Intellicam 97 -The Intro – (Part 1)

So I have started on a new side project that I think is pretty audacious but will teach me a lot about a multitude of things that I have been wanting to learn and what better way then to use what they taught me at Uni called PBL or problem based learning. This project I would like to call as deemed by my good friend Ahmad is the Intellicam 97. It’s called this because well, I want to make my Camry intelligent.

I have been inspired by all of the new developments in technology specially around AI and autonomous vehicles. I studied AI and machine learning during university in early 2000’s and I never would have guessed how far this technology has progressed now in 2020. Back when I was at uni, it was about movie recommendations, predicting what users would want to buy given they purchased certain previous products and around advertising (it still is today for many companies but for the really innovative ones they have taken this to the next level)

In 2005 I did my masters and did a lot of work with laser range finders , sonar and computer vision in robotics class but back then it was hard. There where no libraries such as what is available today or at least I didn’t know they existed so when we had to build a neural net we wrote the code ourselves, if we wanted to build KNN, we built it ourselves.

It’s different now, I have played with Tensorflow , Scikitlearn, Panda’s , openCV and shit has really progressed. To learn this tech even further and learn a bit of automotive this will be my goal.

Rebuild my Toyota Camry 97 into a fully digital smart car that can see, navigate, warn me of road conditions, take voice instructions and execute them. Its a workhorse and has been in the family for about 12 years. This is what I plan to do:

  • Give the car body a full make over meaning, fix up the paint, rust, suspension and tires. I want to learn a little about panel beating, car detailing and how the steering of the car works.
  • Convert the speedometer and dash items all into digital, Just like a tesla, change all the knobs, switches and dials into a touch screen computer.
  • Install 2 SBC’s on the car , on is the Raspberry pi 4 to handle electronics, servo’s , OBD2 communications and run the general car management app
  • Install a Nidia Jetson Nano to do the computer vision processing so that the car can do better and faster object detection and character recognition.

So what have I done so far ? So far I have completed the following:

  • Fixed some of the really bent panels on my car
  • sanded those panels down and painted them to give the car a nicer smoother looked
  • Fixed some of the oxidized paint using compound rub, drill and buffer
  • Developed the OBD2 communications module from scratch to get data from the OBD2 port (would have used the python built in one but couldn’t cause my car pre-dates the OBD2 standard for Australian cars)
  • Developed some basic object detection using OpenCV and tensor flow
  • Ran the object detection on a raspberry PI and found out that it is (SLOW AF) and hence why will run it on the Nvidia Nano once I purchase it

And that is it so far. On my next post I will go into detail of some of the body work that I have done on my Camry to ensure that it looks classical and original on the outside to complement the high tech look that it will eventually have on the inside.