Idea for microcontroller project - Any takers? Answered
Here's an idea for a simple microcontroller project which occurred to me. Not something I'm going to build and not something I have an immediate use for, so I'm throwing it out here to see if anyone wants to take it up. Using something like an Ardweeny, it could be an entry in the Arduino contest.
The idea is to made a motion triggered wildlife video camera, using a PIR sensor, a standard keychain camera, a microcontroller and a LiPo battery. That, minimal wiring and effort and you'd have a very small device you could leave by food, a crossing point or animal track and it would record video only when an animal passed by. Leave the camera in place for a couple of days, then take out the SD card and play back the .AVI files on your PC to see what's been happening.
For construction, you'd need to disassemble the camera as per the linked video, and test how the 'record' button operates - It's probably just switched to 0V so could be driven with a logic output. You'd remove the camera battery and wire in a larger LiPo instead for endurance. This would also power the controller and sensor. The PIR sensor (with regulator bypassed, as per Sparkfun datasheet) would be an input to the microcontroller, and the programming would consist of monitoring the PIR output for pulses and triggering a 2 second pulse on the camera button to start recording. After a period of no PIR pulses, the camera 'switch' would be pulsed again to end recording. Put it all in a waterproof enclosure with access for the 'business end' of the camera element and you have a motion triggered wildlife camera. "Seemples", as the Meerkovian rat-creature says.
Wire up a bank of infra-red diodes, increase the battery capacity and remove the IR filter on the camera and this may even work as a night-vision camera.