This engineer built a facial recognition gadget to notify him when his cat wants to come inside

It is enough to have a need, more or less relevant according to who, to get down to work and create something amazing. The technology and the maker world do not stop to give us stories like that of Arkaitz Garro , a Basque engineer who had to find a creative solution for the periodic visit of a cat for whom the door of his house was not prepared.

A Raspberry Pi that recognizes cats, why not?

What would you have done if a neighborhood cat came around the door of your house with assiduity, would you like to let it pass but you would not have a trapdoor for him? Arkaitz Garro, a Spanish engineer who currently works in the Netherlands as Lead Frontend Engineer at WeTransfer, did not hesitate: to build a face recognition system in the most accessible way possible so that a message would arrive when the cat was facing the door.
Arkaitz Profile
The funny thing is that the cat was not even theirs. He tells us how he ended up being part of the family and pulling out his "maker side".
"My wife and I saw the cat from the back balcony of our house when we moved here, and we did not know if he had a home or lived on the street, so we" made friends "with him and took some photos to put them It turned out that the cat had an owner, that he is our neighbor, and he was more than happy to "share" the cat, who now has two families who love him, as he usually does at certain times, although not always same, I decided to develop this system to notify me when the cat was waiting outside to enter "
For this he had a Raspberry Pi Zero , in what has been his first project with this device. "I decided on this system for the existing community, and the ease of being able to build something very easily"
"As usual, it usually comes at certain times, although not always the same, I decided to develop this system so that I could notify when the cat was waiting outside to enter"
That RPi was joined by a compatible camera and the combination of an operating system for RPi that acts as a video surveillance system with motion detection , and the Amazon AWS Rekognition service (free to recognize 5000 images per month and from there, the cost is 1 euros per million processed images) to integrate AI with face recognition . It sounds complex but Arkaitz did not take more than a few hours to have it working. Grossly.
Recognition Of Cats By Software
The real challenge of the system devised by Arkaitz was that, among all the cats, animals or whatever it was that approached its window, the system was able to recognize "his" cat. In addition, Amazon software does not have among its abilities to recognize animals. But elements of an image. With that base and a training time, Arkaitz has achieved that his system does not suffer from false positives .
Attached to the glass of the window of his house, the Raspberry Pi detects movement, recognizes the cat of the house and sends a message to Arkaitz so that it is by alluded
"The key is to have a series of base images where the cat is, to extract the characteristics of those images, and to compare the future images with the previous data, I have not had false positives"

The value of the maker community

The choice of a Raspberry Pi is not random. At the low cost of hardware, the community must be united, which has provided it, among others, with surveillance software.
"I see it very complicated to be able to develop a system like this without the support of software like motionEyeOS, which in turn depends on other libraries and systems to work properly, the time and knowledge needed would be enormous in my opinion"
Precisely that lack of time since he arrived three years ago in Amsterdam does not encourage him to expand the system with an automatic door so that, Bobis, which is what is called the cat shared with his neighbor , can enter directly at home.
Message receivedSample message by Slack that "provokes" Bobis's visit
For now, he will have to make do with the fact that, thanks to the current system, every time he gets in the door to enter, Arkaitz will get a message to Slack to let him know. But he can not give it all for lost because Arkaitz confesses that "a food / water dispenser could be useful when we go on vacation"

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