A woman created an artificially intelligent (AI) infrared camera rig using a Rasberry Pi to monitor her cat’s poop after she discovered it was eating plastic.
A vet recommended that Estefannie, a software engineer, monitor Teddy’s toilet habits to ensure there wasn’t any plastic in his intestines.
Estefannie devised a Python script to set up an ingenious camera that could trigger whenever Teddy went to the litterbox. This would allow her to tell whether he is constipated.
But there was a problem. A second cat uses the litterbox making it difficult to tell whose poop is whose. Estefannie decided to use AI.
“I did a lot of research and found I need to take a whole bunch of pictures. Luckily I already have a picture taking script that can take several pictures a second,” she explains on her YouTube channel.
The YouTuber who created the new bathroom for Teddy discovered that it could not see clearly without flashes. Teddy did not like the flash so Estefanni set up a series of infrared lights and gave the camera an infrared filter so it could see in the dark.
” “It’s amazing that the naked eye can’t see infrared light, but the camera can. Cats cannot see infrared light.” she says.
After successfully installing the infrared rig, Estefanni took over 50,000 photos of Teddy and her other cat using the litterbox.
Estefannie had to then crop the photos, which were sent into a machine learning script that would allow the computer to understand Teddy’s appearance.
“This is when I realized that the computer doesn’t understand if Teddy is pooping or peeing,” she explains.
“Every photo comes with a timestamp, so I was in a position to determine how long it took them to pee or poo,” she says.
After it’s all done, each time Estefanni takes a picture it is sent to the server. The server processes it and then sends Estefanni a prediciton. It tells her which cat is using the litterbox and if they are pooping or peeing. Estefanni can save this data to make sure she is aware of Teddy’s poop and when he has to be taken to the vet.
Estefanni claims she worked for a full year on this remarkable project.
“Did you make an AI that watches my cat pee? Yes.”
More of Estefannie’s work can be seen on her YouTube, website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.