ESP32 CAM Based Object Detection & Identification with OpenCV

The concept of ESP32 CAM Based Object Detection & Identification using OpenCV is covered in this tutorial. OpenCV is a freely available image processing package that is widely used not just in industry but also in research and development.

We’ve utilized the cvlib Library to detect objects here. To detect objects, the library employs a pre-trained AI model on the COCO dataset. YOLOv3 is the name of the pre-trained model.

We’ll go through its features, pin descriptions, and how to program the ESP32 Camera Module with the FTDI Module in this tutorial. The Arduino IDE for the ESP32 Camera Module will also be installed. We’ll also update the firmware before moving on to the object detection and identification part. Since the object detection software is written in the Python programming language, we’ll need to install Python and its dependencies.

We learned about Face Detection systems and Color Detection systems using Python and OpenCV in a previous ESP32 CAM-based project. For Object Detection and Identification, this project also requires the use of OpenCV.

Hardware Required:

  • ESP32-CAM Board-AI-Thinker ESP32 Camera Module
  • FTDI Module-USB-to-TTL Converter Module
  • USB Cable-5V Mini-USB Data Cable
  • Jumper Wires-Female to Female Connectors

ESP32 CAM Module

The ESP32 Based Camera Module was developed by AI-Thinker.  The controller contains a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth/BLE chip and is powered by a 32-bit CPU. It has a 520 KB internal SRAM and an external 4M PSRAM. UART, SPI, I2C, PWM, ADC, and DAC are all supported by its GPIO Pins.

The module is compatible with the OV2640 Camera Module, which has a camera resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels. A 24-pin gold plated connector links the camera to the ESP32 CAM Board. A 4GB SD Card can be used on the board. The photographs captured are saved on the SD Card.

ESP32-CAM Features 

  • The smallest 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi BT SoC module.
  • Low power 32-bit CPU, can also serve the application processor.
  • Up to 160MHz clock speed, summary computing power up to 600 DMIPS.
  • Built-in 520 KB SRAM, external 4MPSRAM.
  • Supports UART/SPI/I2C/PWM/ADC/DAC.
  • Support OV2640 and OV7670 cameras, built-in flash lamp.
  • Support image WiFI upload.
  • Supports TF card.
  • Supports multiple sleep modes.
  • Embedded Lwip and FreeRTOS.
  • Supports STA/AP/STA+AP operation mode.
  • Support Smart Config/AirKiss technology.
  • Support for serial port local and remote firmware upgrades (FOTA).

ESP32-CAM FTDI Connection

There is no programmer chip on the PCB. So, any form of USB-to-TTL Module can be used to program this board. FTDI Modules based on the CP2102 or CP2104 chip, or any other chip, are widely accessible.

  • Connect the FTDI Module to the ESP32 CAM Module as shown below.
ESP32 CAM FTDI Module Connection
ESP32-CAMFTDI Programmer

Connect the ESP32’s 5V and GND pins to the FTDI Module’s 5V and GND. Connect the Rx to UOT and the Tx to UOR Pin in the same way. The most crucial thing is that you must connect the IO0 and GND pins. The device will now be in programming mode. You can remove it once the programming is completed.

Project PCB Gerber File & PCB Ordering Online

If you don’t want to put the circuit together on a breadboard and instead prefer a PCB. EasyEDA s online Circuit Schematics & PCB Design tool was used to create the PCB Board for the ESP32 CAM Board. The PCB appears as seen below.

The Gerber File for the PCB is given below. You can simply download the Gerber File and order the PCB from

Download Gerber File: ESP32-CAM Multipurpose PCB

Now you can visit the NextPCB official website by clicking here: So you will be directed to the NextPCB website

  • You can now upload the Gerber File to the Website and place an order. The PCB quality is excellent. That is why the majority of people entrust NextPCB with their PCB and PCBA needs.
  • The components can be assembled on the PCB Board.

Installing ESP32CAM Library

Another streaming process will be used instead of the general ESP webserver example. As a result, another ESPCAM library is required. On the ESP32 microcontroller, the esp32cam library provides an object-oriented API for using the OV2640 camera. It’s an esp32-camera library wrapper.

Download the zip library as shown in the image from the following Github Link

After downloading, unzip the library and place it in the Arduino Library folder. To do so, follow the instructions below:

Open Arduino -> Sketch -> Include Library -> Add .ZIP Library… -> Navigate to downloaded zip file -> add

Source Code/Program for ESP32 CAM Module

Object Detection & Identification with ESP32 Camera & OpenCV source code is available here. Copy and paste the code into the Arduino IDE.

