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iBirdFeeder – ultimate wi-fi enabled bird feeder

So here it is, new pet project created to try out Raspberry Pi 3 possibilities. This is my first time with Raspberry Pi and I have to say its awesome, I do already think about other uses for it in my house so watch this space for more ;).

This time I’ve tried to build a bird feeder for my kids but of course to make it a bit more interesting for them and for me of course, I decided to equip it with some camera, PIR sensor and internet connectivity so it can take pictures of upcoming birds and sends them over to some remote server for later viewing.

The main idea goes like this:

  1. Bird comes and starts to eat some seeds
  2. PIR sensor catches the movement and sends a signal to Raspberry Pi
  3. Raspberry Pi equipped with 5Mpix camera takes a photo of the bird (hopefully)
  4. After a bit processing (creating different sizes of the photo) it sends it over the internet to remote location (Amazon S3)

I have decided to play around with a couple of Amazon Web Services available so that it can operate ‘serverless’.

The protocol of choice for communication is MQTT available through Amazon IoT (Internet of Things) service.

In the first part of the iBirdFeeder blog posts I will describe the hardware part and how I did assemble all the parts together. The following two parts will describe the programming side on the Raspberry Pi itself and the Amazon AWS setup including IoT, S3, DynamoDB and Lambda computing services.

Besides taking photos I have decided (just for even more fun) to create a semi automatic seed feeder capability so that when I send a specific command to the Raspberry Pi it will transfer a batch of seeds from the bigger container onto the bird feeder deck.

The building process was described in a series of posts listed below:

Part I: Hardware

Part II: Raspberry Pi 3 programming

Part III: AWS Services ‘serverless’ setup

… and a couple of latest photos made

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