These Hacked Birdhouses Save Forests From Fire #CitizenScience
We are lucky that many of the forests we have left in our country are protected parks complete with rangers, communication systems and fire towers. An alarm can summon help quickly, although the challenge then becomes having enough firefighters to douse the fire. Spain has suffered from a large number of fires and lacks the manpower and infrastructure for an alarm system in remote areas. However, one insurance company is changing that, according to Geeky Gadgets. Check out this Arduino birdhouse, which just might be the cutest fire detection system ever for trees. Generali Insurance partnered with marketing company Ogilvy & Mather to create this solution that hopes to reduce the destruction of wildlife and homes by forest fires.
You can see the sloped roof of the house lends itself nicely to a solar panel, which is able to charge a battery for the unit. Mounted at the bottom of the birdhouse is an Arduino, a 3G SIM card and a smoke sensor. So, when smoke is detected, a signal with GPS location is sent to a nearby fire company for help. One of the interesting things about this project is the use of solar panels in dense forests. Usually shade becomes an issue, especially during warmer months. However, the trees shown in the video seem to be skinny pines, allowing for more adequate sunlight conditions. My one question as a birder is whether these birdhouses will eventually attract nesting birds. This could end up being a protector and creator of homes. To learn more about this smart solution, check out the company’s site. Also, since solar panels are such an integral part of supplying power to outdoor sensor solutions, you might also want to look at our USB, DC and Solar LiPoly Charger Guide. Learn how to include solar in the mix for your science projects.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.