I was hoping somebody here would be able to help me. I got a good deal on an Intel Edison + Mini Breakout Kit from Sparkfun for Black Friday. I had all kinds of ideas for projects but now that I have it, I am feeling rather uninspired. Basically I think it seems really cool on the surface, but the only high-speed interface it has is USB. Unless you count wifi, I suppose. If you just want to twiddle GPIOs or turn on LEDs then that?s easy enough using an 8-bit microcontroller (or anything, really). The need for real processing power, at least for me, tends to come from needing to process large amounts of data which, surprise surprise, requires a high-bandwidth interface. Sure, you could hook up a USB webcam, but for me that almost defeats the purpose of using such a tiny processing board to begin with (adapters, hubs, blah blah ? before you know it it?s bigger than a full-sized Raspberry Pi), and USB sucks for cameras anyway. Using a dual-core Intel Atom just because it has both GPIOs and wifi seems a little silly too. So yeah, basically I?m regretting my purchase now that I want to actually do something with it.
I?m thinking about getting a Raspberry Pi Model A+. I like that it?s pretty small and light-weight (23g, vs the 16g for the Edison mounted to the Mini Breakout Kit), plus it has a CSI camera port with a known camera and working drivers. Lack of wifi is the only real thing missing, and not a dealbreaker for me. I want to do some things with OpenCV, and having a small camera (no bulky USB cables etc) with a real camera interface rather than clunky USB seems much cleaner to me. And all starting at ~$20.
So, some questions:
- Edison: Anyone have any awesome ideas for what to do with an Edison + Mini Breakout Kit? I?d like to at least put this thing into service somewhere rather than shelve it forever. There HAS to be a good use for it, but I haven?t found one yet. I may end up just doing the USB webcam thing because I can't think of anything else.
- Raspberry Pi with camera: anybody used the camera before, ideally with something like OpenCV? I will likely make an adapter for S-mount lenses to give me more options, as I've done before on some other cameras in machine vision applications. Is it a pain to code for on the Pi? I gather that you need to use their Mali (or whatever) GPU but am not sure how involved that is. I want to be able to capture images at, say, 20-30 fps (color not necessarily important) and process them. But my free time is valuable ? beyond the usual OpenCV stuff, how much setup is there going to have to be to get frames off the camera? Can I control things myself (turning off auto-exposure settings etc) if I need to, or am I stuck with all auto settings? Is this a huge sinkhole of time?
Any thoughts/help appreciated. Thanks!