The first Raspberry Potter

The first Raspberry Potter

Raspberry Potter is an open source project that lets you control things around your room or your house with a magic wand.  Imagine if you had a magic wand to control everyday things!  Once you make a Raspberry Potter, you’ll be able to do just that - by drawing simple gestures in the air. Raspberry Potter recognizes your gestures as spells and can make something awesome happen as a result!  You can even extend your Raspberry Potter to control the Internet of Things.

After a trip to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, my daughters and I decided to create a project that could use the interactive wands from the park, at home.  We called the project Raspberry Potter because it was powered with a Raspberry Pi.  We first demoed the project at Mini MakerFaire in Minnesota and hope you give it a try! 

Here’s how the Raspberry Potter works:

  1. The infrared camera looks for small circles of reflected infrared light in its field of vision.
  2. These small circles of light get tracked for movement. The patterns of movement are the gestures or “spells” and you can make them using the reflective tip of a wand.
  3. When predefined patterns of movement are matched, a “spell” is cast and the Raspberry Pi runs code that controls a connected device.

If you don’t have an official interactive wand from Universal Studios, don’t worry!  Just make your own wand with a sequin on the end of a stick - it only needs a reflective tip that can be used to reflect infrared light.

Check out the Raspberry Potter powered lamp on Make Magazine - and be on the lookout for a book with instructions to build the original Raspberry Potter project (and detailed instructions for making your own wand.)


Photos by Sean O'Brien.  Logo design by Shona Kavi.