I know that there is several IA camera trap development ongoing from the poachercam to trailguard...ects...
I also know that it is possible to turn an old phone into a security camera or detector camera through several apps:
IA camera trap requires powerful CPU in order to run the IA software and connexion, all of these are present in a smartphone.
Is it possible to run one of IA software on a smartphone in order to automatically detect a poacher and send an alert (with image)? Or detect elephant to prevent human wildlife conflicts?
And maybe for poor network area could be possible to connect a smartphone via Bluetooth to a satellite transmitters system.
2 October 2021 10:19am
It's possible to use an old phone to do what you're asking. It would require some Android or iOS programming skills since it may be hard to find something off the shelf that fits all the requirements. There will be some drawbacks though. Aside from the software programming, you'd need to:
- Protect the phone. You'd need an enclosure that's weatherproof but can maintain a clear window for taking pictures. Acrylic or polycarbonate enclosures may work for this.
- Have a large power supply. You'd need the phone to be essentially continuously tethered to a power source. Also you'd be continuously running a background AI app and have the camera turned on. The average idle current for a smartphone is about 100 mA which means that a standard 2000 mAh battery allows for around 20 hours of idle (non standby). You may want to assume that having the camera on and running a background app that is constantly using the CPU may double this current consumption.
- I'd also recommend to standardize on one particular make/model of smartphone that's commonly available. Otherwise, you'll get caught in the Android trap (assuming an Android phone) where you have to figure out and modify your code for each version of Android on each phone. I'd recommend sticking with the Google Nexus phones which are the most vanilla Android phones to program.
In regards to connecting to a satellite modem via Bluetooth, that's also possible, but adds more complexity and you'd have to figure out how to control, turn on and off, and power the satellite modem as well as the phone. If you can get the cellular version stable and reliable, then I'd recommend moving on to the satellite afterwards.
We actually do a lot of cellular connectivity projects in remote areas so feel free to send me an email if you have more questions on implementation.