Embedded Computer Vision Platform with PandaBoard
  • Add to Collection
  • About


    Final result of the installation and configuration of PandaBoard ES (16GB SDHC class 10 memory card) with Ubuntu Server 11.10 (minimal desktop) +… Read More
    Final result of the installation and configuration of PandaBoard ES (16GB SDHC class 10 memory card) with Ubuntu Server 11.10 (minimal desktop) + OpenCV 2.3.1 + PlayStation Eye Camera (running at 25~30 FPS). Read Less
Embedded Computer Vision Platform with PandaBoard
Hello everyone, 
In this page I explain how to install and configure PandaBoard with Ubuntu Server, OpenCV, Boost C++ Libraries and Playstation Eye camera. The objective of this work is to develop embedded computer vision algorithms with the PandaBoard.

The PandaBoard-ES was an interesting choice because:
a. Small board (~11x11cm)
b. Two ARM Cortex-A9 cores with Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) with Enhanced CPU speed up to 1.2 Ghz.
c. Low power (5V 1.5A~4A)
d. Low cost (~$185,00).

Software version:
* Ubuntu Server 11.10 (is more faster than desktop version)
* OpenCV 2.3.1
* Boost C++ Libraries 1.46 
Tip: I recommend to use sd card class 10 for better performance. 
First, download ubuntu-11.10-preinstalled-server-armel+omap4.img.gz (Preinstalled server image -> Texas Instruments OMAP4 preinstalled server image).
Check for newest ubuntu version for OMAP4 here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM/OMAP
Copy the image to SD card, see instructions here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM/Server/Install (TI OMAP4-based platforms).
Setup a serial terminal, see instructions here: http://omappedia.org/wiki/Minicom.
Connect a keyboard and mouse.
Connect your board on internet using Ethernet port. 
Insert the SD card in your platform and turn on the board, wait a few seconds for boot, install and configure the operating system.
The Ubuntu Server has no graphical interface (GUI), so install LightDM and Ubuntu Desktop:
sudo apt-get install lightdm
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-desktop
Install OMAP4 Addons, see instructions here: http://omappedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_PPA
Install the following tools:
* chkconfig
* GIT (for OpenCV)
* SVN (optional)
* SSH Server (optional)
sudo apt-get install chkconfig git-core subversion openssh-server
Instructions for PlayStation®Eye Camera
Connect your PS EYE camera, and run lsusb, make sure it was detected.
You can use guvcview to test the camera and display the frame rate:
sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf guvcview
guvcview -d /dev/video2 -p 1
Check if guvcview can display camera capture.
Tip: gtk2-engines-pixbuf is for solving Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: "pixmap".

Instructions for Boost C++ Libraries
Install Boost C++ Libraries running:
sudo apt-get install libboost.*1.46.1 libboost.*1.46-dev 
Test if all is ok compiling this sample code (copy and paste in main.cpp file): 
#include < boost/thread/thread.hpp >
#include < iostream >
void thread_function(){
std::cout << "Thread" << std::endl;
int main(int argc, char **argv){
std::cout << "-------------------------" << std::endl;
std::cout << "Test Boost Library v1.46 " << std::endl;
std::cout << "-------------------------" << std::endl;
boost::thread mythread(&thread_function);
return 0;

For compile, run:
g++ -o main main.cpp -lboost_thread
The output should be:
Test Boost Library v1.46

Instructions for OpenCV
* Step 1
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get remove ffmpeg x264 libx264-dev libvpx0
* Step 2
sudo apt-get install libgstreamer0.10-0 libgstreamer0.10-dev gstreamer0.10-tools gstreamer0.10-plugins-base libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg
* Step 3
sudo apt-get install build-essential checkinstall git cmake libfaac-dev libjack-jackd2-dev libmp3lame-dev libopencore-amrnb-dev libopencore-amrwb-dev libsdl1.2-dev libtheora-dev libva-dev libvdpau-dev libvorbis-dev libx11-dev libxfixes-dev libxvidcore-dev texi2html yasm zlib1g-dev
* Step 4
Download and install x264
Get the most current source files, compile, and install.
git clone git://git.videolan.org/x264.git
cd x264
./configure --enable-static --enable-pic --enable-shared
sudo make install
* Step 5
Install libvpx
This is used to encode and decode VP8 video (WebM).
git clone http://git.chromium.org/webm/libvpx.git
cd libvpx
./configure --enable-static --enable-pic (--enable-shared only supported on ELF for now)
sudo make install
* Step 6
Download and install ffmpeg version 0.7.x from http://ffmpeg.org/download.html (version >= 0.8.x is not compatible with OpenCV 2.3) and extract it to a folder. Then enter the folder and configure and build it:
cd ffmpeg
./configure --enable-shared --enable-libvpx --enable-pic --enable-gpl --enable-libfaac --enable-libmp3lame --enable-libopencore-amrnb --enable-libopencore-amrwb --enable-libtheora --enable-libvorbis --enable-libx264 --enable-libxvid --enable-nonfree --enable-postproc --enable-version3 --enable-x11grab --disable-ffserver
sudo make install
* Step 7
Download and install libjpeg by entering the following command:
sudo apt-get install libjpeg62 libjpeg62-dev
* Step 8
Download and install install v4l (video for linux)
Download v4l-utils-*.*.*.tar.bz2 from http://www.linuxtv.org/downloads/v4l-utils/ (I've used v4l-utils-0.8.5.tar.bz2)
Build v4l by entering the following commands in a terminal:
sudo make install

* Step 9
Download and install gtk by entering the following command:
sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-0 libgtk2.0-dev
* Step 10
Download and install OpenCV.
First, download OpenCV 2.3.1 from http://sourceforge.net/projects/opencvlibrary/files/ and extract it in your working directory. Then enter in the OpenCV extracted folder and build it following the steps below:
mkdir release
cd release
Check that the output of cmake includes the following text:
¦GTK+ 2.x: YES
¦GStreamer: YES
¦V4L/V4L2: Using libv4l
And next:
sudo make install
* Step 11
Configure Linux – add the following line to your .bashrc in order to tell linux where the shared libraries for OpenCV are located without having to enter it everytime. So, you start a new terminal and run:
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib

Using any text editor add the following lines to the end of your /etc/bash.bashrc file:
* Step 12
* Step 13
Test OpenCV with this example code (copy and paste in main.cpp file):
#include < stdio.h >
#include < cv.h >
#include < highgui.h >
int main(int argc, char **argv)
CvCapture *capture = 0;
IplImage *frame = 0;
int key = 0;
capture = cvCaptureFromCAM(2);
fprintf(stderr, "Cannot open initialize webcam!\n");
return 1;
while(key != 'q')
frame = cvQueryFrame(capture);
if(!frame) break;
cvShowImage("result", frame);
key = cvWaitKey(1);
return 0;
Compile and run:
g++ `pkg-config --cflags opencv` main.cpp -o main `pkg-config --libs opencv`
Here is the final result of the installation and configuration of PandaBoard ES (16GB SDHC class 10 memory card) with Ubuntu Server 11.10 (minimal desktop) + OpenCV 2.3.1 + PlayStation Eye Camera (running at 25~30 FPS). I've tested with the famous Canny algorithm for edge detection.
Basic Vehicle Counting in PandaBoard ES
~1.000.000 (one million) of frames processed in 24 hours
11.5 FPS using 70% of CPU and 2.7% of RAM (~25MB)
~4000 lines of source code (24 classes)
Developed in C++ using Boost, cvBlob and OpenCV