June 21, 2024

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ESP32 Projects From Northwestern University’s Embedded Electronics Class

2 min read
A grid of 5 3D Printed projects with ESP-32 microcontroller boards

Northwestern University’s Embedded Electronics Class delivered a bumper crop of ESP-32 projects this year. The student teams recorded their progress on hackaday.io with project descriptions, logs, BOMs, diagrams, photos, and videos to share with other makers. While all utilized the web connection that the ESP32 offers some teams chose to use ESP32 Cams to incorporate photos, video, and computer vision. We love the variety of projects the teams created, some customized versions of consumer products and others new types of smart-devices.

The Polterchime Smart Doorbell project recreates a basic video doorbell. With the help of a separate web server, the ESP-32Cam delivers streaming video, an archive of captured images, and a speaker to play back prerecorded sound files. See their video presentation for more details on the user research they used in the design process.

Bright Bulb seems like a simple copy of a color changing LED bulb, but features a nice custom board for the ESP32 and neopixel LED and an ESP-NOW networked remote ambient light & motion sensor. That runs on, you guessed it another ESP-32, but with battery power relies on deep-sleep to achieve reasonable run times.

The Mimic Robot Arm lives up to its name not by looking like a real human arm, but by using EMG sensors to pick up muscle activity, mimics the movements of an the operator’s arm.

And finally, Dum-E Smart Sentry uses a whole pile of ESP32 Cams to give panoramic surveillance and a pan/tilt mechanism to train another camera directly on anyone who approaches.

Want to be healthier and live longer to read more Hackaday? One of the teams created a SmartScale to weigh and snap a photo of the food placed on it, using machine vision to deliver automated nutrition information from a food database (most of the time). See the video of this project in action after the break, and the other project pages for more.

We appreciate the documentation the teams gave their projects, there’s enough to dedicate an article to each one, and are happy to see newly minted hackers diving right in to programming, working with electronics, 3D printing and sharing what they learned and made with all of us on hackaday.io. Thanks for the tip about your students, [Ilya]!

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