Expanded version of the Espressif ESP webcam
This sketch is a extension/expansion/rework of the 'official' ESP32 Camera example sketch from Espressif:
But expanded with: * More options for default network and camera settings * Control of on-board lamps, view rotation in the browser * Dedicated standalone stream viewer * Lots of minor fixes and tweaks
The original example is a bit incomprehensible and hard to modify as supplied. It is very focused on showing off the face recognition capabilities, and forgets the 'webcam' part. * There are many other variants of a webcam server for these modules online, but most are created for a specific scenario and not good for general, casual, webcam use.
Hopefully this expanded example is more useful for those users who wish to set up a simple ESP32 based webcam using the cheap(ish) modules freely available online. Especially the AI-THINKER board:
I have four AI-THINKER ESP32-CAM boards, so the descriptions below are for that board. But I took care to leave the default definitions and controls for other boards in the example intact. You may need to adjust the programming method to suit the your board, look for examples online.
Please read this excellent guide for help with some common issues seen with the camera modules: https://randomnerdtutorials.com/esp32-cam-troubleshooting-guide/
FTDI Friendadapter, for more about this read AdaFruits excellent FTDI Friend guide.
Is pretty simple, You just need jumper wires, no soldering really required, see the diagram below. * Connect the RX line from the serial adapter to the TX pin on ESP32 * The adapters TX line goes to the ESP32 RX pin * The GPIO0 pin of the ESP32 must be held LOW (to ground) when the unit is powered up to allow it to enter it's programming mode. This can be done with simple jumper cable connected at poweron, fitting a switch for this is useful if you will be reprogramming a lot. * You must supply 5v to the ESP32 in order to power it during programming, the FTDI board can supply this.
By default the sketch assumes you have an AI-THINKER board, it creates an AccessPoint called
ESP32-CAM-CONNECTand with the password
InsecurePassword; connect to that and then browse to
http://192.168.4.1/. This is nice and easy for testing and demo purposes.
To make a permanent config for a different board, or with your home wifi settings etc. copy (or rename) the file
myconfig.sample.hin the sketch folder to
You can now set a camera name, board model, wifi settings and some other defaults in that file. And because this is your private copy it will not get overwritten if you update the main sketch!
Assuming you are using the latest Espressif Arduino core the AI-THINKER board (or whatever you use) will appear in the ESP32 Arduino section of the boards list.
Compile and upload the code from the IDE, when the
Connecting...appears in the console reboot the ESP32 module while keeping GPIO0 grounded. You can release GPO0 once the sketch is uploading, most boards have a 'boot' button to trigger a reboot.
Once the upload completes (be patient, it can be a bit slow) open the serial monitor in the IDE and reboot the board again without GPIO0 grounded. In the serial monitor you should see the board start, connect to the wifi and then report the IP address it has been assigned.
If you have a status LED configured it will give a double flash when it begins attempting to conenct to WiFi, and five short flashes once it has succeeded. It will also flash briefly when you access the camera to change settings.
Go to the URL given in the serial output, the web UI should appear with the settings panel open. Click away!
The WiFi details can be stored in an (optional) header file to allow easier code development, and a camera name for the UI title can be configured. The lamp and status LED's are optional, and the lamp uses a exponential scale for brightness so that the control has some finess.
The streamviewer, lamp control, and all the other new features have been added. I have tried to retain the basic structure of the original example,extending where necesscary.
I have left all the Face Recognition code untouched, it works, and with good lighting and camera position it can work quite well. But you can only use it in low-resolution modes, and it is not something I will be using.
The web UI has had minor changes to add the lamp control (only when enabled), I also made the 'Start Stream' and 'Snapshot' controls more prominent, and added feedback of the camera name + firmware.
I would also like to shoutout to @jmfloyd; who suggested rotating the image in the browser since the esp32 itself cannot do this.
Contributions are welcome; please see the Contribution guidelines.
Time allowing; my Current plan is:
V4 Remove face recognition entirely; * Dont try to make it optional, this is a code and maintenance nightmare. V3 can be maintained on a branch for those who need it. * Investigate using SD card to capture images * implement OTA and a better network stack for remembering multiple AP's, auto-config etc. * UI Skinning/Theming
You can check the enhancement list (past and present), and add any thoghts you may have there. Things that have occurred to me are, in no particular order: