stock iot image




This is a hobby project to create an IoT motion sensor/camera. Basically the motion sensor should trigger the camera to turn on, record some video, and then upload to a cloud provider. The device is supposed to be low power enough that it can stay in operation perpetually using a rechargeable lithium battery.


The main objective was to build a complete hardware and software system. The hardware/PCB would be custom built to meet project requirements. The software would have frontend components for displaying images/video captured from the IoT device, as well as backend components to handle the MQTT communications between the IoT device and server.


This project was a lot of fun to work on because I had never built a custom PCB from scratch before. Up front I spent some time defining requirements and searching the best components to use for the project. The design consists primarily of a device called the ESP32-CAM mounted to a PCB that handles USB and solar charging. The ESP32-CAM is hooked up to a PIR motion sensor that triggers the camera to turn on. I used KiCAD to draw up the schematic, as well as to do the trace layout and routing. Once I had the PCBs in hand I did PCB assembly, soldering all the components (including SMD). The device unfortunately draws too much power in its current configuration so the solar charging features are inadequate and battery life is insufficient. If I revisit this project, I definitely need to figure out how to get the ESP32-CAM to operate in sleep mode until PIR senses motion in order to conserve power.