For those who choose to let their cats live a more or less free-range life, there are usually two choices. One, you can adopt the role of servant and run for the door whenever the cat wants to get back inside from their latest bird-murdering jaunt. Or two, install a cat door and let them come and go as they please, sometimes with a “present” for you in their mouth. Heads you win, tails you lose.
There’s another way, though: just let the cat ask to be let back in. That’s the approach that [Tennis Smith] took with this machine-learning kitty doorbell. It’s based on a Raspberry Pi 4, which lives inside the house, and a USB microphone that’s outside the front door. The Pi uses Tensorflow Lite to classify the sounds it picks up outside, and when one of those sounds fits the model of a cat’s meow, a message is dispatched to AWS Lambda. From there a text message is sent to alert [Tennis] that the cat is ready to come back in.
There’s a ton of useful information included in the repo for this project, including step-by-step instructions for getting Amazon Web Services working on the Pi. If you’re a dog person, fear not: changing from meows to barks is as simple as tweaking a single line of code. And if you’d rather not be at the beck and call of a cat but still want to avoid the evidence of a prey event on your carpet, machine learning can help with that too.
[via Tom’s Hardware]
This might sound like a familiar problem – you get a Bluetooth speaker, and it sounds nice, but it also emits all kinds of weird sounds every now and then. [Oleg Kutkov] got himself a Sven PS460 speaker with FM radio functionality, but didn’t like that the “power on” sound was persistently loud with no respect for the volume setting, and the low battery notification sounds were bothersome. So, he disassembled the speaker, located a flash chip next to the processor, and started hacking.
Using a TL866 and
minipro software, he dumped the firmware, and started probing it with
binwalk. The default set of options didn’t show anything interesting, but he decided to look for sound file signatures specifically, and successfully found a collection of MP3 files! Proper extraction of these was a bit tricky, but he figured out how to get them out, and loaded the entire assortment into Audacity.
From there, he decided to merely make the annoying sounds quieter – negating the “no respect for the volume setting” aspect somewhat. After he exported the sound pack out of Audacity, the file became noticeably smaller, so he zero-padded it, and finally inserted it back into the firmware. Testing revealed that it worked just as intended! As a bonus, he replaced the “battery low” indicator sound with something that most of us would appreciate. Check out the demo video at the end of his write-up.
Domesticating your Bluetooth speakers tends to be called for. If you can’t do that for whatever reason, you can rebuild them into an audio receiver – or perhaps, build your own Bluetooth speakers, with aesthetics included and annoyance omitted from the start.