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196 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 242371 24-Oct-2018 22:09
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I am looking for recommendations for cheap, lightweight pan, tilt and zoom IP Web cameras that can be directly controlled with http commands or a published network compatible API.


It is for a robotic ESP8266 IOT based project where I have already built a prototype mobile platform that can self navigate, or be manually driven, around my office/workshop and house to monitor devices and equipment remotely using a mounted web camera while I am away.


The camera needs to be DC powered and fully Wifi capable so that it can be powered and operated from the projects on-board 12V battery that will be regulated down to 5V / 3.3V as required.


I'm looking for a unit that does not have mandatory cloud sign in or that has to be used with its own mobile application. I much prefer to control all network traffic to and from it directly with my own programming code.


For example, I already use an older Aviosys, 4-Channel IP Camera, for my external security cameras that has the http commands available. I directly control it via my network and PHP built web server pages and it uploads detection images via FTP to my servers.  I have the ability to directly control streaming, channel selection, snapshot, resolution etc via its URL's.


Can anyone recommend a similar Wifi, Pan/Tilt/Zoom IP camera with an http command API ?


Edit: Typos

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369 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2113990 25-Oct-2018 17:48
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I would probably recommend Axis in this situation.  They aren't the cheapest of cameras (although if you got hold of an older 2nd hand one it would be ok) but they have been around a long time and have a pretty good rep.  


I personally have Hikvision at home (outdoor IP cams) as they were more in my price range, plus one older Axis 211 IP camera that I have inside monitoring the hallway ranch slider.  It's an older model, but I can get the MPEG directly from the URL rather than via some ugly proprietary web interface. 


Depends on what your budget is.





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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2114028 25-Oct-2018 19:26
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There is a huge amount of control on some devices over onvif, and the stream available over a standard RTP stream from lots of them. But the small little $20 ones often do not have that enabled in their firmware to force you onto their cloud instead.



196 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 2116453 29-Oct-2018 19:29
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Thanks for the replies.


I ended up solving my mounted pan/tilt mobile IP camera problem with a bunch of spare parts that I had in the office...


A spare Raspberry Pi3, old Logitech USB Web Camera and a cheap dual-servo, pan/tilt mini camera mount.


I simply installed 'motion' onto the Pi3 and set up the motion.conf as required to stop recording images and video. Gave it a static Wifi IP address and ended up with a good IP Camera that was attached to a fully controllable servo mount.


Works great and I have total control over the programming.

299 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2116515 29-Oct-2018 21:43
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Any pictures to share?

196 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 2116611 30-Oct-2018 09:41
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This project (built from junk and various parts on hand) is still in the 'proof of concept' breadboard stage but here a a couple of pictures...



Logitech web camera fitted onto a small pan/tilt servo mount.



Prototype web interface controlled mobile platform. The 12V drive motors and camera servos are currently controlled by Arduino code on an ESP8266-12E web server page.


The Raspberry Pi3 is streaming the web camera video at around 30fps and it can be directed to point downward to watch the platform as it is driven to locations. This gives you a full overhead third person view of the vehicle to avoid obstacles. The software still allows full pan and tilt control of the camera while the platform is moving.


The remote control software functions could be moved completely onto the Pi3 and I may do that now that it is included for the camera streaming.


Just a bit of fun but also a very useful tool for my office to roam around and monitor systems remotely.

299 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2116630 30-Oct-2018 10:00
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Cool, thanks for sharing.

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