In order to resolve the problem of congestion at the entrance to their hackerspace, the minds at i3Detroit installed a motion-activated mechanical iris in their door’s porthole.
Grabbing the design online (which they are now hosting on their site here), the parts were laser cut out of wood, gold leaf was added for effect, and it was relatively easy to assemble. PIR sensors detect movement on both sides of the door and an FET resistor connected to an orange LED add some old-school science fiction flair. The iris is actuated by a 12V car window motor — which works just fine on the 5V power that it’s supplied with — and an Arduino filling in as a controller. Start and stop positioning required some limit switches that seem to do the trick.
Finally they laser cut acrylic plastic with the i3Detroit logo to complete the porthole modification. You can watch a video of the mechanical iris in all its glory here — but unfortunately it’s on Google+ (do people still use that??) so we can’t embed it in the post.
If you want to add this sleek idea to your home but lack a laser cutter (understandable), then you can still hack one out of some common household materials.
[via Evan’s Techie-Blog]