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

By Jason Koo Oct 10, 2019

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.




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.


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.


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.


Extract the contents.


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


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.


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


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


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.



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.


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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By Jason Koo Oct 10, 2019