This clock really, really doesn’t want to tell you the time

What’s worse than a clock that doesn’t work? One that makes an “unbearably loud screeching noise” every minute of every day is a strong contender.

That was the aural nightmare facing YouTuber Burke McCabe. But rather than just fix the problem, he decided, in true Raspberry Pi community fashion, to go one step further. Because why not?

The inventor of the clock holds it with the back facing the camera to show us how it works and is looking down at it.

Burke showing YouTube viewers his invention

On the back of the clock, alongside the built-in mechanism controlling the clock’s arms, Burke added a Raspberry Pi to control a motor, which he hooked up to a webcam. The webcam was programmed using open computer vision library OpenCV to detect whenever a human face comes into view. Why would a clock need to know when someone looks at it? We’ll come to that.

First up, more on how that webcam works. OpenCV detects when a pair of eyes is in view of the webcam for three consecutive frames. You have to be really looking at it, not just passing it – that is, you have to be trying to tell the time. When this happens, the Raspberry Pi rotates the attached motor 180 degrees and back again.

But why? Well:

Burke has created a clock which, when you look at it to tell the time, falls off the wall.

We know: you want your own. So do we. Thankfully, Burke responded to calls in the comments on his original video for a more detailed technical walkthrough, and, boy, did he deliver.

In his walkthrough video, you get a good look at Burke’s entire setup, including extra batteries to make sure your Raspberry Pi gets enough juice, advice on how to get to grips with the code, and even the slots your different coloured wires need to go in. And so very, very much duct tape. Who’s going to start a GoFundMe to get Burke the glue gun sticks he so desperately needs? And hit subscribe for his YouTube channel while you’re at it!

9 comments

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I need one!

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What is time?

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**clock casually falls of wall**

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Baby don’t hurt me

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you flipping dont know what time is??????

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This is actually somewhat genius I love the idea

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One of the funniest projects I’ve seen and the delivery of your demo broke me up hahahah

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COME ON!!!
You darn clock that hates me!
*humph*

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Burke is the second coming of Michael Reeves.

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