The overall plan is as follows: We'll first build a cheap "cat sensor". To read that sensor from a PC, we'll use an Arduino
board running Firmata
firmware. To take pictures of your cat, we'll capture still images from a web cam stream. All the logic will be handled in Processing
. We'll use existing libraries to send Twitter updates whenever your cat sits down or leaves the bed. When the cat is on the bed, we'll capture still shots and upload those to a web server using FTP. We'll then add links to the pictures to the Twitter messages.
Here's the shopping/scavenging list, from most to least expensive:
- 1 old laptop or PC with internet connection. Mac or PC will both work fine; Linux will be trickier - you're on your own there with video capture support.
- 1 webcam
- 1 Arduino board + USB cable
- 1 momentary switch
- stranded wire (I like 24AWG)
- 1 sheet of foamcore
- some springy sheet material (e.g. Foamies sheets)
Tools: Just the basics
- soldering iron
- xacto knife
- hot glue gun