Watchdog Security Robot

Watchdog Security Robot

Although our city streets are packed with CCTV cameras, past reports have suggested that many are either in the wrong place or simply don’t work. Perhaps the Watchdog Security Robot is the answer. “Someone can throw their hoodie on and hide from a high-mounted camera,” argues Josh Starnes. “People are less likely to misbehave when someone is physically there to witness it.” So what is the answer? A lack of resources means flooding the streets with police isn’t always economically viable. “But would you be surprised if a robot rolled up, recording or talking to you while you are up to no good?” asks Josh. “I would.” Which is why he has created a security robot to do exactly that, called Watchdog. Watchdog Security Robot inspired by sci-fi movies Inspired by sci-fi movies such as Short Circuit, Evolver, and Star Wars, Josh got to work on an affordable DIY robot that can trundle around the streets, operate in cold and wet weather, work well in low light, and communicate. He wanted it to record HD video locally and stream via WiFi to a secondary source for online viewing. “I decided to use a Raspberry Pi. It has an excellent community and it’s moved past being a new gadget to a useful tool.” At first, Josh spent time getting the chassis right, using the base of a Jazzy Select power chair. He stripped away unwanted parts such as the chair, footrest, original Jazzy electronics, and the front anti-tip wheels. He also bought a Sabertooth dual 12 A motor driver which is optimised for use in medium-powered robots and radio-controlled vehicles. Struggling to find an off-the-shelf camera that met all his needs, he turned to the Pi 3: “It meant I could pick the camera module I needed, record to a hard drive, and have remote access.” Josh used four Pi 3 boards, each connected to a camera. “In the event one fails, all the others are independent and would continue recording.” Four Raspberry Pi 3s connect to the four cameras and are set up to record at 800×640 resolution and 15 frames per second. Files are saved 600 seconds at a time to SanDisk 64GB cards. See in the dark with Pi NoIR Infrared Camera The project uses the Pi NoIR Camera Module, which has a 5MP sensor, night vision, and a 130° adjustable-focus lens. Four of these are mounted inside the…
Source: Watchdog Security Robot

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