Inspiration: I´m lazy. Going to the mailbox just to find out that I don´t got mail bothers me. On the other hand: if I don´t go on a regular basis, I might miss important mail. What I wanted was a small (and cheap) camera inside my mailbox which then can be eccessed via an app, so I can take a picture from the inside of the mailbox everytime I want.

What it does: Right now, the used ESP32 Cam starts a webserver in the local network. By entering its IP Adress in your browser, you can take pictures or start a video stream. The App I build is used to simplify the process. Instead of entering a IP Adress, you simply press a button.

How I built it: The ESP32 comes with a example sketch, which implements the basic functionality. This sketch was modified, mainly by changing the HTML Code for the webpage the webserver displays. The App was build with MIT App Inventor.

Challenges I ran into: The ESP32 has no USB connection so it musst be programmed with a USB to TTL Converter, which was new to me. Also to eccess the taken picture via an App was something I haven´t done before. I also haven´t programmed an App until now, so I decided to use the App Inventor for a quick prototype.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of: getting the ESP32 working without destroying anything. I study computer science so I don´t know that much about the electrical stuff. Was a bit worried to burn the board (It wasn´t expensive but it took months until it arrived from china).

What I learned: How to use MIT App Inventor to build a simple App to show the basic functionality. Also some things about IoT Hardware, Webservers and even refreshed some old HTML knowledge.

What's next for Smart Mailbox: There are so many possible improvements I don´t know where to start. First, the App is very basic, there is a lot of room for improvements. Also right now App and ESP32 have to be in the same network, so you can check your Mailbox from your Couch but not from work. Next step would be to upload the images in a cloud, so you could eccess them from anywhere in the world.

Built With

Share this project:

Updates