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Raspberry Pi cameras help protect Kenya wildlife

September 11, 2013 5:02pm
Here's another reason why many see the tiny barebones Raspberry Pi the biggest little computer: it is powering a camera network used to protect wildlife in Kenya.

Dubbed Instant Wild, the network of custom cameras is built by UK-based Cambridge Consultants and can quickly locate illegal activity and monitor nearby animals.

"The units are stress-tested against the elements and against damage from curious animals, and are designed to operate for as long as possible on one battery charge," TechHive.com reported.

It said the project is a joint effort of the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Zoological Society of London. They worked with Cambridge Consultants for the system.

Raspberry Pi is a tiny barebones compact computer popular with hobbyists because of its flexibility.

"We manage around eight percent of the total land mass of Kenya. These cameras will be critical in helping us monitor the well being of rare animals and ensure their habitats remain protected from poachers," TechHive quoted KWS deputy director of wildlife conservation Patrick Omondi as saying.

High-tech network

In the network, each camera has motion sensors and an infrared flash that allow nighttime operation and keep the camera from being detected.

The cameras also have vibration sensors can detect the presence of nearby vehicles, as well as microphones that can detect and locate gunshots.

TechHive cited figures showing a rhino is killed every 11 hours in Africa due to high demand for products made from rhino horns. — VC, GMA News



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