Take your Raspberry Pi Zero W board and insert the two plastic standoffs into the two yellow holes opposite the 40-pin box header.
This project lets you build an image recognition device that can see and identify objects, powered by TensorFlow’s machine learning models. All you need is a Raspberry Pi Zero W, a Raspberry Pi Camera 2, and a blank SD card. A free Android app is coming soon to help you easily control your device.
Assembling the kit should take about an hour.
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List of Materials
Open the box and verify you have all of the necessary components in your kit. You’ll also need a couple of tools for assembly.
In your kit
- 1 VisionBonnet accessory board (×1)
- 2 11mm plastic standoffs (×2)
- 3 24mm RGB arcade button and nut (×1)
- 4 Privacy LED (×1)
- 5 LED bezel (×1)
- 6 1/4/20 flanged nut (×1)
- 7 Lens, lens washer, and lens magnet (×1)
- 8 50 mil ribbon cable (×1)
- 9 Pi0 camera flat flex cable (×1)
- 10 MIPI flat flex cable (×1)
- 11 Piezo buzzer (×1)
- 12 External cardboard box (×1)
- 13 Internal cardboard frame (×1)
- Raspberry Pi Zero W (×1)
- Raspberry Pi camera 2 (×1)
- Blank SD card (at least 4 GB) (×1)
- Micro-USB power supply (×1)
- Optional: Micro-USB to USB cable (or whatever connects to your own computer) (×1)
This guide shows you how to assemble the AIY Projects Vision Kit.
The kit contains a cardboard form, the VisionBonnet accessory board for image recognition, and some other connecting components. You’ll need a Raspberry Pi Zero W board, the Raspberry Pi Camera 2, and a blank SD card with at least 4 GB of space to build the kit.
By the end of this guide your Vision Kit will be assembled, configured, and ready to run!
Get the Vision Kit SD Image
You’ll need to download the Vision Kit SD image and write it to the SD card. Downloading the image can take a few minutes, so while that’s going get started on assembling the kit.
Get the Vision Kit SD image (available soon)
After it’s downloaded, write the image to your SD card using a card writing utility (Etcher.io is a popular tool for this)
Assemble the hardware
Find your VisionBonnet accessory board.
Remove the black cap from the button connector header.
Pull back the black release lever on the VisionBonnet board.
Gently slide the MIPI flex cable into the VisionBonnet until the cable hits the back of the connector. Check that the contacts are the right direction.
Secure the cable with the release lever.
Carefully bend the MIPI cable toward the side of the VisionBonnet with the 40-pin header.
Put the VisionBonnet aside for a second.
Find your Raspberry Pi board and pull back the black release lever.
Slide the other side of the MIPI flex cable into the Raspberry Pi.
Warning The Raspberry Pi Zero W board connector is fragile. Be gentle and don’t push too hard.
Secure the release lever once it’s in place.
Carefully bend the MIPI cable so that the two board’s headers are facing each other. In the next step you’ll connect them.
Connect the two boards via the 40-pin header. Gently push the MIPI cable so that it folds into the space between the two boards.
Press down to snap the spacers opposite the header into place. Press down to snap the spacers opposite the header into place. Push gently: forcing the standoffs into place may cause them to break.
Find the 50 mil ribbon cable and plug it into the button connector on the VisionBonnet board.
Set your connected boards aside for now.
Well done! Set aside your hardware for now.
Assemble the inner frame
Find your Pi camera 2 board and the Pi0 camera flat flex cable.
Connect the Pi0 cable to the Pi camera 2 board.
Find the smaller cardboard piece. This piece holds the hardware components and fits inside the larger cardboard box.
Place the Pi camera 2 board onto the frame. The camera’s aperture fits into a rectangular slot in the middle of the cardboard.
Turn over the cardboard and check that the aperture is visible.
Turning the cardboard back over, fold the window-shaped cardboard tab over camera board.
Fold the tabs on the left and the right of the board upward.
The tabs won’t be locked into place at this point. You’ll need to hold them together for a few more steps.
