As part of learning under lockdown, we’ve set up a live camera feed on some tadpoles we were given by a neighbour.

The camera is from a Pimoroni Raspberry Pi Zero W kit called Octocam. It’s set up with a custom operating system called MotionEye.

The camera broadcasts an embeddable image or a livestream over a local IP address. I’ve made sure that the camera gets the same address and have port forwarding turned on on the router, as well as using a Dynamic DNS address so that the camera can be viewable from outside of the network. The image is then embedded into a WordPress widget and page so that TanookiRiot’s schoolfriends can watch them grow as part of their unit on Living Things.

The Octocam comes with four ‘suckers’ which, were it attached to a glass door or window would be very useful, but in this case it is more of a hinderance. It’s a fixed 5MP lens, so we’ve backed it up and braced it with some Duplo for a better quality view.

The camera is doing about 75% of image quality at 10fps – good enough for now – but I have a 8MP replacement and some lens options on order to improve the quality.