Inspiration

Some low income families do not have access to permanent places to live.They have to move around often which can lead to them feeling unsafe in the environment. We wanted to make a small mobile home security unit that could be moved from place to place. This device's use could also be translated into hotel use for vacations. Another reason for the creation of our device is that if you're a woman, it can sometimes feel unsafe to answer the door. With the use of the unit voice changer, the user can answer the person at the door in a deeper pitched voice.

What it does

The Watchman is an easily portable security device. The camera on the module is lined up with the peep hole on the door, and secured to the door with suction cups. This allows the Watchman to be used and reused on many different doors. When the user hears someone at the door, they can request that the Watchman send a photo to them of the outside hallway. The Watchman can also send a video of the outside activity. This allows the user to stay away from the door while still seeing what is going on outside. If the person on the outside of the hallway knocks on the door and tries to communicate with those inside, the user has two options. They can either send a text to the module and have a pre-recorded message be played, or say a message into their phone. This message will then be played out of the Watchman but at a lower pitch.

How we built it

We programmed a raspberry pi to connect through the messaging app Telegram. We attached a camera to the raspberry pi. We then coded how to take info from the telegram app for use with the raspberry pi.

Challenges we ran into

Some challenges we ran into were figuring out how to get the Telegram app to communicate with the raspberry pi. We were able to recognize that audio messages were being sent but could access the files themselves. Another challenge we ran into was figuring out how to change the pitch of an audio file through the raspberry pi. Telegram sends voice messages as .oga files and we had to convert this to a .ogg file in order to convert it to a .wav file to play through the raspberry pi.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We wanted to make sure that the Watchman provided safety for as wide of a range of people as possible. To do so, we made the commands easy and tried to make the module use as little components as possible. We're proud of how compact the module is and of its mobility. We're also proud of figuring out how to get sound files from the telegram app to the raspberry pi as we had to find and download the sound file from the internet.

What we learned

We learned how to connect Telegram to a raspberry pi in order to share text and files. We also learned how to use the camera with the raspberry pi. A big topic we learned more about was audio files and how to handle them.

What's next for The Watchman

Miniaturize the module.

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