IP camera with relay control

Hello,

My project consists of controlling a curtain remotely. This is like a shed curtain, very large. This is what I'd like to do:

  • View the curtain on my android phone so I can see what position it's in

  • Have the ability to control the curtain via the phone as well, ideally with the video so I can see what position it's at

The simplest idea I've come up with was utilizing an IP camera. They are "cheap" and easy to access from a phone. The problem I have here is how to control the relays from the camera. I've searched for a camera that has multiple outputs (normally for alarms), but they are far and few between and don't give out much detail on how many and how's activated (some are only activated with motion alarming).

My way around that was to hack the camera so when I want to pan or tilt the camera, I'll disconnect those from the motors in the camera and interface it with an Arduino which in turn I control the relays however i want. But I'm hoping for something a little less hacky.

My questions or wanting input on:

  • Does anyone know of an IP camera with controllable outputs from the phone UI?

  • Would using a small camera made for the arduino and using the ethernet shield be a better route? If so, how would i interface with it from a phone?

  • Are there any IP camera apps that don't use the screen swipe to move the camera? I want buttons to move the camera, more reliable for my hack

I know it's kinda long, but I'm out of ideas to try. I have 6 years of electronics experience, some arduino programming exp, no exp in html, ethernet shield, or IP cameras.

Thanks!

Zac

Split your project into the input channel (IP camera), processing (phone) and output (curtain controller). If you are not familiar with writing phone apps, and cannot find some usable app, the control also can be delegated to the Arduino.

For the curtain controller you can use an Arduino, or (possibly easier) one of those famous ESP8266 modules, and a motor and driver module for moving the curtain.

If you also want to move the camera, motors and drivers for that device will be required as well. Buttons are fine, but where do you want to place such a remote control? In the most simple case you can use any IR remote control, with the IR receiver connected to the Arduino.

These are only some ideas, for more precise advice you should tell us more about your plans and requirements.

Thanks for the reply.

I did not know about the ESP8266 module. I’ll look more at that.

So to better explain the scenario. I have a shed that has hay in it. The back wall is a large outdoor curtain made to open and close manually with a switch. There is no window, it’s just a large opening in the wall the curtain covers. The purpose of this curtain is to open it when it’s nice out so that it will dry the hay, then when it gets rainy, you close the curtain to prevent the hay from getting wet.

So what happens is I’ll open the curtain in the morning when its a nice day, then when I’m not home the weather gets bad and I have no way to close that curtain so the hay gets all wet.

I want to be able to control this curtain from my phone. I have no problems making the drivers for moving the curtain. It’s just interfacing to the controller/Arduino and being able to see where the curtain position is, because sometimes I may not want it all the way closed.

I found this phone app to interface with an Arduino which would be the perfect solution except it doesn’t not have video input support.

Sorry, I don't know about programming a GUI (with video and buttons or gestures) for a phone :frowning: