2023 Halloween Hackfest: Candy Basket Sees You Coming

On Halloween, some people can’t or don’t want to open the door for various reasons. Maybe they have a cat that likes to escape every chance it gets, or maybe their favorite TV show is on during prime trick-or-treating time. Whatever the case, we think it’s perfectly acceptable to leave a bowl of candy outside the door, especially if there are electronics involved.

In this case, the bowl detects trick-or-treaters and candy eaters using an LD2410 60 GHz radar sensor and an RP2040. A light pipe shows orange when a person is detected, and switches over to green as they come closer, as if to say you may have candy now.

Nothing happens after that, but now that we think about it, it would be cool to add an MP3 decoder and a speaker to play a little witch cackle or something once they’ve had a chance to stick their hand in the bucket.

[Mike Kushnerik] actually designed the PCB a few months ago for non-Halloween purposes: some home automation projects. But then they were trying to think of something for Halloween, and this delightful light-up bucket came to mind. In addition to the RP2040 chip, there’s a 128 MB flash chip, a WS2812 LED, and a header for communicating with the radar sensor over UART. Be sure to check out the brief demo video after the break.

If you’d like to stand outside and give out candy, at least send it down a light-up slide or something.

5 thoughts on “2023 Halloween Hackfest: Candy Basket Sees You Coming

    1. Some sensors are 24ghz and some are 60. I’ve got a mixture of both and they’re about the same. In theory 60 is better at detecting occupancy when someone is sleeping, but I have cats.

    2. Hello Mike,
      This is Mike from the original project. Thanks for the correction! I have been using several mmW radar based presence modules recently and I must have confused the LD2410 (24GHz) with one of my 60GHz modules…not enough caffeine apparently :p
      I have fixed the Hackaday.io project post and I think Kristina can support with correcting the article (if possible). Thanks again for your review!

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