Arduino + Raspberry + Camera Board = Home Surveillance

Developing a home-surveillance system has interested me for some time, so I did some research on the best hardware for the job. The camera shields that I saw for the Arduino Uno were pretty pathetic, to be honest. They were expensive and/or lacked proper documentation. One particular Uno shield cost more than both the Raspberry Pi and its camera board combined, so I decided to just get those two instead. Turned out to be a great decision!

Although all programming was done myself, I’ve decided not to share the source; it’s important that a system like this be designed from scratch by the budding developer. I will, however, say a few things:

  1. If you’re using Parallax’s Ping))) sensor, be sure to insert a small delay immediately before taking a reading. It will help prevent against misreads, especially in certain environments. If you think your code is right and you’re still getting erroneous values, try placing it in a larger room. It works just fine outside, however.
  2. I used the Visual Micro debugger for Visual Studio to help me debug on the Arduino. There’s a video tutorial on YouTube for it; the video’s a bit lengthy, but very worthwhile to watch.
  3. The PIR sensor does not work well outside, since the ambient IR is constantly shifting.


At the end of the video, you’ll notice I don’t open the .jpgs that start appearing. Of course, I like to maintain some amount of privacy… Also, sorry about the camera position. You don’t actually get to see me, but I prefer it that way.

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