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:
- 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.
- 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.
- The PIR sensor does not work well outside, since the ambient IR is constantly shifting.
- Raspberry Pi
- RPi Camera Board
- Camera Mount
- Logic Level Converter
- Standard Servo
- Insulated or Normal Standoffs
- Arduino Uno
- Parallax PING))) sensor
- Parallax PIR sensor
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.