Home Security with Raspberry Pi and a Webcam

Home security has never been easier. Though the terms “front end development” and “open source” may be daunting to some, Raspberry Pi hardware is a cost-effective and efficient solution that makes Home Automation a DIY commodity.

For $39.99, Raspberry Pi, is paired with a Mirco SD card (at least 2GB), USB Hub and a compatible webcam, to create a simple means of home security.

The Raspberry Pi is a self-powered motherboard, that either remotely or connected to a monitor and keyboard via its own USB ports. Having inserted a formatted SD card into the slot of the Motherboard, you can begin set up your Home Automation system. Your Webcam needs to be connected to a USB hub which is then connected to the motherboard in order to supply power to your camera.

First, Raspberry Pi needs to install an operating system to its motherboard. Whereas you can access your OS’s terminal directly, use of NOOBS’ Raspbian integrated OS, is the most convenient set up for beginners. Note that this option can be booted directly onto your Raspberry Pi, through a preloaded SD card.

Having inserted your SD card into your computer’s card reader, you will first need to format it to FAT-32. Following this, you can then download NOOBS and its integrated Raspbian software. Upon installing Raspbian on your computer, Windows Clients will need to download Win32 in order to burn this OS to an SD card, whereas Mac and Linux clients can do so by opening the Disk Utility and Terminal.

Once this is done, your SD card can be inserted into the Raspberry Pi.

For the convenience of simply controlling your electronics; such as a webcam, Raspberry Pi can then be controlled remotely from another device over a local network using a Secure Shell (SSH).

For remote access, you will need to download a free IP Scanner client and an SSH client such as Putty.  This will identify your Raspberry Pi from your OS. Taking note of your hardware’s IP address in the scan, you can remotely configure your Pi through the SSH client.

To install the camera connected to your USB hub, you will need to configure your Raspberry Pi’s terminal to enable it, and create a webcam server. Over a remote control server, the webcam can then be accessed from using the Pi’s IP address. There is also configuration available online to access your webcam stream from an internet browser. Alternatively, you can connect a camera module to Raspberry Pi’s CSI port, enabling your Raspberry Pi to become its own IP webcam.