Cam H7 w/ OV7725 camera module (more information). 25% off store price!
OpenMV Cam H7 Case - add an extra $5 to your pledge to include a clear plastic case for your OpenMV Cam H7 (more information).
FLIR Lepton Adapter Module - add an extra $15 to your pledge to include a FLIR Lepton Adapter Module for attaching a FLIR Lepton Module to your OpenMV Cam H7 (more information). Does not come with a FLIR Lepton Camera Module. If you would like the adapter to come with a FLIR Lepton 3.5 Camera Module please add an extra $280 instead of $15 to your pledge to receive a FLIR Lepton Adapter Module and a FLIR Lepton 3.5 with Radiometry Support. Subject to GroupGets shipping restrictions (see below).
Global Shutter Camera Module - add an extra $50 to your pledge to include a Global Shutter Camera Module for giving your OpenMV Cam precision machine vision (more information).
Proto Shield - add $4 to your pledge to include a Proto Shield for adding custom circuits to your OpenMV Cam (more information). 20% off store price!
LCD Shield - add $16 to your pledge to include a LCD Shield for displaying images on-the-go with your OpenMV Cam (more information). 20% off store price!
WiFi Shield - add $24 to your pledge to include a WiFi Shield for connecting your OpenMV Cam to the internet (more information). 20% off store price!
Servo Shield - add $12 to your pledge to include a Servo Shield for controlling up to 8 hobby servos with your OpenMV Cam (more information). 20% off store price!
Motor Shield - add $16 to your pledge to include a Motor Shield for controlling up to 2 DC motors from a battery with your OpenMV Cam (more information). 20% off store price!
IR Lens - add $4 to your pledge to include an IR Lens (a lens without an IR cut filter) to allow your OpenMV Cam to easily see IR light (more information). 20% off store price!
Telephoto Lens - add $4 to your pledge to include a Telephoto Lens (a zoom lens) to allow your OpenMV Cam to see far away (more information). 20% off store price!
Wide Angle Lens - add $12 to your pledge to include a Wide Angle Lens to give your OpenMV Cam a wider field-of-view (more information). 20% off store price!
We'll be manufacturing the OpenMV Cam H7 in China with the help of EtonTech who currently manufactures our OpenMV Cam M7. We've done three production runs of more than 4K+ OpenMV Cam M7s with them so far and love their production quality. EtonTech is able to source parts in minimal time and build units even faster. They make sure each and every camera sensor is clean without any dirt or dust on it and they pre-focus camera lenses using OpenMV IDE too!
After production is complete we'll be using EtonTech to provide logistics support to ship all rewards to backers from Hong Kong for the best international shipping rates before we ship over production units to our fulfillment warehouse in the United States.
Note that we are shipping from Hong Kong to avoid potentially getting caught in the middle of the trade war and being hit by tariffs. Since this is our second KickStarter we've tried to plan for surprise costs.
Most of the components for the OpenMV Cam H7 can be sourced easily for mass production by EtonTech. We love working with EtonTech in particular because they are able to quickly get the OV7725 and MT9V034 camera modules without issues in China.
One note however, the primary reason for us launching this KickStarter, beside media coverage, is to raise money for purchasing 10K STM32H7VIT6 chips from ST's factory. That said, we've priced the OpenMV Cam H7 using distributor pricing so that there won't be any problems with delivery if we don't raise enough money. But, if we raise enough to buy directly from the factory we'll be able to continuing offering the OpenMV Cam H7 at a low-price after the KickStarter.
For the FLIR Lepton 3.5 sensors we're working with GroupGets to source them. GroupGets is a premier FLIR Lepton re-seller and they'll be handling the paper work for backers who want a FLIR Lepton 3.5.
Please note that GroupGets is prohibited from shipping to any country other than North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. If you'd like to buy a FLIR Lepton 3.5 and GroupGets is unable to ship to you please try to purchase one from your local distributer.
For our last KickStarter back in 2015 we managed the after KickStarter survey and shipping fulfillment manually. This was a nightmare all-around. Never again.
So, we've signed up with BackerKit to help us manage the after KickStarter journey. BackerKit allows us to create awesome after KickStarter surveys for making sure your shipping address is right and allowing you to correctly specify add-ons. Additionally, they'll be running our after KickStarter pre-order store allowing us to separate pre-order traffic from our normal store operations. Finally, they'll be working as a user interface front-end for EtonTech to make sure all orders are shipped correctly and on-time.
Kwabena W. Agyeman (linkedin) is the president and co-founder of OpenMV LLC (ST Partner), ARM Innovator, and has a B.S. and M.S. from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh for Electrical and Computer Engineering. Kwabena enjoys programming microcontrollers and runs OpenMV's operations.
Ibrahim Abdalkader (linkedin) is the vice-president and co-founder of OpenMV LLC (ST Partner), ARM Innovator, and has a B.S. and M.S. from AAST in Egypt for Computer Science. Ibrahim created the OpenMV Cam and is in charge of firmware development and board design.
Risks and challenges
The OpenMV Cam H7's hardware and software is ready-to-go. We've been working on the OpenMV Cam H7 all year and have created numerous prototypes that all work without any issues using all three of our different camera sensor modules.
We've learned a lot from the issues with our original OpenMV Cam M4 KickStarter back in 2015 and know how to mass produce products now. We've done 5 more mass production runs of the OpenMV Cam M7 since then totaling more than 8K+ cameras. The OpenMV Cam H7 will be our 7th mass production run and we're confident it will be a turn-key operation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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