Control Smart Home With Magic Wand Video

In this video I show the end result of my “Smart Wand” project. Originally inspired by the interactive wands from Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, this project lets you control your smart home devices by moving your wand in a pattern corresponding to the desired spell.

While originally inspired by a trip to Universal, I actually put in the effort of creating it for my son’s Harry Potter themed birthday party (hence the secret message in the video). For the birthday party we had two wand stations working where the kids cast various spells to perform magic such as playing a song, changing the lights, turning on a fountain, and popping popcorn.

The project uses various types of fun technology including: 3D printing, Raspberry Pi Zero W, Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera, Home Assistant, and Python.

I have the full details of the project including source code, STLs for 3D printing, and detailed instructions. The details are split into three different posts:

  1. Wand
  2. WiFi Streaming IR Camera / Emitter
  3. Software

Uno Attack Hack

In the above video you can see what I call my “Uno Attack Hack”. My hacked Uno Attack consists of an Uno Attack game that has been modified to allow me to secretly change the outcome of the game to my advantage.  The hacked Uno Attack has four different operating modes that are set over a Bluetooth connection using an Android based program.  The orientation of the Android phone determines which mode the hacked Uno Attack is in.  The four modes are:

1. Normal – In normal operating mode it operates like a non-hacked Uno Attack.  When the button is pressed there is a 1 in 3 random chance of cards getting shot out.  The number of cards being shot out varies randomly between approximately 1 and 6.  The hacked Uno Attack is in this mode when the phone is laying on a flat surface, screen up.

2. Don’t Attack – In this mode the hacked Uno Attack will never shoot out any cards.  This is the mode that I will typically have it in on my turn, so I don’t get any more cards added to my hand.  The hacked Uno Attack is in this mode when the phone is on its left side.

3. Timed Attack – In this mode the hacked Uno Attack is preloaded with an amount of time ( in milliseconds) that cards should shoot out for on the next button press.  The amount of time is loaded into the hacked Uno Attack by standing the phone on end, then laying it flat again.  The amount of time the phone was standing straight up will be the amount of time loaded into the hacked Uno Attack.

4. Attack Now! – In the mode, the hacked Uno Attack will start shooting cards without its button ever being pressed.  This would be used near the end of a game, when you are ready to give away your secret, but want to really confuse the other players first.  The hacked Uno Attack is in this mode when the phone is standing oriented upside down.  Normal operating mode is returned once the phone is put flat again.

The original circuit board of the Uno Attack was completely replaced with a new custom made one using a PIC 16F88 and a RN-42 Bluetooth Module.  If there is enough interest in this, I will post more information on the construction of this including source, schematics, etc.

Tilt Board v3 – Video

Here is a quick video of the Tilt Board v3 in action. The games played are Burnout Revenge and Marble Blast Ultra. I apologize for when the controller gets in the way of the camera, these videos are always hard to shoot. The only part of the controller physically used in this demo is the right trigger in Burnout Revenge and the right analog stick in Marble Blast Ultra. All other control is done using the Tilt Board v3.

I have more documentation, source code, etc. still coming.

Xbox 360 Wireless Tilt Controller Mod

UPDATE – I am now selling the wireless controller on eBay.

I recently finished the Xbox 360 wireless tilt controller mod. This is the same as my Xbox 360 tilt controller, only it is done to the wireless version of the controller as opposed to the wired. I did the mod using a 3V tiltBoard (now available for pre-order). With this controller I added a switch that allows you to switch between using the tilt of the controller and the left analog stick for input. I demonstrate using the switch in the video when playing Full Auto (car racing game). I am using the analog stick at the beginning until I switch to the tiltBoard slightly into the race.

For those interested in getting a tiltBoard and doing this themselves, I will be making a video how-to of the entire process. Look for that in the near future.

For those worried about lag, this is the same code and processor as used in the wired one. It should have the exact same response it does. Check out its lag here.