A Facial Recognition System… for Cats

It’s generally acceptable for cats to wander the neighborhood unfettered, returning when it’s too cold out, when they’re hungry, or perhaps even when they would like affection from their human caretakers. A flap door is the obvious solution to this situation, but this requires installation work, and opens up the possibility of unknown cats, squirrels, or other critters entering one’s abode.

The system consists of a Raspberry Pi and camera, running image recognition and motion detection software. (📷: Arkaitz Garro)

As reported here, Dutch engineer Arkaitz Garro decided to solve the problem in an unconventional way, placing a camera-equipped Raspberry Pi Zero in a location where the kitty would sit until a human would let it inside.

“When it detects movement, it sends the picture to a recognition software, that checks against the identity of the cat based on previous imagery of the cat.” (📷: Arkaitz Garro)

The Pi is set up to take a picture using motioneyeos, then processes it with Amazon’s Rekognition image and video analysis service to make sure it is indeed the correct cat. Now when the kitty sits outside of Garro’s house, the Raspberry Pi detects it, and sends him a message via Slack, begging him to “open the door!”