Remote Controlled Wildlife Camera with Raspberry Pi

If you are interested in local wildlife, you may want to consider this wildlife camera project (Google cache). [Arnis] has been using his to film foxes and mice. The core components of this build are a Raspberry Pi and an infrared camera module specifically made for the Pi. The system runs on a 20,000 mAh battery, which [Arnis] claims results in around 18 hours of battery life.

[Arnis] appears to be using a passive infrared (PIR) sensor to detect motion. These sensors work by detecting sudden changes in the amount of ambient infrared radiation. Mammals are good sources of infrared radiation, so the sensor would work well to detect animals in the vicinity. The Pi is also hooked up to a secondary circuit consisting of a relay, a battery, and an infrared light. When it’s dark outside, [Arnis] can enable “night mode” which will turn on the infrared light. This provides some level of night vision for recording the furry critters in low light conditions.

[Arnis] is also using a Bluetooth dongle with the Pi in order to communicate with an Android phone. Using a custom Android app, he is able to connect back to the Pi and start the camera recording script. He can also use the app to sync the time on the Pi or download an updated image from the camera to ensure it is pointed in the right direction. Be sure to check out the demo video below.

If you like these wildlife cameras, you might want to check out some older projects that serve a similar purpose.

UPDATE: It was reported that the source code package from [Arnis’] page (called PiWorkingV1.7z) was being flagged by virus scanners. We notified [Arnis] who removed the file causing the false positive and reposted the package.

21 thoughts on “Remote Controlled Wildlife Camera with Raspberry Pi

  1. 18 hours does not seem much for 20000mAh battery and low-power ARM system. I think that could be optimized. Are there any power saving features on Raspi? Or even replacing the regulator?

    1. 18 hours was with normal amount of activity but when I was filming mice because of amount of activity battery dyed in about 8 hours. I was using unmodified A+ model. The only code based modification I can think of was to change how often the ir sensor is read. I also tried deactivating HDMI port but that didnt make that much of difference.

    2. It’s not that far off, considering that the battery manufacturer has probably way over estimated the capacity and that the Pi will probably draw between 0.5-1A with peripherals attached. Also I’m guessing they used a model with onboard ethernet (the website has exceeded it’s usage limits) which will draw quite a bit even when not in use.

    1. How satisfied could you possibly be with any answer? Any guess from [Arnis] is as good as yours. It’s not as if this is [Arnis]’s personal fox that he has had since it was a pup. Any comment must be pure speculation.

  2. A tip for others wanting to do this, search ebay for a RasPi camera knock off that uses either security camera lens mount or C mount lenses. you can get a LOT better photos by using a lens that has a nice wide aperture and is made of real glass elements.

    There are C mount lenses that have an autofocus motor as well as an aperture motor to allow you a very wide lighting range, I even found one that has a ND filter that you can trigger with 5V signal. just a little bit of electronics and code to make thePi control these lenses and really up your game.

      1. Does the AV shows which filename of the file which is infected? I just scanned it with Sophos AV and Avast AV and none of them found anything. False positive possibly.

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