All Mowers - ESP32 Onboard Camera
Configure a standard ESP32 camera to add FPV video to the front of the mower. This video feed will be transmitted and shown in the Blynk app or viewed in a web browser. This allows a good tracking of the mower and an FPV experience in manual mode.
If you just want the video in a web browser use the ESP32_WEB_CAM_REP code. This has the advantage of a much better resolution and refresh rate (that's the way I used it in the video)
If you want the Blynk APP use the ESP32_CAM_Blynk code.
Programming the Board
You will need to download the ESP32 support for the Arduino IDE. Follow the instructions as shown in the GPS instructions to enable ESP32 capability.
Now choose the AI Thinker ESP32-CAM board in the menu
Unzip the ESP32 Camera code from the GITHUB website. (Either web browser code or Blynk browser code)
The Blynk CAM code is not my code. Thanks to Anatoli Arkhipenko. Copyright (c) 2015-2020 for providing this code to which has a clever work around to display the ESP32 video feed in the Blynk APP
To upload the code we need to use the FTDI adapter as the ESP32 Camera board has no native USB slot. To do this we need to create this circuit. Ensure that the I00 and GND pins are bridged (green line).
I found that the FTDI adapter does not provide enough power to program the board so an external 5V power supply is recommended.
First enter your WIFI name and password in the Arduino Code so the ESP32 board can connect to the home network.
Now upload the code to the ESP32 Board. (I found i needed to first connect the 5V external power supply then plug in the USB cable to get a good upload to the board).
Configure the BLYNK App / Start the Web Browser.
Once the code is uploaded to the ESP32 board, remove the bridge between I00 and GND and open the serial monitor. Once the ESP32 board is connected to the WIFI the front LED will light up for 2 seconds. This signals a good connection to the WIFI. Note down the:
http://192.168. _ _ _ _ _ _
address shown once the board connects to your network. This is the internal network address of the camera within your network.
Input this address in your home web browser (connected to the same network) to test the video feed.
If you are using the Blank APP code:
- Now open a new TAB in your existing Mower Blynk App. Name this CAM or whatever you like to call it.
- Add a Video Streaming widget to the page. There is no need to give the video streaming app a PIN number.
I also relocated the manual mower controls (from the original APP) to this page to make driving the mower easier. This can be done by dragging the element to the tab page.
Connect the Camera to the Mower
To operate the camera on the mower we need to disconnect all the wires for programming (you can cap them to use them later for programming but you need to remove the bridge), so make sure you are happy with the upload of the code. to run the camera we just need to give it a 5V supply. this can be connected to the 5V output we already have in the mower:
Choose Antenna Type
The internal antenna can be used or an external antenna can be connected. Choose by bridging the pads as shown:
Ensure at least that the internal antenna is activated otherwise the signal will be very poor
Location of the Camera:
330 Monster / LAM Monster
Please print the ESP32 Front Facia model to have a frame to insert the Camera. This is a direct replacement for the old Front Facia. This STl file is now included in the 330 Monster & LAM Monster Mower Pack
An additional ESP32 STL part will be added to the other packs gradually as a suitable position is found for the camera.