Hacked Gadgets Forum

November 29, 2009

The Magic Clock – Family location indicator

at 7:05 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Cool Gadgets, Electronic Hacks


When you work in an office there is usually a board up front that indicated who is in and out. At home there is no such convenience, but even if there was where are the your other family members? That problem has been solved by The Magic Clock, it uses Twitter and some electronics to physically display where everyone is. The old clock case and great looking face detail make this at home in any house.

"Here’s the general logic it uses.

  1. My final design uses a script to fetch four twitter feeds every couple minutes.
  2. The script then parses out the first words and searches for a matching ‘status’.
  3. If no match is found, it sets the status to ‘Read Me’
  4. The script outputs a string with the hand number followed by a separator character, and then a letter from a-l for the status like  ‘1>d2>b3>g4>a’.  This would set the 1 hand to ‘school’ the 2 hand to ‘Church’, the 3 hand to ‘Home’ and the 4 hand to ‘Mortal Peril’.
  5. The string is passed to the arduino which checks if the hand location is known.  If it is and hasn’t changed, it does nothing.  If it’s unknown or changed, it drives the corresponding servo to the new location and stores the current location."