Introduction: Raspberry Pi: Reading 7-Segment Displays

Picture of Raspberry Pi: Reading 7-Segment Displays

Reading Seven Segment Displays


Many sensors do not have a simple way to plug directly into them -- and even when there is a way to hack it, it often involves mad-surface-mount soldering skills. Simply reading a seven segment diplay allows one to share one's tools with the robot and have the "hey, can you do this for me?" kind of feel. While normal black-and-white text is easy, seven-segment displays are super hard for bots! Thankfully and thanks to the creators of ssocr, there is a way we can give our bots this essential skill.

Installation Of Seven-Segment-Optical-Character-Recognition (ssocr)

First we must install the dependencies: sudo apt-get install libimlib2 libimlib2-dev Next we download the ssocr binary from the following site: Extract it, cd into the directory, then make the project with a simple: make ...that was simple. For good measure let's also install it into our system for use outside the folder: sudo make install


Infrared Thermometer ssocr crop 190 73 80 100 -d 2 image.jpg -t 20 The code above resulted in 19 being placed into standard-out.


You will need to make sure that the number of digits is known, and the bounding box for the digits.


  • Bounding Box
    • grab x and y of top-left corner (pixels measured from top-left as per usual)
    • get the width and height in pixels respectively
  • Enter the number of digits after -d
  • Enter the black-white threshold in % after -t
ssocr crop top_left_x top_left_y width height -d number of digits expected the_image_name.jpg -t black_white_threshold_percent