How to make a security camera from a Raspberry Pi and a webcam


posted Monday, November 4, 2013 at 4:50 PM EDT


We've talked at length about how the super-cheap Raspberry Pi is an extremely flexible computer that you can base all manner of photography projects on. But if you've ever wanted a step-by-step process of how you go about making one of those projects, how about a DIY for building your own security camera — complete with motion alarms?

Alex Nikolaidis put together this very straightforward tutorial called "How to make a DIY home alarm system with a raspberry pi and a webcam". In it, he lays out how to take a readily available, cheap webcam, and use it not just to stream the video, but also to set up motion alerts.

What he did was take apart a Logitech C270 webcam, and installing it in an out of sight location. From there, he sets up Linux on the Raspberry Pi, and gets the two things talking to one another.

The tutorial is extremely handy, because it goes through the programming side of the task as well, on how to set up a static IP for the Raspberry Pi, how to access the video stream, and also how to use it to do other things when it detects motion, like send you a message, or automatically upload an image to a server.

It's a glimpse at just how flexible the $25 Raspberry Pi is if you know a little about programming, and have a few odd pieces of hardware still floating around to play with. We wonder if you'd be able to do the same with the new infrared camera module for the Raspberry Pi, which might be able to do a bit better in low light.