Build Your Own Surveillance System


    How Free and Open Source Software Can
    Protect You

    Joel Avery
    Februar...
Background

   Like most things, it started small
   Someone was letting their dog use my garden
    as an open pit toil...
Catch Them In The Act

   Clearly, I needed irrefutable evidence of the
    dog in action and the owner in inaction
   I...
Computers Are Meant to Serve Man

   As an IT consultant, it seemed that a computer
    could solve this problem
   Init...
The Garden System

   The garden monitoring system runs on a white
    box system sold back in the 90s
       AMD K6 pro...
The Overall System

   The system has spread to other cameras
    monitoring more safety oriented locations such
    as t...
Configuration

   You can control how many pictures per second
    the system shots and compares
   You can control the ...
After Installation Extensions

   The pictures are grouped by events
   A couple of summary images from each event
    p...
Extensions - Continued

   The summary images are uploaded to Flickr!
    for review from remote locations (e.g. while on...
Event Review

   On the local network, the summaries of each
    day's events are reviewed
   If those two images look “...
Results

   Even on the ancient computer, the system only
    runs at 10 to 15 percent CPU utilization
   The 256 MB of ...
For More Information

   Please leave a comment if you would like more
    information or if you would like me to build y...
Copyright Notice

   These slides Copyright in 2010 by Joel Avery
   They are not to be copied or excerpted without
    ...
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Build Your Own Surveillance System

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How Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) can be used to protect you and your property.

Start with an old computer, add Linux, add some more open source software and you've built a system without spending anything but your time.

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Build Your Own Surveillance System

  1. 1. Build Your Own Surveillance System How Free and Open Source Software Can Protect You Joel Avery February 2010 © 2010 All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. Background  Like most things, it started small  Someone was letting their dog use my garden as an open pit toilet  Nearby dog owners all denied responsibility  Why exactly people let dogs do this in someone's flower bed is beyond me as dog can pretty go anywhere, including easier to clean places like pavement
  3. 3. Catch Them In The Act  Clearly, I needed irrefutable evidence of the dog in action and the owner in inaction  I'm too young to just hide and wait for it to happen  Even then, it would be good to have (time stamped) pictures in case things get ugly  I needed a surveillance system, but spending $1000 on garden defence seemed silly  And, a fence around the front garden would be ugly
  4. 4. Computers Are Meant to Serve Man  As an IT consultant, it seemed that a computer could solve this problem  Initial investigation showed that I'd still need to lay out cash for software if I were to do this in Windows  Attention then turned to an old computer upon which I had installed Linux  Ten minutes of investigation turned up a software package that used consecutive webcam stills as the basis of motion detection
  5. 5. The Garden System  The garden monitoring system runs on a white box system sold back in the 90s  AMD K6 processor running at 266 MHz  256 MB of memory  2.5 GB of disk space  1 USB port (no doubt USB 1.0)  1 100 Mb/s network connection  Minimal install of Ubuntu 9.10 Linux with an NFS client and an SSH server for remote access
  6. 6. The Overall System  The system has spread to other cameras monitoring more safety oriented locations such as the front door  All software and captured images are stored on a central server on a private wired GE network connected to the Internet at 10 Mb/s  Remote systems capture pictures locally and upload them to the central server for review
  7. 7. Configuration  You can control how many pictures per second the system shots and compares  You can control the tolerance of change and mask out frequently changing areas (e.g. a road, side walk or wind blown bushes)  You can control the amount of no activity to define boundaries between events  and much more  The garden system is shooting at 3 frames per second with 15 seconds of no activity defining an event boundary
  8. 8. After Installation Extensions  The pictures are grouped by events  A couple of summary images from each event provide a quick basis of review  Events with a small number of images are not summarized  Events are rolled up by day and camera  A central monitoring web site shows an interesting image from the last event of each camera as well as providing access to streams from each camera
  9. 9. Extensions - Continued  The summary images are uploaded to Flickr! for review from remote locations (e.g. while on vacation)  As well, these images are uploaded to the free 2 GB of online storage that comes with Ubuntu (Ubuntu One) since Flickr! has upload limits  Regular snapshots are also taken and uploaded (just to confirm the system is working)  No sense allowing someone to steal your computer which has pictures of them breaking into your house
  10. 10. Event Review  On the local network, the summaries of each day's events are reviewed  If those two images look “interesting”, the entire event is reviewed  The short events are only reviewed looking for pictures of wildlife  Review usually takes less than one minute while drinking coffee in the morning
  11. 11. Results  Even on the ancient computer, the system only runs at 10 to 15 percent CPU utilization  The 256 MB of memory and 2.5 GB of disk are ample for Ubuntu in this deployment  Numerous dog owners have seen pictures of their lack of effort at cleaning up  Lots of other animals like ducks, foxes, and turkeys come through the property
  12. 12. For More Information  Please leave a comment if you would like more information or if you would like me to build you a similar system (although I will recommend more modern hardware)
  13. 13. Copyright Notice  These slides Copyright in 2010 by Joel Avery  They are not to be copied or excerpted without permission

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