Parents are often troubled by the “tweens” age of kids—that crazy time when kids want to spend time with their friends without parents hovering. Luckily some parents take it better than others, and in the case of Ben Strahan, some even DIY their own magical Unicorn Finders aka Kid Trackers. I discovered this project on Hackster.io and I have to say it is one of the cutest and most practical I’ve seen yet. Imagine keeping track of your kids through a glowing unicorn horn!
Ben explains how the idea started when his daughters decided they wanted to be unicorns for Halloween.
A few weeks before the holiday my oldest daughter jumped online to Google “rainbow unicorn horn”. She found a killer tutorial from Adafruit outlining everything you needed to get a rainbow unicorn horn (check it out). I wanted to expand the project by adding GPS tracking sent to the cloud through Hologram’s cellular network for IoT.
The project ended up being a mashup with Ben’s Team Hologram using the Neopixel Sticks and horn print from our learning guide, but adding an Arduino Uno, a GSM Shield, an Adafruit GPS Breakout and a Hologram SIM Card. There were some challenges to overcome with the library for the breakout board and the RAM on the Uno, but in the end it all came together. Team Hologram gives all the details for the project including the code, libraries and Losant dashboard info. Of course the real win is that Ben’s daughters were able to enjoy the holiday through their own costume design with a guardian angel presence nearby.
If you want to make your own version of this rainbow glam GPS locator, first read our Unicorn Horn learning guide. You’ll find the 3D print files along with the wiring diagram. You’ll learn how to diffuse the Neopixels in the horn and how to get the unit onto a headband complete with colorful code. Then, check out Ben’s tutorial so you understand how his team builds on the project and transitions to Arduino Uno. This project is more on the intermediate level, so if you have Arduino experience and understand web hooks, you should be good to go. Don’t forget that if your kids don’t want to be unicorns they can always consider other wearable options. Have fun exploring safety together in a creative way.
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