Monitor Your House with an Automated Raspberry Pi 3 Surveillance Camera
UPS, Fedex, and good ol’ USPS are great — they deliver all of those awesome electronic goodies we order from places like PMD Way!
Though not OnTrac, they’ll just deliver your package to the trash so they don’t have to walk all the way to your door. But, no matter who your shipping carrier is, we’ve all seen those videos of packages being tossed carelessly onto porches.
But, what can you do to protect your precious new gadgets from overworked and underpaid delivery people? Easy! Surveil them, of course! To do this cheaply, Lallassu over on GitHub has put together a nice series of automated scripts to turn a Raspberry Pi 3 + Raspberry Pi Camera into a surveillance system.
The scripts configure the Raspberry Pi 3 to activate the camera and record a video when motion is detected. The videos are saved to a Dropbox folder, and an email is sent to the owner when a new video is triggered (as a sort of alarm system). A nice touch is that a TMPFS directory is used to protect the SD card on the Pi.
While it’s becoming less and less of an issue, solid state memory (like an SD card) is still susceptible to damage after a large number of read and write cycles. Regularly saving and deleting videos, like this surveillance system is designed to do, would be taxing on the SD card.
Using a TMPFS (temporary file system) directory lets the Raspberry Pi store those videos in volatile memory until they’ve been uploaded to Dropbox, which will dramatically extend the life of the SD card.
Yes, there are hundreds of video surveillance system options out there on the market (both commercial and DIY), but this is a tidy and affordable setup. A relatively small investment of time and money is certainly worth protecting yourself from rogue delivery people and malicious doorbell ditchers alike.