Most people will use webcams connected to a computer or integrated into a laptop without thinking about the possibility of being spied on, but Eyecam will certainly raise awareness and make you feel like somebody is truly watching.
The open-source webcam is shaped like a human eye and acts like one thanks to a Raspberry Pi camera and an Arduino board controlling six servos for eyeball, eyelids, and eyebrows movements.
The project was conducted at Saarland University in Germany, and Eyecam looks amazingly realistic – and creepy – with the eyeball and eyelids moving, especially when face tracking is enabled, and expressions are possible with servos controlling the eyebrows.
The webcam is comprised of 3D printed parts, a Raspberry Pi camera connect to Raspberry Pi Zero recognized as a USB webcam from the host, and an Arduino Leonardo Pro Micro to control the 6 servo motors. On the software side, an Arduino sketch controls the servos, Raspberry Pi OS Linux distribution runs on the Pi Zero board, and a Unity Control Interface has been designed to visually control the motors and run the computer vision processing.
Since it’s open-source, everything has been released under an MIT license on Github including the .stl mechanical files, as well as firmware and software. As I understand, everything relies on off-the-shelf boards, so there’s no PCB specific to the project. Marc Tessier, who conducted this research project, also provides additional details on his website, and he will soon upload a video showing how to assemble the webcam.
In the meantime, you can still check out the demo video below.
Via Arduino Blog
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.