Barometer tells you to take your bike or the train

bike

Before beginning his day, [Richard] needs to decide whether he should ride his bike to work or take the London tube. All the information to make that decision is available on the Internet – the current weather report, and the status of the subway lines and stations he’d be taking. The problem, though, is all these pieces of information are spread out in multiple places. [Richard]’s solution to this was to make a bicycle barometer that pulls data from these places and makes the decision to ride a bike or the tube for him.

[Richard]’s barometer is built around a nanode and an old clock he found at a flea market. The nanode queries the UK’s weather bureau and the London underground’s line and station status. All the variables under consideration are weighted; if it’s snowing, the output is much more likely to decide on the tube than if there was a slight drizzle.

It’s a really cool build that certainly makes a great use of the publicly accessible APIs made available by the London underground. You can check out a video of the barometer after the break.

18 thoughts on “Barometer tells you to take your bike or the train

    1. I think it is telling you that it will rain, but that’s what cars are for. :) But seriously, nice build. One thing though…maybe slow down the movement a little bit, I think I saw the base move a little bit when the needle moved. If that is the goal, then at least add a bell.

      1. But with multiple variables you don’t know.
        It should make the decision of one or the other, not muck about in between.
        If its suggesting 40% bike and 60% train then you would have to take the train, because you don’t know why its only 60% train and 40% bike, you don’t know how much rain or how slow trains are.
        So why doesn’t it show a binary decision of either bike or train?

        If you couldn’t be bothered with rain one day then it would be useful if it gave you the analogue value along with how heavy the rain was and how busy the platform was so you would have a reason to go against the decision.

        And why does it point to bike during initialisation.

        1. Nonsense. There are things that a machine cannot measure. Are you feeling a little tired and the conditions slightly favor the bike? Well too bad, tube it is! and so on.

          This is just a tool not a magic decision making machine. If such things worked well then there would be no more need for humans. Especially ones that lack critical thinking skills and cant tell the difference between an analogy and an analog signal.

  1. Barometers measure barometric pressure. That doesn’t seem to be what this is doing. It’s cool and all, but not a barometer.

    1. It’s measuring the amount of pressure he feels to take the healthier transport option. :)

      Barometers used to be used to display weather conditions, which are related (somewhat loosely) to atmospheric pressure, so calling this a barometer makes sense of a sort.

    2. ba·rom·e·ter [buh-rom-i-ter]
      noun
      1. Meteorology. any instrument that measures atmospheric pressure.
      2. Anything that indicates changes.

      So the 2nd definition.

  2. Could always just look out the window and see what’s going on. That’s how us old timers did it. Pretty soon there will be stuff like this to tell us when we need to take a dump. Oh and also, what if you are at work, you gonna haul this thing around with you? What if the weather changes, now you’re screwed.

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