The Bird Project

Bird OSD


You have Raspberry Camera and you need FPV, but you can’t fight 100-200ms latency? Then there is a solution.

Bird OSD turns your Raspberry PI into FPV stream source with OSD overlay.


Since raspberry has Video Composite Output, you can then cast raspberrian screen just like a regular FPV signal over FPV transmitter module!

Raspberry Pi works on broadcomm SoC  with VideoCore processor so that means we can apply OSD overlay to camera stream with really low realtime latencies.

X server is not requried

Bird OSD is a systemd service, it uses raspivid app to grab camera image, and it uses own bird-osd GLES2 application to apply overlay with sensor data on it.

So finally you should see something like this:

(GPS was broken, sorry, still can’t demonstrate in real fly)

Another pic from FPV goggles:


  1. RPI device with sensors board (navio2 is ok)
  2. Raspberry Camera connected to it.
  3. Something sending MAVLink data to ardupilot, arducopter, whatever)

How to install

Download .deb package onto your raspberry device:

$ wget

And then install it:

$ sudo dpkg -i bird-osd_1.1.2_armhf.deb

Then you should target MAVLink channel to

E.g. for arducopter:

$ sudo nano /etc/default/arducopter 

Ensure you have string like this:

TELEM1="-A udp:"

Or like this:

TELEM2="-C udp:"

In case you modified /etc/default/arducopterconfig, then you should restart service:

$ sudo systemctl restart arducopter

Finally you should start bird-osdservice with this command:

sudo systemctl start bird-osd

Then on monitor connected to your raspberryyou should see whatever your camera sees + overlay with sensors data!

It is still very first version:

  1. I only tested it on RPI 3, I added dependency to raspividand to bash:
    libraspberrypi-bin (>= 1.20180417-1), bash (>= 4.4-5)

    Perhaps dependency versions are higher then it really needs, just had no opportunity to test it on another envs.

  2. Do not to blame me guys for not opening sources. There are such a mess, need to sort them first.
  3. It still consumes too much of CPU time. After holidays I’ll work a bit on optimizations. It uses text atlas, but still builds text layout dynamically. It should render every static text to texture; per profiling survey results, it should improve performance on 30-40% (since most of text labels are static).
  4. Any proposals are welcome.

How enable or disable service

If you want to enable bird-osdon boot, you should run:

$ sudo systemctl enable bird-osd

This command disables service:

$ sudo systemctl disable bird-osd

How to uninstall

And this command removes bird-osdfrom you raspberry device:

$ dpkg -P bird-osd

Relevant topics

Edge detection for text – simple edge detection shader for text-like foreground drawings

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Artificial Neural Networks and Puffer Jacket

Let’s imagine that humanity died out, and new civilzation discovered that human beings used puffer jackets to save body heat.

But they didn’t know how it works. So they “disassembled” one of jackets  they found, and discovered that it consists of bird fluff.

And this is how they reproduced heat saver thing. They made a building with walls out of fluffs cemented with clay. And got little progress. So they tried to use glair instead of clay, but still too bad.

Only 128 years later, when they advanced on heat theory, they understood what was wrong, and made building with hollow walls, but filled with flair.

A bit later knowing theory and learned chemistry and gas dynamics they stopped to kill birds, and replaced flair with synthetic heat insulation fiber.

Well, if we advance on how our mind works, we perhaps find a better use of artificial neural networks, or may be replace it with better concept?

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