Pi USB Cam

Oct 6, 2022

Shikin Hou and Elizabeth J. Glover have developed and shared Pi USB Cam, a system for high-throughput video capture. In their recent eNeuro publication, they provide beautifully detailed documentation for setting up the Pi USB Cam system, rendering this project very simple for beginner users interested in quality video recording. Read their abstract below, and be sure to read the paper!

Abstract from Hou and Glover (2022):

“Video recording is essential for behavioral neuroscience research, but the majority of available systems suffer from poor cost-to-functionality ratio. Commercial options frequently come at high financial cost that prohibits scalability and throughput, whereas DIY solutions often require significant expertise and time investment unaffordable to many researchers. To address this, we combined a low-cost Raspberry Pi microcomputer, DIY electronics peripherals, freely available open-source firmware, and custom 3D-printed casings to create Pi USB Cam, a simple yet powerful and highly versatile video recording solution. Pi USB Cam is constructed using affordable and widely available components and requires no expertise to build and implement. The result is a system that functions as a plug-and-play USB camera that can be easily installed in various animal testing and housing sites and is readily compatible with popular behavioral and neural recording software. Here, we provide a comprehensive parts list and step-by-step instructions for users to build and implement their own Pi USB Cam system. In a series of benchmark comparisons, Pi USB Cam was able to capture ultrawide fields of view of behaving rats given limited object distance and produced high image quality while maintaining consistent frame rates even under low-light and no-light conditions relative to a standard, commercially available USB camera. Video recordings were easily scaled using free, open-source software. Altogether, Pi USB Cam presents an elegant yet simple solution for behavioral neuroscientists seeking an affordable and highly flexible system to enable quality video recordings.”


This research tool was created by your colleagues. Please acknowledge the Principal Investigator, cite the article in which the tool was described, and include an RRID in the Materials and Methods of your future publications. RRID:SCR_022834


Read the Publication!

Read more in their recent eNeuro article. 

Glover Lab

Read more about the Glover lab’s research at the University of Illinois Chicago

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