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Battery-Powered Image Logger

Small battery-operated board with low-power image sensor that captures images at regular intervals and saves them on a memory card.

I recently posted some of the work I was doing on twitter and I got an e-mail from someone I knew that said so what, what’s it good for? That’s a great question, so let’s start there. The camera module in this project is inexpensive (under $10) and low-power, but also low-resolution (320x320), and not exactly worthy of capturing those memorable moments of your life. However, it is great for things like doing computer vision in a battery-powered device. In particular, I’m interested in using it with convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and for that, we need data! Even if I’m going to train my CNN on public data, I will typically fine-tune it with some data specifically from the device, or at the very least, use images from the target device for testing.

The Vision FPGA SoM is the target platform for my applications. It’s small and includes an FPGA from Lattice Semiconductor as well as a low-power camera module from HiMax Imaging. There is however, no mass storage. In order to collect images, I will need a board with an SD card and microcontroller to transfer images to the card. Fortunately, offers an Adafruit Feather-compatible board for the SoM, so it can be easily used with a number Feather microcontrollers and FeatherWings.

I happened to have a Feather M0 WiFi and an Adalogger FeatherWing (NOTE: There is a Feather that includes both an M0 microcontroller and an SD card which would be a lot more convenient, but was out-of-stock at the time of this build). Since I would be combining the Feather M0 with two separate Wings (Adalogger and SoM), the next step is to check for pin conflicts.”

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