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Raspberry Pi Security System Project

Earlier I posted my intention to build a simple security system using Raspberry Pi and a webcam. I had a bit of time to think about it now so here are my thoughts.

For hardware, I will be using USB Webcam for video capture. In terms of software, I’m aware there are a few open source webcam viewing and recording applications which I could port, but I want to develop an app for recording and playback of video. I will be using OpenCV for capturing and recording.

I chose OpenCV to give me flexibility in my recording and playback. I have previously used OpenCV for my masters’ thesis for detecting motion of people. So I am fairly familiar with the framework. For this specific project my first aim is to simply capture video and to assess the highest frame rate achievable.

So the requirements in short:

Phase 1: Application should be able to capture video using USB webcam and store on network share. Application should also playback the recorded videos.

Phase 2: If the frame rate of video is fast enough, enable motion detection. If motion is detected, recording should start.

Today I will be installing OpenCV and looking for drivers for my Labtec webcam 2200. I am hoping once everything is installed and ready to go, I get time to sit down and punch out the code.

I will keep posting my updates here. Any small updates I will post to twitter. You can follow me @atharvai.


Developing for Raspberry Pi

I received my Raspberry Pi in the post recently. I was very excited to play around with it. When my order was still with RS, I thought I would install XBMC and use the RPi as a media centre.

When it arrived, I immediately installed Debian Wheezy and XBMC. I configured the display (resolution, overscan, etc) by following various online tutorials. This was great! But not exciting. Someone had already compiled XBMC and I was simply installing it with a few commands.

I then started learning perl. I used the RPi for this. This felt good. Achieving something. But I still wanted to do more.

I had a project in mind for a while and now I’m thinking I should make use of my RPi for it. The project is a simple security system with a single camera used for recording video and sending alerts when motion is detected.

I have not thought of the details yet, but I’m writing this post just to commit myself to doing it. I guess the first step is to find a USB webcam and get it working with RPi.

Wish me luck and I will keep you posted.