running with google’s coral accelerator with raspberry pi 4

Continuing with the same 2GB Raspberry Pi I used to try out Ubuntu for IoT, I reloaded it with Raspbian Buster and plugged Google’s Coral Accelerator. I’d gotten it yesterday for $75 from Amazon. The Raspberry Pi 4 comes with two USB 3 ports and a reasonably up-to-date and fast quad-core CPU. I had given serious consideration to purchasing Nvidia’s Jason Nano, but it came with its own support SBC with a CPU no better than a Raspberry Pi 3, and to top it off I’d have had to install and learn the peculiar ways of yet another Linux distribution for the Nano. The monitory difference between the Coral and the Nano is inconsequential; the cost is the much larger investment in time required to master yet another Linux system as well as using the Nvidia GPU. I have neither the time nor patience for that anymore. Give me something that I can quickly plug into and use with what I already have.

Getting set up and running was super fast. It took about 15 minutes to go online for the setup directions, install the Coral support libraries, git clone an example, plug in the Coral, and then run the example. The example ran successfully. All the steps where very straightforward and fast.

I then decided to run a secound example, this time Google’s detection example.

It’s difficult to see if you don’t zoom into the screen capture, but if you do you will see Admiral Grace Hopper’s tie is identified and a red box drawn around it. This is test #2, and a bit more interesting than the first test.

Not much more to offer at this point as all I’m doing is pulling the examples and giving them a spin. I’ll work on writing something more original when I better understand the system. Fortunately all the higher level software is written in Python. For me it’s a joy to work with Python, especially version 3, on any system.

Hopefully more to come.

i’ve killed my amazon deepracer order

I killed the order about a week ago, last Sunday on 22 September. I was going to write about it then but I had other things to do, and didn’t feel like taking the time. But I’ve decided to record it here for posterity’s sake as it were. After the last email about Deep Racer sent by Amazon on 19 July, stating that Amazon had re-instated my order, after having canceled it on 17 July. I wish they’d just kept it canceled. The longer the order hung around, the more irritating its presence became, until it really began to piss me off.

I’m pretty much tired dealing with Amazon, especially with regards to technology. I deal with them when I have special orders because I can’t find the items locally. I deal with them when I need to order specially electronic devices, such as from Adafruit. Then I can pay for my Adafruit items through Amazon. But if I didn’t have to I wouldn’t deal with Amazon at all.

I’ve since come to create an equivalent to Deep Racer for far less money, using computing devices that are more advanced to what Amazon had selected to incorporate into Deep Racer, but for less money. I’m not into racing, but I am into autonomous platform movement. In my case I’ve split the “intelligent” bits away from the platform and I have the two linked via WiFi and Bluetooth. I’m not doing anything that hasn’t been done before in that regard. Splitting it out like that makes for a more flexible development system, and as I mentioned, a cheaper one.