Summary: The following is a step by step guide on how to make a Heat-Seeking Desk Fan from an Arduino microcontroller, a computer fan, a servo, and an infrared temperature sensor. The device scans the room periodically, automatically pointing itself in the hottest direction (ideally towards a person). This is a working proof-of-concept model, but it could be easily scaled up should the investment seem worthwhile.

I built this as a project for a college electronics course and had originally planned to include a clap sensor to activate the scan, but didn't have enough time or money. I'll provide an update should I decide to add it in the future. 

The concept, design, and code is mine, except for the temp sensor communication code submitted by Sensorjunkie.

Cost: $70 (including Arduino Uno)

Difficulty: Basic Arduino experience is essential. Some of the electronics are not easy to troubleshoot should you run into problems.


Step 1: Materials

Summary: The required stuff. I've provided links for all the specific parts which cannot be substituted. Everything else you're free to pull from anywhere. Seriously, get creative. Your options will be more clear as you continue reading.

-- Infrared Thermometer MLX90614
-- Large Servo Motor
-- Arduino Uno Microcontroller
-- Computer Fan 12V DC
-- 12V DC Transformer

-- Through-hole circuit board
-- Baseplate (6x8in material of your choosing)
-- Nuts and Bolts
-- Various Adhesives
-- Wire
-- Solder

-- Soldering Iron
-- Hot Glue Gun
-- Drill Press

<p>I wonder if this could be adapted into a solar tracker.</p>
<p>Cool!</p><p>you could build a little motor/current driver to power the servo from the arduino.</p>
Nice work, Now weaponize it :)
<p>good idea...a water gun would be good for hot summer days</p>
<p>well, this device can actually save people lives! adding an array of those PIR sensors and automating a water cannon, can extinct blazes! a semi-automatic water cannon for small firefighter departments can be awesome!</p>
<p>place it out in dry areas where fires are likely, have it water down area's that are getting to hot. Or if something really bad happens, notify the fire department.</p>
Use a solid state relay to power the fan from arduino.
<p>+1 To that idea</p>
Thanks. Also, I have gotten 3 from eBay cheaply.
<p>They do come in handy. I used my relay to power some Christmas lights and make the flicker to music.</p>
<p>Very cool...I'm working on a similar problem. Have you thought about combining it with a motion sensor?</p>
Very cool!
nice one brilliant (applause) :)
<p>Can i use a DS1624 IC chip instead of an IR sensor?</p><p>and great work btw!!</p>
This is a brilliant idea, you could make many monies from this! :D
I am starting a personal site just for my projects but this caught my attention. <br> <br>A newbie to Arduino, I want to build a table fan that follows me as I move in the room. Seems that my fan is always pointing the wrong place. On oscillate it is right only twice in a cycle ! <br> <br>See what I have planned. www.paulckruger.com
#include &lt;i2cmaster.h&gt;<br> <br>
Ckever idea, and well done!

About This Instructable


277 favorites


More by ePums: Heat-Seeking Desk Fan (using Arduino)
Add instructable to: