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Serverless Object Detection on AWS Lambda for Grassland Node Lite

A live Tensorflow model deployed as an AWS Lambda function for miners running nodes without the processing power to run a full deep learning object detection model locally.

This is the "server" in the mining client/server architecture for which the node_lite software is the "client".

If you have questions related to this software, search in the 'Issues' tab of this Github repo to see if it's been answered. If not, feel free to open a new issue and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Uses Serverless framework for turn-key deployment.


  1. Serverless CLI requires Node.js v6.5.0 or greater. But to ensure compatibility with Grassland's GUI you will need Node.js v8.10.0 or greater

  2. Install the Serverless CLI using the command

npm install -g serverless

  1. Get an AWS account. If you don't already have one, you can sign up for a free trial that includes 1 million free Lambda requests per month.

  2. Set-up your Provider (AWS) Credentials by following these instructions or Watch the video on setting up credentials

You should have your AWS Keys set up as environment variables. You can include them in your ~/.bashrc (Linux) file to ensure they are automatically set every time you load your shell.

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<your-key-here>
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<your-secret-key-here>
# 'export' command is valid only for unix shells. In Windows - use 'set' instead of 'export'

To load your new environment variables and make them available to your shell, you'll either need to close and reopen your shell or type source ~/.bashrc

  1. Go to the AWS website and create two AWS S3 Buckets. One for the frames on which we will perform object detection, And one for the model.

  2. Download the current eon's model from the main website at the bottom under "Downloads" and upload it to the S3 bucket you made to hold the model

  3. Clone this repo on your local machine and cd to the root directory

    Change the options in the files serverless.yml and to point to your AWS S3 buckets...

    Anywhere you see [REPLACE_ME: ...] replace it (including the brackets) with either the name of or the indicated S3 Bucket information you created in part 5 above.

    Then unzip the pre-compiled Tensorflow dependencies into the "vendor" directory (See 'Provisioning of Python Dependencies' below) and deploy from your command line using serverless deploy.

    For service removal:

    serverless remove


    Once it's complete, it should show you your new Lambda function's URL. Set this URL as an environment variable on your system.

    export LAMBDA_DETECTION_URL=<your-lambda-url-here>

To complete the setup of your node, return to the instructions in the Grassland Node's README

Provisioning of Python dependencies

In the "vendored" folder, you have to provide the additional Python 3.6 dependencies required. These are Tensorflow 1.7.0, Pillow 5.2.0, Joblib 0.12.5 and all of their dependencies except for the Tensorboard and Pip packages which were removed to get under the Lambda size limit. This should total ~257 MB unzipped. If you install Tensorflow 1.8 or higher, your "vendored" directory will breach the Lambda deployment limit of ~262 MB. These dependencies must be deployed along with the code into AWS Lambda. Because the Tensorflow and Pillow dependencies are large, I did not commit them to the repo. You can download the zipped vendored directory here.

Future Grassland Software Improvements

Link to current list of Grassland features and modules that will be built next


This project is licensed under the terms of the MIT license.


Serverless Object Detection on AWS Lambda. Use with Grassland's 'Node Lite'




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