Find Home Detector




About: Imagine me, a Geek Ninja, riding atop a six-legged robot spider cyclops

The Find home detector is a device to show me the way home by indicating the direction with a light. It uses a LilyPad, GPS, compass and some LEDs. Using the GPS to get a position and then calculate the direction to the location of my home. The compass is then used to get my heading so it is possible to indicate the direction I should travel.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Parts Needed

LilyPad Arduino
GPS Micro-Mini
Compass Module with Tilt Compensation
7 x LEDs to indicate direction
Conductive thread
Battery holder (4 x AAA)

Optional Hardware
 2 x Magnetic Snap or similar to attach the battery holder for easy removable
 4 x Magnetic Snap or buttons

Soldering iron

Step 2: Software Needed

Arduino IDE

Software librarys:
TinyGPS by Mikal Hart
NewSoftSerial by Mikal Hart
Wire for I2C communication with the compass


Step 3: Layout

Step 4: Sewing the Circuit

Start with the Lilipad and then the component closest GPS, compas and last the leds

TIP: Use glue to insulate and protect conductive thread knots.

Step 5: Batery Holder

Attach the Magnetic Snap to the bottom of the battery holder and to the fabric.

Step 6: Make It Wearable

Attach the Magnetic Snap or buttons alongside the side of the cloth.

Step 7: Uploade the Software

Download the sketch from or use the attached pde file.
Update destinationLat and destinationLon to the location you want to find and upload it to your Lilypad.

Step 8: Find Your Way Home

Microcontroller Contest

Participated in the
Microcontroller Contest

LED Contest

Participated in the
LED Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest
    • Robotics Contest

      Robotics Contest

    9 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    I'm pretty new to all of this and I'm wondering, is it possible to make something like this but with many, many more LEDs? I'm looking to make one about the circumference of a softball.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The lilypad arduino itself only has 20 pins of which you need several to check the compass/GPS. You could choose an arduino Mega though, which has 54 IO-pins, and/or use cheap shiftregisters/IO-expanders to increase the number of leds to a few thousand.
    The mega board is a bit larger, using extra ICs will also increase the size and you'll need to adapt the code to drive the extra leds.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Is it possible to program more than one waypoint? Like say instead of just 1 "home" location/destination, you can input 2 different ones and choose between the two. That way you can get to your destination and once there select your second home/waypoint to go back.

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You would have to write your own program/adapt the code, but in theory you could have people travel to loads of different places.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Now all you need is to build a steampunk style case for it. It would be sooooo cool. Although it already is amazing.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    That's awesome. There have been nights when I could have used one of those.