DepthAI Python API

Instructions for installing, upgrading, and using the DepthAI Python API.

Supported Platforms

The DepthAI API python module is prebuilt for Ubuntu 18.04 and Raspbian 10. To download the library run (WIP):

python3 -m pip install depthai

For other operating systems and/or Python versions, depthai-python library can be built from source.

  • Ubuntu 18.04 - Python 3.6
  • Raspbian - Python 3.7
  • macOS (Mac OS X) - Homebrew installation settings/permutations vary quite a bit so we currently require build from source for macOS, see here to do so.
  • Windows 10 - Currently experimental (as of 18 May 2020).
  • Other Operating Systems - The DepthAI codebase is open source, so it can be built from source on all sorts of other platforms. See [here] to do so. We also are soon releasing a variant which doesn’t even require the host to be running an operating system or even have USB support.
  • Embedded Platforms - We’re working on supporting SPI, I2C, and/or UART communication to processors like the MSP430, STM32, and so forth (and will have a set of reference libaries for SPI, I2C, and UART for the Raspberry Pi, which helps debugging when integrating custom applications with DepthAI over these interfaces).


To enable user access to DepthAI devices run the following:

echo 'SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="03e7", MODE="0666"' | sudo tee /etc/udev/rules.d/80-movidius.rules
sudo udevadm control --reload-rules && sudo udevadm trigger

Dependencies to build from source

  • CMake > 3.2.0
  • Generation tool (Ninja, make, …)
  • C/C++ compiler
  • libusb1 development package

Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi OS, … (Debian based systems)

On Debian based systems (Raspberyy Pi OS, Ubuntu, …) these can be acquired by running:

sudo apt-get -y install cmake libusb-1.0-0-dev build-essential

macOS (Mac OS X)

Assuming a stock Mac OS X install, depthai-python library needs following dependencies

  • HomeBrew (If it’s not installed already)
    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL" 
  • Python, libusb, CMake, wget
    brew install coreutils python3 cmake libusb wget

    And now you’re ready to clone the depthai-python from Github and build it for Mac OS X.

Build DepthAI Python Library from Source

To build the wheel:

git clone --branch develop --recursive
cd depthai-api
python3 -m pip wheel . -w wheelhouse/

Or just the dynamic library

git clone --branch develop --recursive
cd depthai-api
mkdir -p build && cd build
cmake ..
cmake --build . --parallel

API Reference

depthai.init_device(cmd_file_path) → bool

Initializes the DepthAI device, returning True if the device was successfully initialized and False otherwise.


  • cmd_file_path(str) - The full path to the DepthAI cmd file.


import depthai
import consts.resource_paths
res = depthai.init_device(consts.resource_paths.device_cmd_fpath)

depthai.create_pipeline(config=dict) → Pipeline

Initializes a DepthAI Pipeline, returning the created Pipeline if successful and False otherwise.


  • config(dict) - A dict of pipeline configuration settings.
    Example key/values for the config:
      # Possible streams:
      # ['left', 'right','previewout', 'metaout', 'depth_sipp', 'disparity', 'depth_color_h']
      # If "left" is used, it must be in the first position.
      # To test depth use:
      # 'streams': [{'name': 'depth_sipp', "max_fps": 12.0}, {'name': 'previewout', "max_fps": 12.0}, ],
      'streams': stream_list,
          'calibration_file': consts.resource_paths.calib_fpath,
          'padding_factor': 0.3,
          'depth_limit_m': 10.0, # In meters, for filtering purpose during x,y,z calc
          'confidence_threshold' : 0.5, #Depth is calculated for bounding boxes with confidence higher than this number 
          'blob_file': blob_file,
          'blob_file_config': blob_file_config,
          'calc_dist_to_bb': calc_dist_to_bb,
          'keep_aspect_ratio': not args['full_fov_nn'],
      # object tracker
          'max_tracklets'        : 20, #maximum 20 is supported
          'confidence_threshold' : 0.5, #object is tracked only for detections over this threshold
          'swap_left_and_right_cameras': args['swap_lr'], # True for 1097 (RPi Compute) and 1098OBC (USB w/onboard cameras)
          'left_fov_deg': args['field_of_view'], # Same on 1097 and 1098OBC
          'rgb_fov_deg': args['rgb_field_of_view'],
          'left_to_right_distance_cm': args['baseline'], # Distance between stereo cameras
          'left_to_rgb_distance_cm': args['rgb_baseline'], # Currently unused
          'store_to_eeprom': args['store_eeprom'],
          'clear_eeprom': args['clear_eeprom'],
          'override_eeprom': args['override_eeprom'],
      #    'rateCtrlMode': 'cbr',
      #    'profile': 'h265_main', # Options: 'h264_baseline' / 'h264_main' / 'h264_high' / 'h265_main'
      #    'bitrate': 8000000, # When using CBR
      #    'maxBitrate': 8000000, # When using CBR
      #    'keyframeFrequency': 30,
      #    'numBFrames': 0,
      #    'quality': 80 # (0 - 100%) When using VBR


pipeline = depthai.create_pipelinedepthai.create_pipeline(config={
    'streams': ['previewout'],
    'ai': {'blob_file': consts.resource_paths.blob_fpath}