Nursery Robot Connected to CheerLights

Introducing CheerLights

CheerLights is an “Internet of Things” project created by Hans Scharler that allows people’s lights all across the world to synchronize to one color set by Twitter. This is a way to connect physical things with social networking experiences.

I wanted to have a CheerLights display for my soon-to-be-here son’s nursery. I didn’t want a bright light, but something in the background. I found a Robot Nightlight on Amazon and purchased it. This is a great night light and you can change the color using the included infrared remote control. To connect this light to CheerLights, all you have to do is build something to transmit the IR code for you. This project uses an Internet-connected Particle Photon that subscribes to the latest CheerLights color on ThingSpeak and transmit the IR code as if the button was pressed on the remote control.

To change the color of the CheerLights Robot, send a tweet that mentions CheerLights and a color name.



Source Code

The code for the Particle Photon is really straightforward. The gist of the code is that the Particle Photon will request the latest CheerLights color from ThingSpeak. If the color matches one of the defined colors, the Photon will transmit the IR code to the robot just like the IR remote. The robot will change color when CheerLights changes color.

View the source code on GitHub.

Hacking the SleepyLights Robot

I recently bought the SleepyLights Robot by Lumenico for my soon-to-be-here son’s nursery. The robot light is a laser cut, acrylic robot that is illuminated with colored LEDs. You control the robot’s color by using an IR remote that is included. You can change the color to any color that you want, but you have to use the IR remote control.

I want to connect the SleepyLights Robot to the CheerLights project. CheerLights is a global network of colored lights that all stay synchronized with each other. When one light changes to blue, all of the lights turn to blue. Right now, there are over 20,000 lights that have been linked together.

In order to connect my SleepyLights Robot light to CheerLights, I am going to transmit IR codes using a IR LED connected to a Particle Photon. The Photon is a Wi-Fi connected device that you can program to all kinds of things. In this case, I will program the Photon to send the color codes that CheerLights is set to.

Stay tuned for project updates and source code…

Teddy Bear Sends Notifications to Dad

Andy travels a lot for his job and he often wonders if his child thinks of “dear old dad.” Andy created a Do-It-Yourself hack modifying a teddy bear to send notifications. When his daughter plays with the bear, it sends him a notification to his phone. Andy hacked an Amazon Dash Button – the very same buttons that I mentioned before for automatically ordering baby formula.

The buttons connect to your Wi-Fi network and send a message when they are pressed. He catches the message using a Raspberry Pi and then creates a notification for his mobile phone.

Maybe as a next step, Andy could add some haptic feedback to the teddy bear so that the bear tells his daughter that he got the notification. This would close the communication loop.

Learn how to build your own Wi-Fi connected Teddy Bear at Andy’s Projects.

Use the Amazon Dash Button to Order Similac Formula

Have you ever forgotten to order formula and had to run out to the store at the last-minute? If so, this is a quick upgrade to your nursery. All you need to do is add an Amazon Dash Button to your nursery. You press the button when you notice that you are running low on formula. The formula of your choice gets ordered from Amazon and delivered within two days.

The Amazon Dash Button is a Wi-Fi connected device that reorders your favorite product with the press of a button. Each Dash Button is paired with a product of your choice, which is selected through the Amazon App on your Android or iOS smartphone during the set-up process.

There are other Amazon Dash Buttons available and even one that you can hack yourself if you know some “internet of things“.