ChromoCam (Table 51)

DIY motion-activated camera setup for our front door


Our project combines the Raspberry Pi, an off-the-shelf Logitech C270 USB webcam, and the Twilio API to produce a system that, when motion is detected within the camera's field of view, will take a picture and send it as either an SMS message with an imgur link, or an MMS message with the actual picture itself. This idea came from our house, since our door does not have a peephole that lets us see who is outside. With this application, we can get a still image of whoever our visitor is, sent straight to our phones.

There is also a basic text-based interface built with Twilio that allows users to text the Twilio number to add their own phone numbers to the list of phones to send the SMS/MMS messages to, as well as remove themselves from the list, mute/unmute notifications, and switch between receiving SMS and MMS messages. These messages are handled using a PHP script.

Motion tracking is done using Motion (http://www.lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHome). When motion is detected, a bash script is called, which saves the image, posts it to imgur and returns the URL. This URL is then passed to a python script which sends either the link (if SMS) or the picture itself (MMS) to the list of registered phone numbers using Twilio.

There is also a rudimentary PhoneGap application for Android that allows us to view the live feed from the camera on our phones.

Try it out