A tool to generate annotated images for computer vision

In computer vision, object detection is an interesting field with numerous application. Like any other supervised machine learning task, we need annotation or labels for this very task as well. However, annotation of images can be a tedious time-consuming task for many of us (lazy ones?). I felt it quite strongly when I was writing my previous article, linked below.

So the big question comes;

Screenshot by Author

Well, the answer is simple, use existing objects and overlay them on some backgrounds! There are several blogs on the internet that would say mostly…


Object detection with AIoT: An edge computing example

A few weeks back when I was window shopping at AliExpress I came across the wonderful Maixduino device. It was claimed to carry RISC V architecture along with a KPU (KPU is a general-purpose neural network processor). Contrasting specs of the board were as follows;

  • CPU: RISC-V Dual Core 64bit, with FPU
  • Image Recognition: QVGA@60fps/VGA@30fps
  • Power consumption of chip < 300mW
MaixDuino (Image from Sipeed)

Truth be told, the unit is old and has only been taking attention lately. Well, given my interest in edge computing I thought of presenting a complete end to end guide for an object detection example. This example is…


Building an MQTT enabled door sensor using ESP32 and PlatformIO

This article is motivated by my previous article on ESPHome. Previously, we built a door sensor using ESPHome library. However, using an off-the-shelf platform grants us with little to no flexibility when it comes to micro-optimizations. Having said that, I noted the best implementation consumed over 1mA and took nearly 2 seconds to respond (Even after using MQTT, ESPHome API is known to be slower with HomeAssistant).

Photo by chris panas on Unsplash

Key Points to Consider

There are several considerations that we need to think of when it comes to a critical component like a door sensor.


Create simple home automation artefacts using ESP modules and HomeAssistant

Home automation can be expensive and complex. However, with the arrival of IoT platforms from vendors such as Tuya, Phillips, etc have made home automation a little simpler. However, the cost still remains a little higher and the customisations are far limited. Last but not least, none of the mentioned services comes for free. You are likely being charged with your privacy.

IoT platforms provide free of charge Alexa/Google Assistant integrations. Which means you’re either charged for several years at purchase or your data is more profitable for vendors.

Enough with motivation…


Build your own Smart TV with the help of a Raspberry Pi Zero device

Are you bored with your ordinary TV? Do you want to expand your media experience to a whole new level? Yet you are limited with the budget? Like me? Well, this would be the perfect Smart TV solution!

Disclaimer: This tutorial might not be complete and can contain differences. Google Cloud Console is continuously changing. However, the underlying configuration should be quite the same.

Screenshot by Author

For this article, we will be installing OSMC as the media operating system. Let’s get started!

Download the Disk Image

Go to the OSMC website and click on the Download icon. Then click on the Rasberry Pi button. You’ll be…


Fetch data from Arduino (Uno) over USB serial communication and plot them using Matplotlib

Arduinos are quite famous for their versatility. However, when it comes to analytical work Python has the lead by a long shot. Therefore, it would be a heavenly match to have data from Arduino in your python environment.

Photo by Harrison Broadbent on Unsplash

There are many perks of fetching your data into your computer from a low resource device.

  • Collecting environmental data continuously to a long term storage media
  • Obtaining live plots for time series regression analysis
  • Integration with dashboards for data representation and control
  • Sending over control signals to Arduino (eg: Robotic arm, robotic tools such as cutting tools)

Getting Started

In order to enable serial…


Tutorial on getting started with programming an ESP32 development board using MicroPython

Python is one of the most popular languages of the decade. It is very popular among researchers and machine learning enthusiasts. It has developed to the point that we can now program microcontrollers using python language. MicroPython in fact intends to bridge the knowledge gap between hardware programmers and software programmers.

Image from Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicroPython)

In this article, we will discuss how we can setup MicroPython in an ESP32 development board.

Flashing the ESP32

Every time, we program some microcontroller we flash the firmware together with the program code. This is typical as most of the programs written for microcontrollers are compiled rather than interpreted. However, in…


Create your own DNS sinkhole to block ads on all your devices at home

Advertising has become so prominent that most of us see too many ads. As they say “If you’re not paying for something, you probably are the product”. So all that free services care is the amount of advertising you expose yourself for them to show ads and make income. It is not a very bad thing, yet us geeks can have a work-around, so why not give it a try!

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

In this article, I will explain in detail how to set up Pi-hole, which is a DNS sinkhole, that will intercept your name queries and block that are seemingly undesired…


Life of 2020 for an ordinary self-centred man

Photo by Alexis Fauvet on Unsplash

Before 2020

Early to bed, early to rise
Early to work to punch on time

Kids to school, missus cooks all
In this stressful pool, feel like a tool

Fights on roads, days and nights
Honks with others, bonks with words

Late home drowsy, kids be sleepy
Missus be lovely, yet my mood’s gloomy

Weekends hopeful, are so cheerful
I am so grateful, Mondays aren’t wrathful

Routines monotonic
Are gone with sputnik

There comes the pandemic
Break our lives like a ceramic

After 2020

Early to nothing, late to nothing
Not good everything, yet the silver lining

Kids stay home, misses re-born
We all helping…


Briefing from my tech talk to students at the University of Moratuwa (CSE), Sri Lanka

What are Home Automations and The Protocols Used

Though there are numerous protocols used by proprietary developers like Google, Amazon and Philips in this article we will be talking about the use of MQTT in home automation. This is because MQTT is a reliable open source message brokering framework for IoT communications.

MQTT.ORG

Few Tips about MQTT

  • Not a message queueing framework, but rather a message brokering mechanism. Queuing happens in order to support the process of brokering, hence the term telemetry.
  • IBM scientists invented the protocol in 1999 to monitor an oil pipeline that runs across a desert.
  • Uses open standard, hence easy licensing!

Anuradha Wickramarachchi

Blogger | Traveler | Programmer PhD Scholar

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