When searching for an idea for the "Best Energy Hack" challenge at PittApps, we thought of automatic light switches to save energy by turning lights on and off as you enter/leave a room. This technology already exists, however, it's not particularly simple for the average consumer to implement. So, we made a device which can be easily placed on a wall next to an already existing switch. Easy to install. Easy to use.
What it does
It automatically turns lights on and off as the user enters/leaves a room. It requires no technical knowledge to install and is cheap to manufacture.
How we built it
We 3D printed an arm to flip the switch which we then attached to a small servo motor. We connected the motor and an infrared sensor to an arduino and designed a casing to house all of the components.
Challenges we ran into
The most difficult part of this project was designing and printing the arm that we attached to the servo motor. Before the project, none of us knew how to use OpenSCAD, so it took quite a bit of time to figure that out.