It seems like everyone in the maker community is excited about the new Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller, including this team of software developers from Arm. In their latest project, a Pico is used as a critical component in a custom Raspberry Pi security system.
In the project, a Pico is used to monitor a motion sensor. When the sensor is triggered, the Pico sends a signal to power on a nearby Raspberry Pi 4. The Pi 4 is capable of scanning the area with a camera and using image recognition to detect faces.
The algorithm is programmed to recognize a set number of faces. Adding new faces involves loading more data (specifically, images of the person's face) which trains the system to identify it.
If the Raspberry Pi detects an unfamiliar face, it uses IFTTT to trigger a phone notification that a stranger was found. Once the notification has been sent, the Raspberry Pi powers itself down to conserve energy.
This is a neat example of how easy it is to save power on existing Pi projects with the addition of the Pico module. If you want to see the project in action, check out the demo on YouTube. For more fun Pi creations, be sure to explore our list of Best Raspberry Pi Projects.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.