ML Hat Cam — body

Jacob David C. Cunningham
2 min readFeb 20, 2023


This is my current hardware project.

GitHub Repo

yeah this thing is cringe-level ridiculous

I happened to come across this Arducam lens 8–50mm in a YouTube video. I also saw someone else work on a focusing/automated zoom lens using steppers. I fly model airplanes and I had the thought… can I make a thing that films them.

So I bought the parts (Arducam IMX477 and 8–50mm lens) and a friend bought me a Pi 4B a couple years back. And I started to come up with a design.

26 days later…

We arrive here

The current auto-focus mechanism is using Laplace Variance (built into OpenCV) see the demo gif below

What’s in the box

The unit is powered by a step-up converter mEZDA41503A-A and there are two protected 18650 cells so the unit can run for quite a while.

It uses a 1.5" OLED from waveshare and I wired up a basic 5-button dpad.

Anyway the next part is doing the actual ML stuff… and more software writing.