M5Stack M5StickV is a Tiny AI Camera for Maker Projects

I’ve just started to play with Maixduino board based on ESP32 WiSoC and Sipeed M1 module that enables AI tasks such as object detection thanks to built-in AI accelerators found in Kendryte K210 RISC-V processor and noticed references to M5Stack M5StickV in firmware file names.

Somehow I never wrote about M5Stack, but the company provides modular ESP32 IoT development boards that can be stacked with various modules to easily and quickly build prototypes. M5StickV is one of those modules and is similar to Maixduino kit with camera and display, minus WiFi + Bluetooth connectivity, except that everything nicely packed into a cute module.

M5StickV AI Camera

M5StickV hardware specifications:

  • SoC – Kendryte K210 dual-core 64-bit RISC-V processor @ 400MHz with dual independent double-precision FPU, 8MB on-chip SRAM, Neural Network Processor (KPU) @ 0.8Tops, Field-Programmable IO Array (FPIOA), and more
  • Storage – 16MB flash, microSD card slot
  • Display -1.14″ SPI display with 240×135 resolution ( ST7789 driver)
  • Camera – VGA (640×480) camera via OV7740 sensor
  • Audio – MAX98357 mono audio amplifier, MSM261S4030HOR microphone, speaker
  • Sensor – MPU6886 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer
  • USB – 1x USB-C port for power and programming
  • Misc – Front and side buttons (A / B), power button, RGBW LED
  • Expansion – 4-pin “CONNEXT” port
  • Power Supply
    • 200 mAh battery
    • AXP192 PMIC
  • Dimensions – Small… There’s also an M3 mounting thread

M5StickV DescriptionThe camera support OpenMV and MicroPython programming, and can be used for a variety of applications including face recognition/detection, object detection/classification, obtaining size and coordinates of the target in real-time, obtaining the type of detected target in real-time, shape recognition
video/audio recording, and game simulator. You’ll find instructions to get started in the Quick Start Guide.

M5StickV is sold “without WiFi” (so maybe a WiFi version is coming soon) on M5Stack website for $26.50, but you’ll also find it on Banggood for the same price.

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9 Replies to “M5Stack M5StickV is a Tiny AI Camera for Maker Projects”

  1. Jimmy’s hardware designer is testing a proto with wifi currently, so given how fast toarket Jimmy is, very soon

  2. Do we have any neural network benchmarking for this CPU on real-world models? For example I have a RK1808 on my desk running mobilenet-ssd object detection with 300x300px images. It can do 55FPS which is pretty good, better than my desktop CPU (no NN processor), of course my desktop GPU is way faster. You don’t really need to do object detection at 55FPS, 15FPS is fine. But what this lets you do is run a better model at 15FPS. Or you can run more than one model.

      1. Pine64 and Radxa are both very close to releasing fairly cheap RK1808 dev boards. I am working with pre-release hardware from them.

        Right now you can buy this USB compute stick (that Core i3 is a mistake, Core i3 is the minimum host requirement).

        Or a module:

        The upcoming Pine64 and Radxa solutions are less than half the price of these, but you can buy the these two right now. When Pine64 and Radxa ship they will be easy to order. My guess is maybe two months until they are for sale, but I don’t really know for sure.

        1. All of the RK1808 code is on github, no problem downloading the SDK.

      1. Yes, but I have not seen any board with it just yet. Even A311X has an NPU but the SDK has not been released yet. They may focus on Android too, not Linux (TBC). Those Kendryte K210 thingies should be cheaper, also with lower TOPS performance. I’m still not sure to what extent it matters for those applications.

  3. Based on a recent tweet there will be some changes (e.g. no microphone):
    1. M5StickV will not have Microphone function, which doesn’t affect the normal usage;
    2. For customers who do need this function, pls contact your purchased channel for after service, till Sep. 30;
    3. M5StickV+ will be released end of 2019, adding Wifi and Microphone function.


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