Making Fun: Color-Hunting, Christmas Tree-Controlling CheerBot

Arduino Other Boards Robotics Technology
Making Fun: Color-Hunting, Christmas Tree-Controlling CheerBot

Each Christmas, I like to participate in Cheerlights, an Internet of Things system for synchronizing the colors of multicolor Christmas tree lighting. To command the trees of the Cheerlights service, all you have to do is send a tweet with “@Cheerlights” and the name of a color. In the past, I built and modified a tiny desktop tree display. This year, I went all out, not only outfitting my big Christmas tree with color-changing lights, but also building a robot to roam the house and hunt for colors.

CheerBot Diagram

I chose the BeagleBone Black as the brains of the robot, because it is able process the camera with OpenCV (computer vision) while reading the analog voltage from the distance sensors and controlling the motors. It runs one Python script to process the video looking for colors, and another to avoid obstacles. When the color-finding script finds a big enough blob of one of the approved colors, the robot stops, records a higher resolution image of the scene, and tweets it along with the name of the color to its CheerBotBBB Twitter account. Every hour, it adds “@Cheerlights” to a tweet so the Cheerlights service picks up the color and commands the participating lighting displays around the world to do the bidding of the CheerBot. Check out the code on GitHub.

CheerBot

Since the CheerBot is such a prolific color-finder, I have it set to send a color to the Cheerlights service no more than once an hour. Colors found before the next “@Cheerlights” tweet is allowed are still tweeted and reflected immediately by the tree in my living room. My tree’s lights are connected to an Arduino that uses an XBee radio to get colors from the Raspberry Pi in my workshop. This could be done by the CheerBot by adding an XBee radio, but I already had the Pi in the workshop set up for Cheerlights. The Pi monitors the CheerBot’s twitter account and also the Cheerlights service and passes colors as they change, so my Christmas tree reflects the most recent color, whether it’s from the CheerBot’s Twitter stream or the Cheerlights service.

Be sure to engage your own maker skills when decorating for the holidays. Learn some new things and make yourself some fun!

See the entire series here.

10 thoughts on “Making Fun: Color-Hunting, Christmas Tree-Controlling CheerBot

  1. SaluteFare Fun: Color-Caccia, Albero di Natale-Controllo CheerBot | Salute says:

    […] ho costruito un robot che controlla le mie luci di Natale e luci di Natale in tutto il mondo per il roaming casa mia alla ricerca di colori e li tweeting al servizio Cheerlights . […]

  2. Holiday Innovation: Tweet At Your Christmas Tree To Light It Up | EikAwaz.com says:

    […] who also created the electronic tooth fairy that we covered earlier this year, made a “CheerBot,” a camera on wheels that roams around his house looks for patches of color. When it finds a […]

  3. Holiday Innovation: Tweet At Your Christmas Tree To Light It Up | The First Farm Site says:

    […] who also created the electronic tooth fairy that we covered earlier this year, made a “CheerBot,” a camera on wheels that roams around his house looks for patches of color. When it finds a […]

  4. Holiday Innovation: Tweet At Your Christmas Tree To Light It Up - Owaisi Brothers says:

    […] who also created the electronic tooth fairy that we covered earlier this year, made a “CheerBot,” a camera on wheels that roams around his house looking for patches of color. When it finds […]

  5. CheerLights:通过 Twitter 控制颜色的智能灯泡 - 科技辣 says:

    […] Highsmith)也为 CheerLights 圣诞树制造了一款衍生产品——“CheerBot” 机器人。CheerBot 的摄像头可以捕捉房间内的物体颜色,然后将颜色反馈给 […]

  6. CheerLights:通过 Twitter 控制颜色的智能灯泡 says:

    […] Highsmith)同样为 CheerLights 圣诞树制造了一款衍生产品——“CheerBot” 机器人。CheerBot 的摄像头可以捕捉房间内的物体颜色,然后将颜色反馈给 […]

  7. CheerLights:通过 Twitter 控制颜色的智能灯泡 | | Evolution UnitEvolution Unit says:

    […] Highsmith)也为 CheerLights 圣诞树制造了一款衍生产品——“CheerBot” 机器人。CheerBot 的摄像头可以捕捉房间内的物体颜色,然后将颜色反馈给 […]

  8. CheerLights:通过 Twitter 控制颜色的智能灯泡 | iDoor says:

    […] Highsmith)也为 CheerLights 圣诞树制造了一款衍生产品——“CheerBot” 机器人。CheerBot 的摄像头可以捕捉房间内的物体颜色,然后将颜色反馈给 […]

  9. 爱范儿 – Mac Pro 拆解:“垃圾桶”内有乾坤【多图】 | 野草 says:

    […] Highsmith)也为 CheerLights 圣诞树制造了一款衍生产品――“CheerBot” 机器人。CheerBot 的摄像头可以捕捉房间内的物体颜色,然后将颜色反馈给 […]

  10. Hand Make Your Holidays with These 10 Cool Projects | Make: says:

    […] For the ambitious, hyper-nerdy among us, here’s a robot you can build, using a BeagleBone Black and some motors, sensors, and a webcam. It can search out the colors in your house and turn your Christmas tree (and other CheerBot trees around the world!) into the dominant color. Really a cool, very 21st century way of feeling connected this holiday season. Link: Color-Hunting, Christmas Tree-Controlling CheerBot […]

Comments are closed.

Tagged

I enjoy inventing new and fun gadgets. I pick projects that are challenging, fun, and educational.

View more articles by Jeff Highsmith
FEEDBACK