$45 AIY Vision Kit Adds Accelerated Computer Vision to Raspberry Pi Zero W Board

Orange Pi Development Boards

AIY Projects is an initiative launched by Google that aims to bring do-it yourself artificial intelligence to the maker community by providing affordable development kits to get started with the technology. The first project was AIY Projects Voice Kit, that basically transformed Raspberry Pi 3 board into a Google Home device by adding the necessary hardware to support Google Assistant SDK, and an enclosure.

The company has now launched another maker kit with AIY Project Vision Kit that adds a HAT board powered by Intel/Movidius Myriad 2 VPU to Raspberry Pi Zero W, in order to accelerate image & objects recognition using TensorFlow’s machine learning models.

Click to Enlarge

The kit includes the following items:

  • Vision Bonnet accessory board powered by Myriad 2 VPU (MA2450)
  • 2x 11mm plastic standoffs
  • 24mm RGB arcade button and nut
  • 1x Privacy LED
  • 1x LED bezel
  • 1x 1/4/20 flanged nut
  • Lens, lens washer, and lens magnet
  • 50 mil ribbon cable
  • Pi0 camera flat flex cable
  • MIPI flat flex cable
  • Piezo buzzer
  • External cardboard box and internal cardboard frame
Vision Bonnet Board – Click to Enlarge

Not that the accessory board features the same Movidius VPU as Intel Neural Compute Stick, which has been used with Raspberry Pi 3, and shown to deliver about 3 times the performance compared to a GPGPU implementation leveraging VideoCore IV GPU.

Back to the kit. You’ll need to add your own Raspberry Pi Zero W, Raspberry Pi camera 2, and blank SD card (at least 4 GB) to complete the kit. Follow the assembly guide, and the final results should look like this:


Once this is done flash the Vision Kit SD image (available soon) to your micro SD card, insert it into your Raspberry Pi Zero W, and connect the power. The software image will include three neural network models:

  • A model based on MobileNets that can recognize a thousand common objects.
  • A model for face detection capable of detecting faces and facial expressions (sadness, joy, etc…)
  • A model for discerning between cats, dogs and people.

The system will be able to run at speeds of up to 30 fps, providing near real-time performance. TensorFlow code and a compiler will also be included for people wanting to have their own models. A Python API will be provided to customize the RGB button colors, piezo element sounds, and (4x) GPIO pins.

AIY Vision Kit are up for pre-order for $44.99 at Micro Center with shipping planned for earlier December. Just like AIY Voice Kit, we should eventually expect international availability via other websites such as Piromini or Seeed Studio. The complete kit with RPi board and camera, and accessories should cost around $90.

2 Replies to “$45 AIY Vision Kit Adds Accelerated Computer Vision to Raspberry Pi Zero W Board”

  1. Nice formfactor. Side-note: Besides the AIV-stuff there is a ready to use software-stack for the 12 VLIW cores (based on LLVM). The mentioned 3 times AIV-performance increase relative to P3 is nearly the same for Pi1,2,3 and Pi0, as in all cases the same VideoCoreIV is in use. If you are interested in computer vision and/or in computer sience (VLIW cores …) this is a good start point.

  2. I reserved one for delivery Dec 29 for $44.99 at Microcenter. Lucky to be close to one, so can drive in and pick it up Christmas week off.

    It’ll be interesting to play with it. I’ve currently got a Pi zero plugged into a USB charging socket set up for Wifi access, amazing thing for such a small device. Available wherever I am in my house. I’ve not played with a camera attached to it yet, however. Just with the other Pis.

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