Part 4 - Setting up your Amazon Web Service (AWS) Cloud Service

Manivannan Sadhasivam


Welcome to Part 4 of our ‘Home Surveillance’ blog series focusing on building a home monitoring system using 96Boards. In the previous blog, I showed how to implement face tracking using a Webcam mounted on a Pan and Tilt servo setup. This was all controlled by the Sensor Mezzanine and a Dragonboard 410c. In this post, we will see how to setup AWS S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service) and stream the detected faces to through service.

Cloud communication is one of the key components in building an IoT product. At the end of the day, all processing and analysis happens in the cloud space, so getting used to a popular cloud service like AWS seems extremely beneficial, and almost mandatory.

See other blogs from this series

Before getting into Webcam tracking, it is worth looking at the past to get our focus organized.

  1. Part 1 - Introductory blog - Here we introduced the Home Surveillance project and outlined the roadmap to our end goal. Towards the end of blog, information about how to contribute to this project was also mentioned.

  2. Part 2 - Facial recognition using OpenCV - This part focussed on getting the face detection out by running OpenCV on Dragonboard 410c. In order to make the life easier for reader’s, installation steps for OpenCV 3.2 was also included. Along with the blog, a video showing the working demonstration was attached.

  3. Part 3 - Webcam tracking using 96Boards Sensors Mezzanine - This part focussed on tracking the faces in front of webcam using servo mount connected to Sensors mezzanine controlled by Dragonboard410C.

Hardware requirement

  1. Dragonboard 410c

  2. USB Webcam

Software Dependencies

Install the dependencies mentioned in Part-2 along with the following one:

$ pip install boto3

Setting up AWS account

Before utilizing the cloud service offered by AWS (Amazon Web Service), users need to create an account. Once the account has been created, your service will depend on the plan you choose. Amazon offers a variety of cloud services to choose from. Instructions on how to setup AWS account is given in the following link:

For the sake of this blog, I assume that the reader has an AWS account ready to use.

Setting up AWS S3

AWS S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service) is a Cloud service based on objects offered by Amazon. It incorporates simple web interface for accessing the objects and manipulating them. It could be used as a primary storage for cloud native applications, a data lake for doing Big data analysis, as a Backup/recovery system and much more… Let’s see how to setup S3 for streaming data from Dragonboard 410c.

Amazon S3 Image

Create S3 bucket

  • Go to and select Sign in to console

  • Login to AWS using your Email and password (You’ll be redirected to console if you are already logged in)

  • Select S3 from Storage_. _S3 console will get opened.

  • Click on Create bucket button

  • Enter Bucket name and Region in the opened window (Bucket name should be unique across all existing bucket names in S3). Click Next

  • If you want to customize your bucket, modify the properties otherwise keep on hitting Next until you find Create bucket button.

  • In the final window, you should see the Bucket name, region, properties and permissions. Under permissions the instance of the login account should get displayed. Then, click Create bucket.

  • The created bucket would get listed in the AWS S3 console.

Set Object policy

  • Select the created bucket and click Permissions tab on top

  • Then select Bucket policy and paste the following policy in the text field

    {  ”Id”: “Policy1495783674300”,  ”Version”: “2012-10-17”,  ”Statement”: [    {      ”Sid”: “Stmt1495783672125”,      ”Action”: “s3:”,      ”Effect”: “Allow”,      ”Resource”: “arn:aws:s3:::homesurveillance”,      ”Principal”: “”    }  ] }

  • Replace your bucket name with ‘homesurveillance’ in the above policy and click Save

  • Policy is essential for creating/modifying objects in the bucket. The above shown policy is just for demonstration purpose as it allows all AWS users to gain full access to the created bucket.

Amazon S3 policy image

Setup Boto SDK

Once the bucket has been created, we can upload objects to it. Easy way to do it is from the web interface. But that’s not the case with IoT solutions. We need to upload data from the target platform (Dragonboard 410c in this case). To accomplishing this task, we are going to use an SDK called Boto.

Boto is the Python SDK offered by AWS for accessing services such as S3 and EC2. Boto should be installed using the command given under Software Dependencies (see Software Dependencies section at the beginning of this blog) section. Before using Boto, it needs to be configured with IAM. Obtain the AWS key ID and secret key by following the instructions given in below link:

After getting the ID and secret key, now we can configure Boto to use AWS. Paste the following content in ~/.aws/credentials hosted on Dragonboard 410c.

aws_access_key_id = YOUR_ACCESS_KEY
aws_secret_access_key = YOUR_SECRET_KEY

Replace your AWS IAM key appropriately and set default region as same as what you gave during AWS account creation in ~/.aws/config


Now Boto has been configured with IAM credentials. We can start using the API’s for storing objects in S3 bucket from Dragonboard.

Stream data to AWS S3

Now we have everything in our plate, let’s stream data to AWS S3 bucket.

$ git clone
$ cd home-surveillance/part-4

Place the trained dataset and haarcascade_frontalface_default.xml to this directory

$ mkdir captured
$ sudo python

When the known face has been detected in front of webcam, the first instance of the frame would get streamed to AWS S3 bucket. Login to the AWS S3 console and you can find the uploaded images under captured directory.

P.S: Change the name of the person accordingly in


Finally, we’re able to stream the known faces to AWS cloud from Dragonboard 410c. In the next blog, we’ll put all the pieces together to create an automated ‘Home Surveillance’ system which could be deployed in your home.


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