How to Run a Real-time Object Detector Starter App in Minutes

In this tutorial, we will show you the steps needed to get a real-time object detector starter app up and running quickly and easily on an edge device. You should have already set up your development computer and installed the alwaysAI CLI. For more information on system requirements and supported boards, check out our Docs.


Installing and running the real-time object detector starter app on the alwaysAI platform

This section describes the six simple steps to getting a real-time object detector app up and running in a few minutes on an edge or embedded device.

1. First, log in to the alwaysAI platform.

Sign up 

2. Choose a starter application

After logging into alwaysAI, go to the dashboard and click on “Get Started.” Select the "Choose a Starter Application" section.

Screenshot of the "get started" dashboard from alwaysAI

3. Install the CLI and access the starter apps

In this particular demo, our Senior Software Engineer, Eric VanBuhler, is running Ubuntu 18.04 on his development computer and he has already installed the alwaysAI CLI. You can also run alwaysAI on Mac and Windows.

For his edge device, he has a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ that he has set up with Raspbian Buster, and is utilizing the pi's ribbon camera for real-time video.

Screenshot of the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ with Raspbian Buster

Using these starter applications will show you how to perform computer vision tasks with the alwaysAI EdgeIQ Library.

4. Access the Real-time Object Detector App

Download the starter applications.

Screenshot of the download starter application from alwaysAI

Extract the contents.

Screenshot of the extract content from alwaysAI

Open the starter application directory. Open the “realtime_object_detector” file. 

Screenshot of the real-time object detector from alwaysAI

Open a Terminal window in the application directory.

5. Install and deploy your object detection app

Once you have a Terminal window open in your application directory, you can get the real-time object detector app running with a few simple commands.

First, deploy the app using the alwaysai app deploy command. This will install the app on your chosen edge device.

Screenshot of the alwaysAI app deploy command.

You will be prompted to set up a new device. In Eric's case, it's the Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

Screenshot of the Raspberry Pi 3 B+. from alwaysAI

When prompted about where to install the app on your device, choose the default option.

Screenshot of the app installation on your device from alwaysAI

After running this command, your computer vision models will be installed and a Docker image will be built for your app.

Next, start the app using the Terminal command alwaysai app start. This will run the app on your device and start detecting objects through your camera.

Screenshot of  the app start from alwaysAI

6. View your app in a web browser

The application will bring up a web interface link you can visit in your browser to see what the device is seeing.

Screenshot of the interface link from alwaysAI

And that is all it takes to get a real-time object detector application up and running on an edge device using the alwaysAI platform.

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