Quick and easy wildlife camera

This wildlife camera is really easy to put together. You should keep it in mind if you’re ever tying to figure out what’s eating the heads off of all of your tulips. [Revoltlab] put it together, and although there’s one fatal flaw in this particular system, the concept is quite sound.

The build uses a camera, paired with an ultrasonic range finder. When something passes within the pre-set distance for the sensor, a servo motor clicks the shutter button on the camera. It’s all driven by an Arduino and powered from a 9V battery.

If you watch the video after the break you’ll discover the flaw we mentioned. This is a disposable film camera and requires winding between pictures. That hasn’t been implemented yet. But we’ve got an old digital camera with a broken LCD screen which would be perfect for the job. We’d have to do a bit more work to turn the camera on before taking the picture though.

There are a couple of possible upgrades to the idea. [Revoltlab] mentions removing the IR filter from the camera and adding an infrared flash for night-vision shots. But we would also recommend ditching the servo motor for a simple remote shutter solution as a way to avoid scaring the wildlife with the motor noise.

Comments

  1. squishyrobot says:

    The ultrasonic range finder might scare off a few critters as well.

  2. PI says:

    How do the ultrasonic transducers fare if they get wet?

  3. macona says:

    Why, oh why is there an arduino in this?

    A PIR sensor, transistor, and a solenoid to actuate the shutter if mechanical.

    Sensors are cheap.

    http://www.makershed.com/PIR_Motion_Sensor_p/mkad33.htm

    Most animals will not hear this ultrasonic, they usually run something like 41khz.

    • Jarel says:

      LOL I agree. Many of the people doing these projects just aren’t familiar with discrete electronics. They don’t realize how hard they’re making it on themselves, and I don’t think they care.

  4. Wes says:

    What did he use to cut that hole with, a shotgun?

  5. v sluiter says:

    To add a remote flash trigger without moving parts to a throw-away camera (also from an Arduino) check my build here:
    Hein Hacks
    Changing it to solid state does have its impact on charging time since you’re adding components in a resonant circuit.
    Here I used an external 5V source to supply the camera, but AA’s might prove better because the current drawn after the flash is >1.5A….

  6. draeath says:

    I don’t mean this in the spoil-sport way, but if this is something near your house (eg the tulips example) then what is wrong with a webcam or similar and zoneminder to detect motion?

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