Owl Barometer

This was a bit of a fun project – I’ve seen on the movies (or maybe Scooby Doo) pictures where the eyes follow you and wanted something similar in my house.

Also, from a practical standpoint, I often get caught out without an umbrella in rainy England so I wanted something that would tell me the chances of rain before I left the house.What I came up with was the project that you see in the video above.

As with all the devices in my house, I relied on the ESP8266 microcontroller – it’s consistently proven to be stable (I now have 8 of them doing various duties within the house 24/7) and is really simple to program for.

The person sensing is done by an Adafruit AMG8833 sensor – easily the most impressive I2C device I’ve seen to date. This provides an 8×8 thermal image that the ESP8266 uses to determine the position of the eye servo.

The weather updates are provided by the DarkSky API – I used to use Weather Underground but they’ve closed their service to enthusiasts. The updates/servo positions are pushed from a server running NodeJS to the device every hour.

As with all my projects, all code and circuit diagrams are available in the project Github repository.

Alex Shakespeare