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Author Topic: How Alarm Alerts from eRobot IP Cameras Get Delivered  (Read 5556 times)

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April 06, 2015, 09:31:04 am
You see on this forum that the folks from HKVstar.com and/or Uniforce.net are trying to pitch in their eRobot line of IP cameras. I liked those with RF capabilities, with which cameras can be notified when wireless sensors are triggered. I would like to solicit your help in figuring out how to programmatically receive notification from those cameras.

I found an eRobot camera on AliExpress.com below and purchased it. This model, LN885, is NOT one of those HkVstar.com/Uniforce.net folks are trying to sell, but there are enough similarities in features for me to think this too was probably made by the same manufacturer.
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Wireless-alarm-IP-camera-with-HD-live-streaming-TF-card-slot-and-mobile-apps/32231161048.html

Now I am having the exact kind of difficulty I should have anticipated when I bought stuff from China: unless it is from a well-known brand or company (say, HikVision), you pretty much get no customer support. You do not even know whom to contact, because you cannot find any information whatsoever who actually produces it.

The product actually works well within the expected range of usage, i.e., securing a place, with an Android app and all. The problem arises mainly due to the fact I intend to use it for a different purpose, that is to monitor an elderly person who lives alone in a house --- an aunt of mine, actually.

It complicates the situation this way. In a typical house/workplace securing scenario, whenever a sensor gets triggered, that is potentially a bad situation which demands your immediate attention. In contrast, in this person monitoring scenario, it is not always a bad thing when a sensor gets triggered. For example, I intend to install multiple PIR sensors in her house. As she moves around in the house, PIR sensors will get triggered. But that alone does not mean anything bad; it is rather a good thing, generally, because it means she is able to move around in the house. It is when there is absence of the triggering of the PIR sensors for an extended period of time that you really have to pay attention. Not all sensors need to be treated like PIR sensors, though --- some need to be treated just like those in the house securing scenario. I also plan on installing panic buttons; if any of these gets pressed, then, of course, it is definitely a bad situation and you need to get notified right away.

So in the typical house/workplace securing scenario, you configure your mobile app so you will get notified whenever an external sensor gets triggered, and it works just fine. However, in the person monitoring scenario, you cannot do that with certain kinds of sensors, such as PIR sensors. If you did, you would get notified every time the monitoree moves, and it would be very annoying. Instead, you would want to be notified when a certain period of time has passed after the last triggering of the PIR sensors. You will also probably have to factor in her sleep time and nap time, which will require even finer criteria of judgment. Unfortunately, such a feature is not provided by the camera or the mobile app.

I was aware of this before I made the purchase. I planned on implementing this feature by myself, by running a simple server, an intermediary if you will, which receives alerts, does simple deduction on the current state of the monitoree from these, and notifies the real human monitorer only when necessary. I will need to install a 3G router at my aunt's place anyway so the camera will be accessible from outside. I will use OpenWrt as the router's firmware so the server should be easily implemented in the form of a short script.... or so I thought.

Then I got stuck on figuring out how to receive alerts. I tried the following:

1. email: This seemed like a no brainer. You can opt to receive such notification via email. The problem is the emails do not tell you at all which sensor got triggered, making it unsuitable for my purposes.

2. ONVIF: I am no ONVIF expert; I did not know anything about it before this. But from my brief experimentation, it seems LN885 does not fully support ONVIF. From its response to GetCapabilities, it appears it supports both the pull method and the push method of notification delivery; however, its responses to CreatePullPointSubscription and Subscribe do not seem complete --- they lack subscription IDs and other expected elements. Those requests should be accompanied with the user credentials (with the Security Element in the header), but LN885 does not return an error when asked without them. That might be enough to conclude that the ONVIF implementation on LN885 is not complete when it comes to event handling.

By the way, I tested the above with manually coded argument to the cURL command, but I also tested it with ONVIF Device Manager, a Windows application, ONVIF IP Camera Monitor, an Android app, and Onvif Client, yet another Android app. All three could find the camera, so the discovery part works. Only Onvif Client could manipulate the camera's PT functions. With the HikVision DS-2CD2532F-IWS that I used for comparison, ONVIF Device Manager could receive events all right (with Pull Point only, not with Basic Subscription), but no such luck with LN885.

3. packet capturing: I captured packets on my Android tablet running 2cu mobile app. It appears the app is communicating with multiple sites (in one particular case, three of them) via UDP. There are suspicious packets but I cannot decipher them; that is apparently beyond my abilities.

At this point, I cannot think of any other ways; hence this post to solicit your help.

Thanks for reading through this lengthy post. I would appreciate it very much if you could lend me a helping hand.

Addendum: I've been discussing this matter with the tech people at Uniforce, but I have not gotten any productive information so far.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 07:48:34 am by starplatina »

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April 10, 2015, 11:42:45 am
Hi. Thanks for the reply.

First of all, how I monitor my aunt is really not the point. All you need to know is that there are very good reasons behind my decisions.

Second, I am and was 100% aware that a PIR sensor gets triggered when it senses a moving object and also that there is probably not a PIR sensor that gets triggered after a certain period passed since the last triggering. I think I made it fairly clear in my original post that I am aware of these things.

In addition, I also wrote in http://support.hkvstar.com/ticket.php?track=35L-JV3-AZ15&Refresh=87374
Quote
Second, there's no such PIR sensors you are talking about. In fact, even if there was, that would not help. You will need to make a judgment only with the aggregate information from MULTIPLE sensors so it cannot be done by a single sensor alone.

The point is this: there are not convenient sensors that can achieve my goal by themselves. I, therefore, will need to have my program (mostly likely a script) judge from collective alerts from multiple external sensors. To do this, I need to have a way to programmatically collect alerts, but I cannot figure it out. Hence this thread.

Any constructive information will be appreciated. Many thanks.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2015, 01:37:52 am by starplatina »