Panthera Automated Wildlife Camera

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Pantheraa non-profit dedicated to the international conservation of wild cats, came to us in need of a camera housing that could withstand the harsh jungle environment.

Product Sheet: Here

Camera in Action Link: www.vimeo.com

Wild swings in temperature and humidity are to be expected, not to mention possible tampering. Existing camera traps did not have the performance or features required by Panthera, so they developed their own system which includes a motion sensor, flash, and camera mounted to a PC board.

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However, in order to develop a housing to meet their requirements, Panthera turned to Creative. Facing a fixed budget total for product development, prototyping, tooling, and production of 1000 units, Creative came through.

Panthera staff must hike into the jungle with dozens of camera traps in a backpack in order to set them out in the field. The slender units are mounted vertically to trees with straps and an optional security cable. Weeks later, they retrace the route, downloading pictures and changing batteries.

Creative developed a three layer housing concept to package the components. Six screws are used to attach the back of the unit, which serves as the battery door, and six more screws hold the next two layers together, which encapsulate the electronics. Tabs on the battery door prevent access to the other six screws to avoid confusion in the field. The twelve screws thread into metal inserts which are all in the front housing, so the battery door screws actually pass through the center layer and help keep all three layers together.

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Key to this approach was placing the housing connections near the center of the sandwich. In contrast to a typical “box with a battery door” approach with a flimsy thin battery door, here the door is really a structural five-sided box. As a result, it is very stiff and more able to attain uniform compression of the O-Ring seal. Removal of the battery door also allows access to an optional desiccant pack.

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