The three of us are all complete beginners with very little background in the creation of software/hardware projects. This was our very first Hackathon we've ever attended. We had to think of something that was possible to do, but we also wanted to create something that would be cool. We all agreed that using some of Corey's hardware would be a cool thing to do (he brought an entire case of things), our inspiration was that we wanted to make finding the forecast fun and be able to create something real since we had never made something real before!
What it does
WeatherBot allows you to search the weather for any city/town in the world and display it sequentially on an LCD screen. After you get the current weather, it plays a beautiful animation through an LED display, making it fun to check out the weather.
How we built it
We built WeatherBot by using openweathermap's API, and then parsing the API output with Python and sent the output to the Arduino to process the results and determine the appropriate animation to display. That wasn't easy though, because we had to convert the information of which LED lights we want to light up from hexadecimal to binary so that the Arduino could read it.
Challenges we ran into
Everything to do with the LCD was difficult! We had a lot of complications displaying data on the LCD, and took the bulk of our time. Luckily, we were able to get it done and we have a finished project on our hands!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud that we were able to go from idea to reality by working together and staying efficient. Being all Freshman (one a freshman in high school), we had very little background. We're proud we were able to finish!
What we learned
We learned what an API was and how to use it, and then learned how to interface COM ports through Python. We also learned how to make LED animations and how to format on a liquid crystal display. We also learned how to setup Arduino hardware components, and we learned a lot about the Python programming language and how to work together and cooperate efficiently.
What's next for WeatherBot
We'd like to be able to get some Echo Dot functionality added, and we'd like to be able to get a housing built around it to make it look even better. Incorporation of future forecasts and more detail would also be something cool for us to incorporate in the future. Maybe you'll see WeatherBot 2.0 at HAkron 3.0.