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:
- The infrared camera looks for small circles of reflected infrared light in its field of vision.
- 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.
- 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.