I enjoy projects that can be made using items from around the home. Add a Raspberry Pi and a few lines of code, and great joy can be had from producing something smart, connected and/or just plain silly.
The concept of the IoT Smart Lobby Welcoming Music System fits into this category. Take a speaker, add a Raspberry Pi and a PIR sensor (both staples of any maker household, and worthwhile investments for the budding builder), and you can create a motion-sensor welcome system for your home or office.
The Naran Build
IoT makers Naran have published their Smart Lobby build on Instructables, where you’ll find all the code and information you need to get making. You’ll also find their original walkthrough of how to use their free Prota OS for Raspberry Pi, which allows you to turn your Pi into a Smart Home hub.
Their build allows you to use Telegram Bot to control the music played through their speaker. The music begins when movement is sensed, and you can control what happens next.
It’s a great build for playing information for visitors or alerting you to an intrusion.
Tim Peake Welcoming Committee
A few months back, I made something similar in the lobby at Pi Towers: I hid a sensor under our cardboard cutout of ESA astronaut Tim Peake. Visitors walking into the lobby triggered the sensor, and were treated to the opening music from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Sadly, with the meeting rooms across the lobby in constant use, the prank didn’t last long.
— alex j’rassic (@alexjrassic) December 15, 2016
If you’re curious, the Christmas tree should be a clue as to why Tim is dressed like a nativity angel.
The Homebrew Edition
If you’re like me, you learn best by doing. Our free resources allow you to develop new skills as you build. You can then blend the skills you have learned to create your own interesting projects. I was very new to digital making when I put together the music sensor in the lobby. The skills I had developed by following step-by-step project tutorials provided the foundations for something new and original.
Why not make your own welcoming system? The process could teach you new skills, and develop your understanding of the Raspberry Pi. If you’d like to have a go, I’d suggest trying out the Parent Detector. This will show you how to use a PIR sensor with your Raspberry Pi. Once you understand that process, try the Burping Jelly Baby project. This will teach you how to tell your Raspberry Pi when to play an MP3 based on a trigger, such as the poke of a finger or the detection of movement.
From there, you should have all the tools you need to make a speaker system that plays an MP3 when someone or something approaches. Why not have a go this weekend? If you do, tell us about your final build in the comments below.