Turn the cardboard frame over.
Find your Piezo buzzer and insert the wire into the cardboard hole below the camera aperture.
Take the buzzer component and press it into the cardboard hole. The buzzer should fit snugly in the cardboard.
Set the cardboard nearby (you’ll use it in a second).
Plug the flex cable camera that’s connected to your camera (in the cardboard frame) into the VisionBonnet board connector.
Place the two boards onto the bottom tab of the cardboard frame. Fold the rest of the cardboard frame upward.
Loop the flex camera cable through the cardboard indent.
Gently fold the flex cable toward the board (otherwise it won’t fit into the cardboard box later on).
The cardboard also has two feet under the board. Fold those downward.
Put it all together
Find the other cardboard component and fold it into a box, keeping the bottom and top flaps open.
Take your internal cardboard frame and slide it into the bottom of the cardboard box.
Check that you’re sliding the frame into the bottom of the cardboard box (the bottom of the cardboard box has a flap with a hole).
Also check that the board connectors are aligned with the box cutouts.
Take the 1/4/20 nut and place it between the flaps on the bottom of the cardboard box.
Fold the large flap over to close the bottom of the box.
Turn the box over.
Find your privacy LED and LED bezel.
Push the LED bezel into the hole above the camera aperture.
From the inside of the box, take the privacy LED and insert it into the LED bezel. It should snap into place.
Make sure the LED is peeking out on the other side.
Find your arcade button and insert it into the hole on the top flap of the cardboard box. Secure it with the plastic nut on the other side.
Check the arcade button’s board for the words Bonnet, LED, and Piezo.
Find your Piezo buzzer cable and plug it into the slot marked Piezo.
Same for the LED.
And plug the 50 mil ribbon cable into the slot marked Bonnet.
Carefully close the top of the box.
Find the camera lens mount washer and remove the adhesive strip from the back.
Attach the camera lens mount washer to the cardboard.
Attach the lens assembly to the lens washer. Look through the lens to ensure lens and camera are concentrically aligned.
Your Vision Kit is fully assembled. A couple more steps and you’re ready to turn it on.
WARNING: The lens contains magnets and should be kept out of reach of children and may interfere with medical implants and pacemakers.
Plug in your peripherals
Now that you’ve assembled your kit, plug in everything you need. Your Vision Kit can be used with or without a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. To begin, plug in both MicroUSB ports - one for power and one for data.
Insert your SD card with the Vision Kit SD image.
Plug in your micro-USB to USB cable. Connect the USB end to another computer.
Plug in the USB power supply, if you have one.
Note: Your Vision Kit will run with power from just the data cable connection, but we recommend providing using an external power source via the PiZero’s power MicroUSB port for reliability.
Your Vision Kit can be run without a monitor, keyboard, or mouse--the Joy Detector demo app will start automatically when the device boots up. But if you want to use the GUI and do some more tinkering, plugging in peripherals are required.
Turn it on and use the Joy Detector demo
After you plug in your power supply cable (or micro-USB connector cable) the Vision Kit will turn on. The first boot will take around 4 minutes on a Pi Zero W while the image expands, features install, and settings are configured. Subsequent boots will only take a minute.
After your Vision Kit boots up, the Joy Detector demo app will be ready to use. The Joy Detector demo runs inference using Google’s facial detection model (running on the Movidius co-processor) on frames from the PiCamera.
Try directing the PiCamera toward someone’s face: the inference run detects the number of faces and a joy score for each face. The intensity of the arcade button’s LED is the sum of the joy scores across all detected faces: The more intense the button brightness, the more joyful faces. Cool!
This is just the start. The Joy Detector demo is just one of many demos: there’s so much else you can do with the kit!
Check out our Maker’s Guide for information on:
- Trying our other demos and models
- SSHing / connecting to the Vision Kit through your computer
- Starting your own Vision Kit project
- Learning more about the TensorFlow model compiler
You did it! Whether this was your first hackable project or you’re a seasoned maker, we hope this project has sparked new ideas for you. Keep tinkering, there’s more to come.