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A program that utilizes a variety of technologies and a Raspberry Pi to detect the presence of a human in an overheating parked car and alert the car owner to the potential dangers of prolonged heat exposure.


So far in 2016, 37 children in the United States alone have died due to being left alone in a hot car. Unfortunately, this number has averaged around 40 deaths per year since 1998 with 54% of deaths attributed to the child being forgotten. Hotbox was created during MHacks 8 in Detroit, Michigan as a proof of concept to show that a solution to this problem could be both inexpensive (the entire setup costs less than $100) and effective in preventing another innocent child from dying.

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Hotbox has the potential to detect not only children but adults and pets as well. The Twilio API can be expanded to contact the authorities with the coordinates of the vehicle if the SMS messages to the owner go unanswered with support depending on a particular region's police department. As cars become more and more "smart", it's not unreasonable to imagine solutions like this could be adapted to control the vehicle's climate systems.

Hardware Used

  • Raspberry Pi 3
  • PiCamera Module v2
  • Sense-Hat Module
  • USB GPS Module (BU-353 S4)

Software Used

  • Raspbian
  • Python 2.7
  • OpenCV
  • Twilio
  • GPS3
  • SenseHat and PiCamera Libraries


WTFPL Because we don't know any better. Logos used, sourced from, and designed by Freepik (

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