Camera Dimensions: 81 x 40 x 157 mm
Image resolution: 8-megapixel
VisionCams offer the chance to capture long-term recordings of settings without invading privacy. Computer vision triggers and manipulates images, producing stop-action recordings that balance intrigue with insight.
VisionCams take images automatically. The default programme takes time-lapse pictures depending on how much movement is detected in the scene and is activated by swivelling the lens cover open. A selection of other programmes are also available for download here, each capturing and modifying images in different ways. This allows VisionCams to support a wide range of experimental uses.
Preserving privacy is fundamental to VisionCams. For instance, the default programme saves and displays only the contours of scenes, producing images that are evocative without being invasive. VisionCam Tall is designed to be noticeable when left in place. The display is adjacent to the camera, so it can be seen while images are captured. It takes an image when motion is detected and displays a preview of what it has seen in the form of a looped stop-frame animation on screen. The camera can be left for hours to capture the rhythms and flows of its location, and stopped by closing the lens cover.
The casing for the VisionCam Tall can be printed on all 3D printers and has been optimised for printing without support material on machines such as an Ultimaker. This design differs from Compact VisionCam by using a custom PCB connector to rotate the screen 90° to the Raspberry Pi, creating a symmetrical form. The device’s off-the-shelf parts, including the custom PCB, can all be bought online. The Raspberry Pi operating system and VisionCam software is available on this site as a single disk image that can be flashed to an SD card in one step. Powered via a USB port, it can be plugged into the mains or run for hours using a standard USB battery.
There is selection of 3D printable accessories that can be attached to the VisionCams to extend their physical functionality.
List of all the components to assemble the VisionCam
Raspberry Pi Model 2 and above
Adafruit PiTFT 2.2" HAT details
Raspberry Pi Camera module V2
TwistyHat board (rotates the screen 90° to the Pi) order PCB here
Male and female PCB headers for the TwistyHat board
6 x No.2 6.4mm & 3 No.2 9.5mm self-tapping screws available here
Micro SD card
Micro USB cable for power
USB power supply or battery
List of handy equipment
small Phillips screwdriver (cross head)
to view and download various file formats
VisionCam Tall, Fusion360
Step 1 Push the lens cover into the front shell of the camera case
Step 2 Order the TwistyHat PCB at OSHPark.com
Step 3 Secure the screen to the front panel with 6.4mm screws
Step 4 Plug the TwistyHat PCB into the camera
Step 5 Connect camera module to the Raspberry Pi. Make sure to match the direction of the camera to the picture. The printed side of the ribbon should face towards the USB ports of the shield
Step 6 Fold the camera ribbon. Hold the camera and Raspberry Pi in position to plan how to fold the ribbon to fit it into the assembly
Step 7 Plug the Raspberry Pi into the TwistyHat PCB
Step 8 Screw the camera into the case using 6.4mm screws
Step 10 Plug the micro SD card into the Raspberry Pi
Step 11 Close the camera case
Step 12 Secure the case by inserting three 9.5mm screws into the back
Step 13 connect the micro USB cable into the cameras USB port
Step 14 Attach an external USB battery (or USB mains charger)
Optional Attach the battery to the camera with rubber bands
How to use
Plug in a USB battery or mains power
Wait the Raspberry Pi to boot up, the camera is ready to use when the animated icon of the lens cover is displayed on screen
Open the lens cover by swivelling the left or right
To adjust the image for greater or fewer lines, first press the large button to the bottom right on the screen, changing the image on screen to a live preview mode. Press the button on the far left the screen for fewer lines, press the button immediately to the right of this for default lines, and button to the right of this again for more lines. The live preview will time out after a short period or can be cancelled at any time by pressing the button to the bottom right on the screen again.
Record for as long as you like (note that the camera will stop recording if it is very dark)
Close the lens cover to stop recording
Download the images from your camera
Remove the micro SD card and place in an appropriate reader
Images and video will be stored in the ProbeReturns folder of the micro SD card