Electron and camera

Hello Dear community,
First let me say I have no experience with IoT whatsoever.
The goal of our project is to build a parking space monitoring solution with an Iot hardware with:

  • camera able to take screenshots every minute
  • a minimal IoT hardware able to run a matlab algorithm
  • a good GSM connection via 3G
  • a good case for the IoT device to be able to withstand rain and bad wheather.

Is the electron a good fit for this job ?

Can you point me to :

  • a good tutorial on how to add a camera to the electron or the e-series or electron ( I did find some, but not a step-by-step one, which kind of sets me off-track having no experience with IoT)
  • Once I have the device set up, how do I create the case for it ? It will need to have the camera mounted somehow.
  • a good tutorial on how to install matlab and run this algorithm on client side.If this is not possible and image processing would need to be done on server side, than is it possible to replace the sim card with a local card?


Some effort of your own can be expected. It really hard to make project-specific step-by-step tutorials for every idea one can come up with. That said, if you try the tutorials you’ve found, and get stuck, we’d be more than willing to assist :slight_smile:

It depends on your size, specifications, requirements, etc. There are generic cases out there which you might be able to use. You can also create your own, depending on what you need.

Pretty sure it’s not possible to just run matlab code on an Electron, so that might have to be done server side. As for the SIM card; as a gazzilion other topics on the forum have pointed out: yes, you can use a 3rd party SIM with the Electron. The E-series has an E-SIM, so it’s not possible to replace that.

How exactly are you trying to go about this? The more information you can give us, the better suggestions we can make.

There is a thread that deals with running a 4D System uCamIII on an Electron.
I also wrote the library and an elaborate sample with the lib.

There isn’t a lot to it that would require step-by-step tutorials IMO.

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I would say no for the Electron if you need to do image processing on the device. The Electron has about 60 K bytes of free RAM memory, not even enough to buffer a single image in RAM, let alone do image processing on it. Matlab algorithms are completely out of the question. I’d go with the Raspberry Pi for that application.

Like ScruffR said, if you only want to capture the image and do the processing on a server somewhere else, you can use the uCAM III which does hardware JPEG compression on the camera module so the data size is small enough to use on the Electron and only use the Electron for uploading the JPEG images to a server, that would be fine.

However if you need to continuously monitor the image for changes, then you’re back to probably wanting to do some image processing on the device itself otherwise you’ll end up using huge amounts of cellular data, so the Electron would not be suitable.


Many thanks for the reply Moors7.

How exactly are you trying to go about this? The more information you can give us, the better suggestions we can make.
Well we want to make cameras recognize empty spaces.We have a matlab algorithm which does a pretty good job in recognizing empty spaces in images, the problem is to find the right Iot hardware for the job, and of course keep everything at a very low cost.

BTW, the app is running now https://go-park.ro , we want are looking to expand it.

Indeed I wasn’t looking for tutorial for every idea, just one for a complete begginer to set up a camera on the electron :slight_smile: . I did find posts talking about this, but no tutorial per se.

As with the casing :slight_smile: . How would I build this case, I mean using a std one would leave room for the camera, I’m sure so where would one go to build a custom case :slight_smile: ?

Thanks for confirming that matlab is out of the question. In order to do server side processing, I would need a much more ‘relaxed’ data plan for my SIM.

Yep, I guess this would be one option. Thanks for your suggestion. I need a more relaxed data plan though, bc paying 0.40$/MB for uploading JPEG images every minute is going to run us into bankruptcy.

BTW is there an even cheaper camera option ( in comparison with the uCAM II) we can buy for this purpose ?

Do you have the link to the post?
For an utter begginer, it’s confusing to not follow a strict set of steps …

The uCAM III is relatively expensive because it does the image processing in hardware on the module. The inexpensive cameras (like the one for the Raspberry Pi) are inexpensive because they rely on the host CPU to do the image processing. But the Electron does not have sufficient RAM or processing capability for that, so you need to use an expensive camera module.


Although @rickkas7 has already provided you with the link, I’d just like to remind you of the search feature on here
If you enter the search terms like the ones I’ve provided you with

You can find related threads rather easily

The two hits you see are this very thread and the one I was thinking of and Rick has given you already