What it does
Pluto is a monitoring system that a person could attach to their door's window or peep-hole and triggers when the door is knocked on. The system then snaps a picture of the person outside the door and sends a notification to the user of who it is, and an option to open a live stream from the webcam. The user can also see a history of people who have knocked on their door.
How it works
We used a piece of wood with a hole in it to represent the door with a peep-hole and mounted a raspberry pi, webcam, and mercury sensor on the back to detect knocks. When the sensor is triggered, the webcam snaps a photo and runs it through AWS's facial recognition software to determine if the person is familiar, and sends a notification to the user's phone accordingly through an app. The data is stored and parsed so that a history is available for the app.
Challenges we ran into
- We went through several types of sensors sensor set-ups for detecting the knocks until we finally found something that works (we could not get the knock sensor to work, and the piezo tab wasn't sensitive enough).
- We had to make sure that knocking multiple times and triggering the sensor wouldn't send a load of notifications and events, and so had to make sure we limited the number of triggers that could occur in a time-frame. We also didn't have access to certain logic components, so we had to program and utilize an FPGA as a workaround.
- Making the different components work with each other
What we learned
After an approach to solving a problem has failed, it is important to pick yourself up, move to a backup plan if one has been made, or improvise. Time spent arguing or lamenting is time wasted!