Catch the Magic

After Danny (7yo Stepson) and Spencer(Neighbour) visited the last #swmakers [] meeting a couple of weeks ago, they came away all excited with an idea of capturing Santa to prove he’s real. So the project #catchthemagic was born.

To keep the enthusiasm going, over the weekend I set up a mini Fab-Lab at the #Lovegroovestudio (home) in the kitchen and the kids from the neighbourhood came around and worked on the #RaspberryPi with #scratchgpio to build a #SantaCaptcha device that will detect and take a photo of Santa.

I initially had a few problems getting scratch GPIO working as the version with Jessie distribution of Raspberian didnt seem to want to see the GPIO pins for me, however I used instructions found here to get everything up and running.

The kids undertook the prototype development with their ideas and with a little bit of help in programming from yours truly, where they used a PIR Sensor, aka “The Santa Sensor” (their words not mine) and the stock standard camera in the Raspberry Pi to create a Santa Captcha device.

The following day they returned and fit the device into a housing, a fake present, as they didnt want Santa to see it and they thought this was the best way to hide it.

They now have a working prototype packaged as a fake present ready for testing, just needs some batteries .

The Scratch Script they created is very simple where it continually loops looking for change in the PIR pin from low to High and then takes a photo using the RPi Camera – Simple ! All the captured magic is stored under /home/pi/photos

I will upload the scripts and diagrams shortly – done

The kids are already planning to use this for the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny.

Stay tuned!



Please click through the photo below to the flickr album

Catch The Magic
Flickr Album Project: Catch the Magic

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Author: Stephen Eaton

Geek at heart. Loves to tinker and find out how things work, which inevitably leads to items in pieces and not working for much longer :)

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