We were inspired by Mike at UKSTEM to create an automatic bin. This led us onto thinking about what else we could automate around the house? As such, this open-ended project was born. We won’t go into any detail about how to make any automatic devices, but we will provide you with the foundations and inspiration to run your own projects and create your own devices.
Here is our automatic bin. Every time something gets closer than 20cm to it, the servo lifts up the bin lid. You will never have to worry about manually opening the lid again!
Here is a closeup of the servo arm working its magic. When securely fastened (we’ve used sticky pads and a small card shelf), it’s impressive what our lollipop stick arm can lift! We glued two guide rails on to the lid of the bin, to help guide the servo arm.
For those of you who want the code for the bin project, you can download it here. You will probably need to adjust your servo values, based on your own requirements.
Then we decided to have a go at making some other automation projects. Here we have an automatic food dispenser. Although currently button powered, it could easily be adapted to be set off at certain intervals or when it detects motion! The motor powers a cylinder which has a groove cut into it, for food. A magnet attached to the cylinder sets off a reed switch, telling the Crumble when to stop the motor.
High-Water Alarm and Pump
Finally, we had a go at making a water safety device, using a pump and some copper tape. When the water reaches the first ‘danger zone’ the buzzer sounds, and the LED flashes repeatedly. If the water level continues to rise, the second ‘danger zone’ is reached, so the pump switches on and the frequency of the alarm increases. The pump then continuously siphons water out of the container until the water level is below the first ‘danger zone’.
We really hope that you have been inspired to create your own automation projects, and we would love to see anything you conjure up!