lavaTree also referred to as the Ambient Lou Project started as a funny side project to the problem of going all the way to the restrooms – just to find out that both are occupied (then walk back, wait, look again. repeat.).
The installation has been running for almost three years, and I think I can now say that what started as a funny side project has now become an integrated part of me and my colleges “restroom routines” 🙂
When I get more time, I plan to upgrade the installation with human sized Star Wars figures instead of christmas trees, where the Lightsaber would have to change color according to the status of the restroom.
I initially used an Arduino with a home-made “lock sensor”, however I later replaced the Arduino with a Particle Photon as this allowed me to post the current status in real-time to erderledigt.tobiassonne.com (note that the system is offline between 7PM – 7AM DK time due to power saving). Whenever a change happens (locked/unlocked) the christmas trees changes color and the website is updated instantly.
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