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Animal tracking

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Joined: 1 year ago
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As a new member, retired mechanical engineer, I reluctantly enter the world of electronics. There is a world to learn but I'm afraid I wont get that time anymore, so I dare to ask your help.

My hobby is (a.o.) photography. I wonder if it would be possible to create a pan/tilt plate (or head or something to mount the camera on) capable to track an unexpected animal.

Situation: A wild-camera (eg attached to a tree) has a limited angle of sight.

Suppose the camera is attached to a pan/tilt plate it should get in action at the moment the animal is near by but still out of camera sight (angle). The p/t reacts on a PIR sensor (?good choice?) Which moves the camera into the correct direction.

It requires stepper motors for this smooth motion and low noise(? Does that make sense?). 

Next the p/t tracks the animal as far as the system goes, making use of microwave sensor(s). Again, does that make sense?

I understood that Microwave sensors use a lot of energy so they should be triggered by the PIR.

Image recognition is not so handy in this case.

Iow I like the p/t to add the camera to enlarge its angle of  view.

A solution is also applicable to our camera rail with p/head.

Next step good be to swich to video.

In case this topic is somewhere discussed in a forum, apologies, I found nothing similar.

Look forward to suggestions



Joined: 5 years ago
Posts: 2042


How about 3 wide angle wild cameras to give a 300 degree coverage?


Father of a miniature Wookie
Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 6856

@tom-hoekstra Hi Tom, I am a long time photographer and in fact own a remote controlled (WiFi) pan tilt head and remote control of my Canon 7DII but I also have aspirations to create game cameras. With the shortages we have been having progress is slow but now that product is starting to flow I might make some progress. There are a few radar type detectors on the market, and I would not run them non-stop, maybe 1 min on every 5 mins or some variation to conserve power. Of course with the Lithium batteries we have today power goes a lot further. The trouble with PIR is it is easily fooled, being outdoors is it's worst case as hot spots will come and go. Any of the sound based sensors will probably spook the critters, and stepper or servo motors also. I would be curious what the commercial units use.

IIRC, wind will also cause the PIR's to misbehave.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.