Announcing Gloworm: an inexpensive and open source vision module

The vents would be very fragile if printed any finer at least the way they’re currently designed, maybe something more like a mesh screen would be stronger. Chips and dust could still get in through the fan slot when running though, which is a potential issue on the limelight as well IIRC. The only reason I point that out is because limelights aren’t constantly dying from aluminum shavings, so while I think improvements can be made (conformal coating, smaller vents) I’m not terribly concerned about the issue.


The greater risk is really all the random carpet dust that gets way deeper into the robot than you’d expect sometimes. Our arm chains would somehow always magically attract it, and the wheels can spray it a good foot or so above the bumpers. I wish I had a picture of the limelight I took apart after a whole season of practice bot driving. Nasty stuff.

It helps that these are typically mounted where they are not below lots of metal that’s being drilled, filed, etc. But, it really isn’t that hard to apply some spray-on conformal coating. Or, you can send boards out to have this done.


To some degree most electronic devices that have cooling fans (computers, RasPi if you get a case with a fan, etc) are susceptible to this. Most computers use the bug screen approach although if you have ever opened one up after a few years of use, there is a lot of stuff that gets past that bug screen. If you have the space to add a sponge filter on the inlet, that would keep a lot more of it out (but would probably require periodic cleaning). If the fan is running most/all of the time, basic physics says you shouldn’t need anything on the exhaust vents but I am often shocked at how things happen that don’t line up with what basic physics says.

It’s a bit more complicated than that. You can’t get conformal coating in the pin headers or the huge DDR connector, and you wouldn’t want it on the LEDs either. Masking them (particularly the DDR connector) wouldn’t be trivial.


Same with the lemon zest for the game piece this year. If this covers the LED you can easily burn them out.


If only there was a solution to this problem. :slight_smile:

Of course, there is work involved and some cost. My only point was it’s not too bad to take on, for teams that may wish to do so. Probably voids any warranty though!

Beta Gloworm units are now available for anyone who didn’t sign up for the interest check.

If you buy one, make sure to check out the documentation and this thread. Join the Gloworm Discord for the #beta-feedback channel and the PhotonVision Discord for the #beta-gloworm channel (if you want to run PhotonVision on your Gloworm).

Thanks for y’all’s support.


For anyone who didn’t click-through to the beta order page, the listed price for a beta unit is $125.00. This is awesome to see being shipped out and I hope the beta testers and the teams using them have lots of success :slight_smile:


Ordered mine!



I’ve received my Gloworm as ordered and so far it’s an incredibly painless experience. There are a few hiccups in the main software (PhotonVision) but those are all on the roadmap to get fixed. Additionally, the core stability is very good. Definitely worth the $150, even outside of FRC


I second Dalton here. It was trivial to get mine up and running (if you exclude me painstakingly making my own PoE injector from scrap ethernet cables).
It’s also very easy to tell when it’s on!


It doubles as a spooky Halloween decoration???


This is a must buy, especially with Halloween in quarantine.

Scare your neighbors from the comfort of your own home…

Act out that one scene from Harry Potter…

The possibilities truly are endless!


That one power tripping volunteer: profuse sweating


Are you planning on selling just the PCBs?
I have my own Raspberry Pi and can 3D print a case.

Just as a FYI, incase you didn’t notice (since most people have standard rpi’s lying around and not compute modules), gloworm requires a raspberry pi compute module not a standard raspberry pi.


I don’t think there’s enough demand for that really, you’d have to source the camera, custom lens, fan, screws, compute module, etc yourself. It’s all open source though, so if you have the equipment and skills to assemble one you could totally do it yourself.

Like @dirtbikerxz said, Gloworm is designed for a Compute Module 3+ and not a regular Raspberry Pi.


Has anyone else purchased the suggested wall power solution in the Quick Start guide?

" If you want to run Gloworm off wall-power, a passive PoE injector with a DC barrel jack and a 12V/2A power supply will be convenient."

Ours came in today and it only has 2 pairs of wire being used instead of 4 pairs in the connector. Does that mean it is really only good for supplying power to the Gloworm and not for also transmitting data back and forth with the computer. Am I thinking about that wrong?