#include <esp32cam.h>
const char* WIFI_SSID = “ssid”;
const char* WIFI_PASS = “password”;
WebServer server(80);
static auto loRes = esp32cam::Resolution::find(320, 240);
static auto midRes = esp32cam::Resolution::find(350, 530);
static auto hiRes = esp32cam::Resolution::find(800, 600);
void serveJpg()
auto frame = esp32cam::capture();
if (frame == nullptr) {
Serial.println(“CAPTURE FAIL”);
server.send(503, “”, “”);
Serial.printf(“CAPTURE OK %dx%d %db\n”, frame->getWidth(), frame->getHeight(),
server.send(200, “image/jpeg”);
WiFiClient client = server.client();
void handleJpgLo()
if (!esp32cam::Camera.changeResolution(loRes)) {
Serial.println(“SET-LO-RES FAIL”);
void handleJpgHi()
if (!esp32cam::Camera.changeResolution(hiRes)) {
Serial.println(“SET-HI-RES FAIL”);
void handleJpgMid()
if (!esp32cam::Camera.changeResolution(midRes)) {
Serial.println(“SET-MID-RES FAIL”);
void setup(){
using namespace esp32cam;
Config cfg;
bool ok = Camera.begin(cfg);
Serial.println(ok ? “CAMERA OK” : “CAMERA FAIL”);
while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED) {
Serial.println(” /cam-lo.jpg”);
Serial.println(” /cam-hi.jpg”);
Serial.println(” /cam-mid.jpg”);
server.on(“/cam-lo.jpg”, handleJpgLo);
server.on(“/cam-hi.jpg”, handleJpgHi);
server.on(“/cam-mid.jpg”, handleJpgMid);
void loop()

Before Uploading the code you have to make a small change to the code. Change the SSID and password variables to match the WiFi network you’re using.

Compile the code and upload it to the ESP32 CAM Board. However, you must follow a few steps each time you post.

  • When you push the upload button, make sure the IO0 pin is shorted to ground.
  • If you notice dots and dashes during uploading, immediately press the reset button.
  • Remove the I01 pin shorting with Ground and push the reset button one more after the code has been uploaded.
  • If the output is still not the Serial monitor, push the reset button once again.

Now you can see a similar output as in the image below.

  • Copy the visible IP address; we’ll use it to edit the URL in Python code.

Python Installation & Source Code

In order for the live video stream to appear on our computer, we must develop a Python script that allows us to retrieve the video frames. The first step is to get Python installed. Go to and download Python.

Install Python once downloading is completed.

Install NumPy, OpenCV, and cvlib libraries from the command prompt.

  • type: pip install numpy and press enter. After the installation is done.
  • type: pip install opencv-python and press enter, close the command prompt.
  • type: pip install cvlib and press enter, close the command prompt.

We use urllib.request in our Python code to retrieve the frames from the URL, and OpenCV for image processing. We used the Cvlib library for object detection, which employs an AI model to detect items. We employed multiprocessing, which uses many cores of our CPU because the entire operation demands a lot of processing power.

Python Code for ESP32 CAM Object Detection/Identification

  • Now open Idle code editor or any other python code editor.
  • Copy and paste the code below, making the necessary changes as indicated.
import cv2
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import cvlib as cv
import urllib.request
import numpy as np
from cvlib.object_detection import draw_bbox
import concurrent.futures


def run1():
cv2.namedWindow(“live transmission”, cv2.WINDOW_AUTOSIZE)
while True:
im = cv2.imdecode(imgnp,-1)

cv2.imshow(‘live transmission’,im)
if key==ord(‘q’):


def run2():
cv2.namedWindow(“detection”, cv2.WINDOW_AUTOSIZE)
while True:
im = cv2.imdecode(imgnp,-1)

bbox, label, conf = cv.detect_common_objects(im)
im = draw_bbox(im, bbox, label, conf)

if key==ord(‘q’):


if __name__ == ‘__main__’:
with concurrent.futures.ProcessPoolExecutor() as executer:
f1= executer.submit(run1)
f2= executer.submit(run2)
  • The IP address on the Arduino Serial Monitor must be replaced here. It will install a few files for the first time if they do not already exist.
  • After that, we can see two windows, one for live transmission and the other for detection.
  • Different identified objects may now be seen in the detected window, as different colored boxes surround them.


I hope you understand how to design an  ESP32 CAM Based Object Detection & Identification with OpenCV.  We MATHA ELECTRONICS will be back soon with more informative blogs soon.

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