Introduction: Watchful Eye

Watchful Eye is an PIR sensor object, designed with the intent of helping people know that their friends and loved one's have made it home safe after a night out together. We all have those night's were we depart each other's presence saying, "Text me when you get home!" but then everyone forgets. Now, you can set your Watchful eye to lookout for your friends safe arrival. The device only arms when it receives a command from the IFTTT button widget and turns off once motion is detected. Place Watchful Eye near the front door and it will send your friends a message alerting them that you got home safe!

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3: Gather Materials

  • 1/4" Colored Acrylic - 6"X12"
    • Frosted Satin Ice
    • Green Opaque
    • Teal Mirror
  • 1/4" Birch Plywood
  • 1/4" Wooden dowel
  • Clamps (about four)
  • Acrylic Solvent Solution
  • Super Glue
  • Wood Glue
  • Sand Paper
  • Cardstock
  • Tape
  • Rubber gloves
  • Ruler
  • Eye protection
  • 1 Adafruit Feather HUZZAH with ESP8266
  • 1 PIR motion sensor
  • 2 Adafruit NeoPixel Sticks - 8 x 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers
  • 1 Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 500mAh
  • Shrink wrap tape
  • 1 10K resistor
  • Soldering iron & solder
  • Wire strippers
  • Helping hands
  • Wire cutters
  • Wires
  • Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun

Step 4: Code and Circuit

  • Solder together your circuit with soldering iron and solder.
  • keep in mind the overall dimensions of the eye and that all components should fit inside of it if possible. Keep it small.

This code uses Adafruit io feeds and IFTTT. Don't forget to get set up on those platforms!

Step 5: Set Up Files for CNC and Laser Cutting

I used a CNC Router and Laser cutting machine to cut the plywood and acrylic components for this project. Both to learn something new but also to achieve uniform shapes between all the pieces. I constructed the eye in a number of "sedimentary" layers. You can see these layers in the file images.

*Note the inclusion of the holes for the wooden dowel. This is a good way to ensure all your pieces are aligned when glueing.

Step 6: Cut Your Plywood and Acrylic

Once the files are set up, cut your pieces out of the plywood and acrylic. Once the CNC machine is done you will still need to chip your pieces out of the plywood sheet.

*Trouble shooting tips:

  • Make sure to test the settings of the laser cutter and make sure your pieces are cut all the way through before moving your acrylic sheet. Consult your facility about line weights and file types in advance.
  • CNC requires a lot of set up before anything gets cut. I ended up adding tabs to the pieces of the eye so that the pieces were popping up in the middle of cutting. Make sure to work from small to big when setting up the order.

Step 7: Sand, Sand Sand!

Sand all the edges of your plywood pieces to get rid of the rough edges and create nice smooth surfaces.

Step 8: Glue Together

Start with the wood frame:

  • Gather 4 layers of plywood frames and the one Acrylic piece. For my eye, I layered three plywood, one acrylic and finished with another plywood piece at the end.
  • Spread a thin layer of wood glue on the first plywood piece. Place cut dowel pieces (close to the total height of the eye - about 1 1/4") in the guide holes.
  • Thread the second layer of plywood through the holes and repeat process for all the layers.
  • Once all the layers are glued and stacked, clamp the pieces together with clamps for a minimum of 30 minutes for drying.

Move on to the Acrylic:

  • When the wood frame has had plenty of time to dry, I would prepare the piece for gluing by constructing a collar around the front edge with card stock, tape and a rubber band. This will help make sure your acrylic pieces stay where you want them when you are glueing.
  • Use Superglue for acrylic pieces that can be bonded directly to the wood frame.Use Acrylic solvent solution for acrylic-to-acrylic piecing. Be sure to follow the instruction and wear rubber gloves and eye protection when working with the solvent.

Step 9: Assemble All the Parts

  • Place the PIR sensor through the whole at the center of the acrylic pieces. The circuitry should all fit behind it inside the hollow space of the eye.
  • I added a small card stock circle to place all the component into as a way to keep they out of site, but also so that the wiring doesn't cast shadows when the LED's are on.
  • Adhere sensor and card stock with hot glue.
  • Place the two LED strips on the either side of the outside of the card-stock circle to flood the eye with light.

Step 10: Enjoy!

This is an object designed for and with the good intent of looking out for people in our lives. I am would love to continue the project by adding the function of having Watchful Eye also send an alert to your phone if motion has not been sensed 30 min after device was armed. There are a number of "companion" apps and services out there I would love any suggestions on how to make the next iteration even better.