Automatic solder fume extractor, via @HackadayIO #ItsyBitsy #CircuitPython user yesnoio has designed and built a deluxe fume extractor for soldering at the bench.

The Workbench Assistant is a fully configurable bot who can react to specific thermal events. By default, it comes configured to turn on the lights when a hand is detected & filter fumes up to two feet away when a soldering iron is in view. The bot will turn things back off after a little while.

You can easily define performers (e.g. ‘r2’, ‘bender’) who audibly react to various predefined events. These performers can be part of themes (e.g. ‘star-wars’, ‘futurama’), which are equally easy to define. Performers & themes may have ambient background loops and/or introduce themselves when the bot boots. You may also define various modes which apply settings like min/max SFX volume, fan speed, lighting levels, lighting color temperature, etc.

The prototype was designed, refined & scratch-built in about two months. Production versions may include wireless functionality, USB-C PD, a built-in power pack, and a yoke for overhead mounts.

The unit uses a Panasonic AMG8833 thermal camera for monitoring and a Adafruit Itsy Bitsy M4 Express microcontroller featuring the beefy Microchip SAMD51 M4 chip. It uses various sound effects to let the user know what it is doing. It also has various selectable lighting modes using NeoPixels. Everything is programmed in CircuitPython for easy customization. The Cadillac of fume extractors!

A video on the unit us above.

See the project page on


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