A Camera Module for BBC Micro:bit: 2MP Arducam Mini
Micro:bit Now Has a Camera Module
Of all the available sensors one can find, and for 6 straight years, there has never been an image sensor for the BBC Micro:bit.
All these previous attempts at interfacing camera modules are fundamentally wrong, the Micro:bit’s incapability of directly interfacing with an image sensor is the underlying issue, and it remains unaddressed until Arducam comes along.
Here’s what we accomplished:
Since Micro:bit does not have a dedicated camera interface, we wired the Arducam Mini to Micro:bit’s SPI pins with an expansion board, wrote a complete camera driver library and developed a browser extension for Microsoft MakeCode.
This means you can feed the image data directly into Micro:bit’s MCU and preview the output in your browser, in layman’s terms, the Micro:bit has an eye now.
Take Pictures or Videos with A 2MP Arducam Mini & Your Micro:bit
By adding support for OV2640, you can turn the Micro:bit into so many cool things (photo booth/retro camera/etc.), and it’s not just for hobbyists, If you are a machine vision practitioner, using a camera with Micro:bit can be a super low-cost way to collect data sets for your computer vision researches.
As for MakeCode, video and more features will be added soon.
Quick Start Guide for Using Arducam 2MP with Micro:bit
Use A Camera to Build Advanced Micro:bit Projects and Robots
The implementation of a camera module offers new ways for people to build more innovative projects, this is a huge step up for robot builders, as a microcontroller, Micro:bit’s performance is doomed by the nRF52833 chip and its 512KB flash, but as a board made for schools and a board with so many onboard sensors, Micro:bit is still one of the most popular platforms for building entry-level, educational robots of all sorts.
A common way to leverage Arducam Mini would be those projects where you take photos with it and use Micro:bit to perform lightweight image processing tasks.
You can level things up and have the Micro:bit do more complex stuff, like when a board is configured with a wifi module, the camera takes photos and Micro:bit sends them to the cloud, where images are being processed and results are being returned back to the board for further actions.
A Micro:bit bundled with a camera can also be turned into a TinyML testbed for conducting on-device AI researches and experiments.
The possibilities of building camera projects give Micro:bit new life, it introduces more users to the embedded vision field and can work as a great means for nurturing interest in computer or robotic science.
Micro:Bit & Arducam: New Opportunities for Both Teachers and Students
Micro:bit is a great learning tool, it’s created to inspire children/teens and to educate them on all things relevant to digital making. Arducam Mini is a perfect addition to the ecosystem, for teachers, it can help build new curriculums on subjects like computer vision, photography, etc., for students, it offers them the basic knowledge about digital cameras and the essential hardware for building machine vision applications.