Charmed Labs, the team behind the well-known Pixy camera, have launched a new Kickstarter campaign for “the Vizy”. The Vizy, which is powered by a Raspberry Pi 4 (of various memory sizes), takes photographs with a 12 megapixel camera and then internally processes the images to determine what is in them. If it detects a certain animal, or even something else, it can then be programmed to take specific actions. For example, if it spots a squirrel, it might activate an automatic feeder specifically for that animal. Another example: you might want to measure how many cars or vans pass your house every day – the Vizy will help you do that.
They have developed a software stack to handle all this and you can see a sample on this page, although full documentation on the software is yet to be completed. The Vizy will come with a suite of ready-made applications that can be used as they are, or with modifications. One of them, the Birdfeeder app, recognises 20 common bird species and then, once identified, uploads photographs to the cloud.
To go with the 12 megapixel camera, which uses the same Sony sensor as the official Raspberry Pi HQ Camera, they have improved the software to allow capture of high quality video up to 300 frames per second.
As well as the software, a special I/O interface on the side of the Vizy lets you add additional peripherals to control hardware devices.
All-in-all, it’s a very nice piece of kit, and is a step-up from something like the NatureBytes camera in terms of the software and the design of the product.
You can view the campaign video below or head over to the (already funded) Kickstarter page now.