Project Feasibility: (image) data transfer from camera -> device -> email

Hi everyone,

I've recently delved into the world of electronics/Arduino by using an UNO and a Triggertrap shield to create a laser-trip for my camera. This is then set up to capture images when the laser is broken. Fine.

My next idea was to have images that were being taken by the camera sent to me in an email (or to a webserver). I'm unsure of how this can be done, if it can be done at all. With my limited knowledge, I'm guessing there would need to be some way of getting the image from the camera to another device which can then connect to a 3G network in order to send the data on? Something similar to this - http://www.cooking-hacks.com/index.php/documentation/video-tutorials#video_10

My cameras are positioned outside, away from power supply/WiFi networks, albeit not for prolonged periods of time (8 hours).

Am I asking the impossible or am I being naive to the possibilities out there?

Thanks for taking the time.

Chris

The Arduino is able to send an email (only a small text message) with an Ethernet shield.
But it can't get the image out of the camera.
The Raspberry Pi is like a mini-PC and should be able to do this.

Hi Erdin,

Thanks for the information.

Would using an Eye-Fi SD card make this possible or is it better fixing up a Raspberry Pi?

Thanks,

Chris

There are Arduino-compatible 3G modems that include a camera and can be commanded (by the Arduino) to take a picture and send it. The picture itself never passes through the Arduino. You’d be limited on picture quality but it would be cheap and easy to do.

There are wireless transmitters which have the same form factor as an SD card and which send the picture over a wireless link instead of writing it to local storage. I don’t know if any of these support 3G, but you could have a look.

Hi Peter,

I understand that a camera module could be used but this must be compatible with my Canon camera system. Thank you for the information, though.

I've been digging around the web today to see what I can come up with.

This Kickstarter project might be what I'm looking for: SparqEE CELLv1.0: Cellular made easy (Arduino/Pi/+) by SparqEE — Kickstarter

Thanks,

Chris

As already stated you could use an ethernet or 3g shield to send the email, and you could also find a USB host shield to read data from the camera. Most cameras use DCIM, which funcationally works like a thumb drive... on a computer. There is a possibility that you will have to completely program drivers from scratch for the arduino, and then there is still the obstacle that the arduino does not have enough physical memory to hold the entire high-resolution photo all at one time to be able to email it to you. This honestly would be easier to pull off with a Raspberry Pi, or depending on where you're setting this rig up, an old laptop with automatic cloud backup.

You may want to look at the capabilities of wifi cams like the Foscam.

Thanks for the replies. It looks like I'm going to have to use a Raspberry Pi.

As mentioned, I can't really change the camera. It's just figuring out a way of transferring image data from a high-end Canon camera to a device that can connect to a 3G network.

I'll keep mining! :slight_smile:

Chris

It might be worth looking at the new Yun

Per PeterH:

"There are Arduino-compatible 3G modems that include a camera and can be commanded (by the Arduino) to take a picture and send it. The picture itself never passes through the Arduino. You'd be limited on picture quality but it would be cheap and easy to do."

Has anybody done this and have more information? Or just pointing me toward where to find more information would be much appreciated. This is exactly what I am trying to do!

I have a Raspberry Pi but am looking for an Arduino solution.

I'm not sure this is exactly the same device I was thinking of, but it looks like the same sort of thing:

http://edageek.com/2012/05/08/wcdma-hspa-cellular/