Raspberry Pi Reptile Cam Monitors Lizards for Optimal Support

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Jamie Munroe)

There’s nothing quite like the love little critters bring into our lives, but it’s not always easy to ensure their environment is fully optimized for their needs. That’s where maker Jamie Munro’s reptile cam project comes into play. With the help of a Raspberry Pi, he’s able to monitor his pet lizards in real-time and track important factors that can impact their well-being.

This isn’t Munro’s first foray into the world of microelectronics. In fact, he has a website that doubles as a portfolio showcasing a broad history of both microelectronics and programming projects that back up the level of quality seen in this reptile cam project.

The reptile monitor system consists of a web-based GUI that provides live stats about their environment as well as a live video feed of the enclosure. It relays information such as current temperature, humidity levels, and even has options to configure power outlets connected to things they use like heaters and lights.

Munro is using a Raspberry Pi 3B+ to control the operation but there’s no reason you couldn’t use a newer model like a Raspberry Pi 4. A Pi Zero might work but you’ll need more performance power to smoothly operate the web-based GUI and environment sensors. In addition to the Pi, a webcam is used to capture the video feed, a stepper motor and driver is included as well, along with some LEDs and a DHT11 sensor.

The web GUI was built from scratch using Node-Red and Javascript. The stepper motor is used to control the orientation of the camera, so users can point it around the terrarium as desired using the web interface. The GUI also outputs the temperature and humidity data retrieved from the DHT11 sensors module. Munro also added a few extra features including the option to capture and save images.

If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project, visit the original Reptile Cam project page on his website to get a detailed look at how it all goes together. You can also find the source code for the project over at GitHub. Be sure to follow Munro for more updates and future Pi projects for both lizards and humans.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.