I'm sure a few of our readers have wondered what it's like to make something happen with the wave of a wand. Now they can know exactly what it's like with this Raspberry Pi-powered Harry Potter infrared wand project created by a maker known as Coleminer31. His original plan was to develop a treasure box for his sister who works as a first-grade teacher. By waving the wand, the treasure box would open for the students, just like magic.
The operation relies on a Harry Potter universal remote control wand created by The Noble Collection. This wand can interact with the Raspberry Pi, making it an ideal tool to pull this project off.
Coleminer31 is using a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ but a Raspberry Pi 4 should work just as well. In order to receive input from the Harry Potter wand, the Raspberry Pi needs an infrared receiver. For this project, Coleminer31 chose to use a Flirc brand USB infrared receiver.
The Pi is programmed to check the infrared receiver for input. The detection is bound to a keystroke to help trigger scripts. If the Pi determines the wand is waving, the keystroke is registered and your custom function is triggered. You can read more about how the keystroke mechanism works on Github.
This is a really simple project that can be expanded into something much more complicated. When you think of the components you can control and integrate from LEDs to servo motors, the possibilities are seemingly limitless. If you have a magical project in mind, check out the complete instructions on Instructables.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.