Introduction: Halloween IOT Pumpkin Patch

Goal: When children approach the house the Pumpkin Patch comes to life providing an interactive environment based on motion and sound detection.

Step 1: Service Layer

Picture of Service Layer

Step 2: Work Flow

When motion is detected; do the following:

  • Start a no motion detected timer to shutdown the environment so that the Pumpkin Patch is sleeping when no trick or treaters are present
  • Power on all the pumpkin lights
  • Power on the amplifier Lift the cover off the projector
  • Listen for audio events so that the pumpkin patch react

Halloween Actor System Code - Github

Step 3: Materials / Application

Picture of Materials / Application

Easy Popup with two 7x11 tarpes.
This provides a great platform for arranging your Pumpkin Patch. Attach the tarps to the side and back of the popup so that luminance levels can be controlled. You will also find the aluminum supporting structures useful for cable management and hanging props.

Polyurethane pumpkins from Michaels
Cover one side of the pumpkin with blue painters tape and draw your spooky face. The tape serves two purposes:

1) provides a platform for drawing your design one or more times.

2) exposes freshly cut areas for spray painting black; while protecting untouched orange areas.

I used an X-Acto knife to cut out my design. - “this can be dangerous, so proceed with caution at your own risk...”Install low heat lighting. - “high heat lighting will cause a fire”. I used 3W flicker flame LED’s. It is important to get them all connected to the same power cords so you can programmatically control their ON and OFF states as they will ultimately be connected to a IOT power switch and behave accordingly to our Halloween ActorSystem.

Decorative hay bales from Michaels
Stagger different sized hays bales for which to arrange pumpkins on.

Decorative Ivy from Michaels
Weave in and out of hay bales Spider web looking cloth from MichaelsHang the webs from the ceiling and sides of the Easy Popup Three centerpiece pumpkins for projecting singing pumpkins upon.

Step 4: Singing Pumpkins

Picture of Singing Pumpkins

Projector with a minimum of luminance 1500 & contrast 1500:1 with Arduino Yun and a servo
Getting my cheapo projector to start playing the pumpkins singing on demand turned out to be a bit challenging. The problem being that the projector doesn’t go into a projecting state when you give it power. A button must be pushed. Once that button is pushed the projector OS loads and then you must navigate to a movie screen and pick your SD card media. In order to have my pumpkins singing on demand, I decided to configure the projector to play the pumpkin singing video continuously on a loop while using a networked Arduino “Arduino Yun” with a servo to cover or lift a piece of paper from the projector lense. This creates the illusion of on demand pumpkin singing.

Step 5: Arduino Projector Servo & Sound Sensor

Picture of Arduino Projector Servo & Sound Sensor

Step 6: Hiding Your Projector

Picture of Hiding Your Projector

I built a box from supplies I picked up at Lowes. I left space in between side panels so the equipment inside doesn’t overheat.

Step 7: Audio Detection

Picture of Audio Detection

The ability to detect current audio levels is valuable in creating an interactive experience. Not only does this allow for the lights to have a Color / Luminance Schema that matches your music, they will also react to sounds of trick or treaters. I’ve added a bonus that blows smoke and powers the strobe light when the sum of the last 5 received audio values exceeds a certain level.

Sound Detection Actor code

Step 8: Smoke Machine With a Toggle Switch for Disbursement of Smoke

Picture of Smoke Machine With a Toggle Switch for Disbursement of Smoke

Like the projector; the smoke machine requires physical interaction to have smoke blow on demand. The smoke machine must be powered on for about 5 minutes so that it can heat up enough to blow smoke when a switch is toggled. I decided to alway supply power so that it is in a constant ready state and mount a servo to the blow smoke switch. Now when the Halloween Actor System is in a automation on state smoke will blow every 30 seconds for 2 seconds

Step 9: Download Code

Clone code from GitHub

You can follow my projects at YakoobAhmad.com

Comments

Thomastwhilaker (author)2015-11-02

Amazing project! Animation and music are great.

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-11-01

Amazing effects. I love these animated pumpkins.

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