While some of us can fall asleep anywhere from a noisy auditorium to a brightly lit train station, others are more fussy, requiring quiet and dark to nod off. [Craig Lindley] likes to minimize light when he’s trying to sleep, and decided to build himself a simple clock that wouldn’t disturb his rest.
The basic concept was to build a clock that would only display the time on command. In this case, that command would be a wave of a hand in front of the clock. The build is based around a Lilygo ESP32 T-Display unit, which combines the ESP32 with an LCD display and a battery management system. The ESP32’s WiFi connection provides accurate time via querying an NTP server. A passive infrared motion sensor is used to detect the motion of the user’s hand in front of the clock.
While all kinds of clocks and clock radios are available out there, few are motion activated. [Craig]’s work is a great demonstration of building your own solutions to your problems. We’ve seen some other neat motion-sensing convenience hacks before, too!
Most modern computer games have a clearly-defined end, but many classics like Pac-man and Duck Hunt can go on indefinitely, limited only by technical constraints such as memory size. One would think that the classic electronic memory game Simon should fall into that category too, but with most humans struggling even to reach level 20 it’s hard to be sure. [Michael Schubart] was determined to find out if there was in fact an end to the latest incarnation of Simon and built a robot to help him in his quest.
The Simon Air, as the newest version is known, uses motion sensors to detect hand movements, enabling no-touch gameplay. [Michael] therefore made a system with servo-actuated silicone hands that slap the motion sensors. The tone sequence generated by the game is detected by light-dependent resistors that sense which of the segments lights up; a Raspberry Pi keeps track of the sequence and replays it by driving the servos.
We won’t spoil the ending, but [Michael] did find an answer to his question. An earlier version of the game was already examined with the help of an Arduino, although it apparently wasn’t fast enough to drive the game to its limits. If you think Simon can be improved you can always roll your own, whether from scratch or by hacking an existing toy.
Continue reading “Silicone-Slapping Servos Solve Simon Says“
Halloween is right around the corner and just about every Halloween project needs some kind of motion sensor. Historically, we’ve used IR and ultrasonic sensors but [Makers Mashup] decided to use an ESP32-Cam as a motion sensor in his latest animatronic creation. You can see a video of the device and how it works below.
The project is a skull that follows you around with a few degrees of motion on a stepper motor. There’s a 3D-printed enclosure to make the hardware assembly easy. The base software was borrowed from [Eloquent Arduino].
Continue reading “ESP32-Cam Makes A Dandy Motion Detector”
What is it about useless machines that makes them so attractive to build? After all, they’re meant to be low-key enraging. At this point, the name of the game is more about giving that faceless enemy inside the machine a personality more than anything else. How about making it more of a bully with laughter and teasing? That’s the idea behind [alexpikkert]’s useless machine with attitude — every time you flip a switch, the creature of uselessness inside gets a little more annoyed.
In this case the creature is Arduino-based and features two sound boards that hold the giggles and other sounds. There are three servos total: one for each of the two switch-flipping fingers, and a third that flaps the box lid at you. This build is wide open, and [alexpikkert] even explains how to repurpose a key holder box for the enclosure. Check out the demo after the break.
We love a good useless machine around here, especially when they take a new tack. This one looks like any other useless machine, but what’s happening inside may surprise you.
Continue reading “Useless Box With Attitude Isn’t Entirely Useless”
Microsoft’s Kinect, a motion-sensing peripherial originally for the Xbox 360, is almost exactly a decade old now. And in that decade it has expanded from its limited existence tied to a console to a widely-used tool for effective and detailed motion sensing, without breaking the bank. While it’s seen use well outside of video games, it’s still being used to reimagine some classic games. In this project, Reddit user [SuperLouis64] has used it to control Mario with his own body.
While the build still involves some use of a hand controller, most of Mario’s movements are controlled by making analogous movements on a small trampoline, including the famed triple jump. The kinect is able to sense all of these movements and translate them into the game using software that [SuperLouis64] built as well. The trickiest movement seems to be Mario’s spin movement, which appears to have taken some practice to get right.
We appreciate the build quality on this one, and [SuperLouis64]’s excitement in playing the game with his creation. It truly looks like a blast to play, and he even mentions in the Reddit thread that he’s gotten a lot of productive excercise with his various VR and augumented reality games in the past few months. Of course if this is too much physical activity, you could always switch to using your car as the unique game controller instead.
Continue reading “Super Mario 64 As Experienced By Mario”
When walking down a dark street, it’s common to get a sense that one is being followed. It pays to check, of course, but what if we could get better data than simply a vague feeling from the unknown? [caitlinsdad] built a project that can do just that, with a cute pair of ears to boot.
The werewolf ears claim to be ISO Standard, though we’re yet to see the relevant documents to bear that out. Regardless, they use an Adafruit Gemma M0 microcontroller to run the show, hooked up to an infrared proximity sensor to detect movement. When triggered, the Gemma responds to the signal by twitching the wolf ears attached to a headband, alerting the wearer that someone is closing in.
Built and calibrated properly, this could be a useful invention for those who regularly find themselves followed by those skulking on the sidewalk and for whom moving to another neighbourhood is a more expensive option. We’ve seen other responsive wearables, too. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Werewolf Ears With A Sense For Danger”
The idea behind a dummy security camera is that people who are up to no good might think twice about doing anything to your property when they think they’re being recorded. Obviously a real security camera would be even better, but sometimes that’s just not economically or logistically possible. Admittedly they’re not always very convincing, but for a few bucks, hopefully it’s enough to make the bad guys think twice.
But what if that “fake” camera could do a little more than just look pretty up on the wall? [Chris Chimienti] thought he could improve the idea by adding some electronics that would notify him if motion was detected. As an added bonus, any would-be criminals who might be emboldened by the realization the camera itself is fake might find themselves in for a rude surprise when the notifications start firing off.
In the video after the break, [Chris] really takes his time walking the viewer through the disassembly of the dummy camera. As it turns out, these things look like they’d make excellent project enclosures; they come apart easily, have nothing but empty space inside, and even have an integrated battery compartment. That alone could be a useful tip to file away for the future.
He then goes on to explain how he added some smarts to this dummy camera. Up where the original “lens” was, he installed a PIR sensor, some white LEDs, a light sensor, and the original blinking red LED. All of this was mounted to a very slick 3D printed plate which integrates into the camera’s body perfectly. The new hardware is connected up to a similarly well mounted Wemos D1 Mini inside the camera. The rest of the video goes through every aspect of the software setup, which is sure to be of interest to anyone who’s ever thought of rolling their own IoT device.
This type of PIR sensor is hacker favorite, and we’ve seen a number of projects using them for all sorts of creative purposes. We’ve even seen them paired with the ESP8266 before for Internet-connected motion sensing, albeit without the tidy security camera enclosure.
Continue reading “Dummy Security Camera Is Smarter Than It Looks”