Elements, Motion and the Void

I just spent few hours at my new favorite place - the Mall. 

Haha! Just kidding. The Mall is still a vanilla-scented descent into hell, but it had the one thing I really need right now: lots of warm bodies walking around.

The seasonal cold snap has settled in hard, just in time for the holidays, and I needed some source data to help calibrate this algorithm. It's way to cold to sit out on an actual street corner for a couple hours, so to the Mall I went!

Actually, for the sake of this project, it's about perfect. Lots of different people, singly and in groups walking past, plus, different clothing styles that display different thermal signatures. 

The Blob!!!

It turns out blobs are very important to computer vision.

No, not the 50's horror classic starring Steve McQueen, but rather pixel blobs - groupings in an image that share some common feature, such as proximity, color, or a host of other properties. 

I've spend most of this past week learning about a Python library called OpenCV, short for "Open Computer Vision" and it's amazing. 

Within Python it's possible to call all sorts of functions to open an modify virtually any image source (in my case, thermal data being pulled from the Lepton camera).

If You Liked It Then You Should Have Put a Ring On It...


My wedding ring is palladium, and emits no IR heat at all. So cold and unyielding...

With the basic wiring and shell design complete,  I've the past couple of days working on the software for this project and that means digging heavily into CV2 (Open Computer Vision V.2), a really magical library of image manipulation software that integrates with Python on the Raspberyy Pi. 

Cutting the Cord on the FLIR Lepton


This unit is about the same length and width as an iphone 5

Time to cut the cord on this project. My Romoss Polymos 10 Air USB power supply came (late) in the mail today, but there was still time to wire it up to the Raspberry Pi/Lepton. I'll have to test it a few times, but I'm hoping to get 24-48 hours of charge from this power supply. The good news, it can be charged through either the mini USB or regular USB ports, and can output either 1A or 2A.

So Hot Right Now


My mustaches are slightly more cool than the rest of my face.

We have an image! Very exciting progress. My jumbo pack of jump cables showed up on the doorstep today, so I wired up the Lepton camera to the Raspberry Pi, downloaded some software from Github and blammo! We have a working thermal camera!

You Can't Dumpster Dive a Trash Compactor

My wife loves it when I fill the living room with refrigerator boxes.
My wife loves it when I fill the living room with dumpster cardboard.

Well, I'm still waiting for the jumper wires I need to get the Lepton attached to the Raspberry Pi, so I switched gears today and worked on a mock up for the exterior shell for this project. The final shell will be custom printed corrugated plastic, but for now I'm working in cardboard to make sure I have all the dimensions and anchor points worked out. 

I figured my final exterior dimensions need to be ~ 40.5" x 25", although this might change a bit once I see how big the power pack is going to be. 

Hot Raspberry Pi

It's Raspberry Pi day! I got a nice box in the mail while we were away for Thanksgiving, thanks to the folks over at FLIR. This included a brand new Raspberry Pi 3, a power unit and a Lepton infrared camera

Even though today is Black Friday, I ended up driving around to three different stores trying to find the right jumper wires to connect the Lepton to the Pi, but no luck. I caved in and placed an order for what I need on Amazon and it should come in by Monday.