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


As 2022 starts, let’s take some time to share our goals for CircuitPython in 2022. Just like past years (full summary 2019, 2020, and 2021), we’d like everyone in the CircuitPython community to contribute by posting their thoughts to some public place on the Internet. Here are a few ways to post: a video on YouTub, a post on the CircuitPython forum, a blog post on your site, a series of Tweets, a Gist on GitHub. We want to hear from you. When you post, please add #CircuitPython2022 and email to let us know about your post so we can blog it up here.

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, 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.

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