Do you have a cat who loves to jump on your kitchen counter and eat your plant? If so, you have a couple of solutions. You could do something mild, like putting double-sided tape on the counters to deter it. Or, if you're more adventurous, you could set up a motion detector that's set to turn on a strobe light and a blender when your cat makes the jump, scaring the crap out of it until it learns its lesson. Guess which one we have videos of after the jump? Yes, this guy actually did that, at a cost of $214 to himself. However, I think the videos are obviously worth the expense and effort. I only wish they had sound. He's still running the thing, and he says he'll keep posting videos as he makes them until the cat either learns its lesson or has a heart attack and dies. [Blender Defender]
The camera itself is one of the cheapest network cameras out there, the DCS-900. It can be picked up for about $120 or so. There are a couple network cameras that are a little cheaper, but the D-Link one is pretty rugged and makes it easy to get into the raw feeds, something that cant be said for many other cameras. As you can see from the videos above, the blender and the strobe light are both controlled by an X10 unit. The unit is sent an on or off command from the computer running upstairs by means of an X10 Firecracker. The Firecracker is just a wireless X10 transmitter that plugs into your serial port. I wont get into explaining it much here, but one thing to note is that is happily co-exists with my CM11A unit. The computer upstairs is running the 'motion' library for linux. As soon as it detects something moving on camera, it starts recording frames. While it is saving frames, it also initiates another Perl script I wrote that sends an X10 command to turn on the blender and strobe, wait 3 seconds, then turn them off. After the script is done detecting motion, it then splices all the JPG frames together using ffmpeg and saves the resulting movie as a SWF file, which you can see above. Finally, after it saves the movie, I have it set up to email me a link to the movie so I can see the results from where ever I'm at (remotely by using my phone).