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Hackathon is one of our routine events for all Seeeders. And as we are moving some of our teams to the office located upstairs of x.factory* in Design Commune, Hack the Office comes very naturally as the theme of the first Seeed Hackathon in 2018. P.S. (*x.factory is created by Seeed Studio. It’s a Shenzhen-based maker space aims at serving maker pros and connecting makers with industry resources)
We are team of 5 (actually we all don’t have much technical background, which made it even more exciting when saw the expected outcome!!!), and we pay our attention to the stairs that connect one part of our office and a public area. As the public area is open to all, many people access this area easily and some even go through the stairs and burst into our office, which do disturb us in a way. Many colleagues complained about the weird phenomenon of seeing a head or two probing in when everyone was concentrating on the work.
After several rounds of group discussions, we finalized our hacking idea as #HACK THE STAIRS.
Along one side of the stairs are ultrasonic sensors (which help to detect if someone is in the detected area). On the vertical sides of the stairs are five RGB LED strings. On the top of the stairs, there is a LED Logo projector with customized words “勿入STOP” as a sign to reminder the visitors to back off. A Seeeduino receive signals from the ultrasonic sensors, and calibrates itself appropriately when started. Then, it determines when a visitor appears based on those ultrasonic values. It processes the info and will send out command to trigger the switch of the LED strings. And the LEDs will shine in green when they are triggered on.
If the visitor ignored the LED’s shining reminder and continued to go upstairs, there is another ultrasonic sensor on the top stair, which will detect the ultrasonic values. And when the Seeeduino gets the signal, it will send out the command to the LED Logo Projector to work and project the reminder words “勿入STOP” on the floor.
Click the video to check out how we hacked the stairs:
Hope this will stop the visitors from bursting in (smile).
Surely you might notice that all people who go through the stairs trigger the “勿入STOP” Reminding. So our next step is to add Face Recognition to the project, which will enable the system to recognize who is a crew and who is an intruder.
-Siting Liu, Cell 0 Team
-Zhiming Chen, HR Team
-Liuchang, HR Team
-Jiaqi Sun, Sales Team
-Lily Li, Marketing Team
HOW WE MADE IT
Step 1-Get all things ready
Draft out the components, parts, material and tools that we need.
Step 2- Cut off 5 strips of 2-meter RGB LED strings
As the length of the stairs is 2.2 meters, we cut 5 strips of 2-meter RGB LED strings out of the sets. Solder some short ones together to make it into 2 meters, and solder breadboard jumper wire to each string that needs to be connected to the pins of Seeeduino.
(Tips: Please pay attention to the pads when you are soldering. On the LED string, you’ll see there are three pads: GND, D1, 5V that represents Ground, Data and 5-voltage power input respectively. Make sure you solder GND to GND, D1 to D1 and 5V to 5V, or it won’t work! It took us a lot of time to finish soldering, because we soldered the wrong pads, TWICE!!!)
Step 3 - Testing all things out
It took us tons of time to test the soldering LEDs (we were not good at it at all!) and to define the shining effects (colors, frequency & patterns) through coding. Thank God, we got this nice green shining in a proper order, and we were all happy at what we got.
Step 4 - Setup the Stairs
Wiring, glue the twin-core cable at the edge of concrete wall with glue gun;
Position the LED Logo projector onto the passageway;
Connect the projector to the cable and a male plug；
Step 5 – Connect all the Materials/Parts
Connect the LED strings, Ultrasonic Sensors to Seeeduino
Connect the projector to Seeeduino
Step 6 - Upload the Seeeduino Code
The provided code is designed to collect info from the ultrasonic sensors, proceed the value of info and send out command to light up the LED strings (with customized shining patterns and colors) when the sensors detected the signal of passing by.
Get the code in the CODE section.
Step 7- Enjoy What Technology Brought us
Finally we have a working set of hacked stairs, which could automatically tell all visitors to stop stepping into our offices.
That’s the story of how we HACK THE STAIRS. Please give Thumbs-up if you like our project (YES, your Thumbs-up do make a winning team of this Hackathon). Thanks a billion!!!
-Bill, Seeed Technical Support Team, who gave us a lot of tips on how to connect the LED strings to Seeeduino.
-Jiamou Yang, Seeed Technical Support Team, who saved us from the endless coding
-Danny Xia, Workshop Manager at x.factory, who helped us a lot in getting all components, parts and tools together.