In preparing for the PLOTS LEAFFEST this weekend, Craig Versek of PVOS has just achieved something pretty cool -- a live WiFi webcam feed from a battery-powered Raspberry Pi! As long as this little baby is within range of a WiFi signal, any web-enabled device (laptop, smart phone) will be able to navigate to a web page and see what the on-board camera is seeing. Here's a little schematic of how the device is connected up:
Cost. The Raspberry Pi itself is $35; still waiting for details on the webcam, battery pack, and wireless dongle (the same type of dongle used to get e.g. a laptop online), but they're pretty inexpensive, too.
Weight. The entire device (including the 5 hour battery pack) weighs around 300 grams, and should be light enough to, e.g., include on a balloon or kite imaging payload as a way of making sure that a higher-resolution camera on board is looking at what you're hoping it's looking at.
Testing. Craig is still working out some bugs -- the live video is a bit choppy, and he's thinking he might tweak the setup to simply capture a sequence of still images, instead -- but we're hoping to test the device out on a kite- or balloon-based camera rig this weekend at LEAFFEST.
How he did it: To get the R-Pi transmitting images wirelessly, Craig said he followed the instructions here and here, and provided the following caveat: "Compiling large source packages like ffmpeg on the RPi is not for the impatient - though easy to set up, it took over 6 hours to compile - but is well worth the investment."
Below is a demo video: