DIY tech projects are easier than you might think. Here are five projects that will literally make your life easier.
There are hundreds of tech DIY projects that make your life easier. When done right, these projects can benefit you and everyone else in your household.
From a durable smartphone charger that uses fire to an IoT-based coffee maker, here are five awesome tech DIY project ideas to try out in your spare time.
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1. Add Wi-Fi to your mirrorless camera
Manually transferring pictures and videos from your DSLR to your PC and then back to your smartphone is a task every DSLR owner dreads. Buying a Wi-Fi enabled DSLR, on the other hand, is not always an option as they are quite expensive. Fortunately, there are two easy ways to add Wi-Fi to your mirrorless DSLR.
The first is done via a Wi-Fi compatible SD card. Then you will download an application for Android or iOS, enter the activation code on the card and leave the application open. After that, every image or footage you capture is automatically transferred to your smartphone or PC.
If your mirrorless DSLR is not SD card compatible, use manufacturer-specific or third-party adapters to add Wi-Fi to your mirrorless DSLR. For manufacturer-specific adapters, check the company’s website for instructions, as they vary.
For a third-party adapter, connect it to your camera’s USB hub, turn it on and network between it and your device through the wireless network settings, and now you can use it to control the DSLR wireless.
2.Durable DIY smartphone charger
Whether you’re always hiking or running out of power due to a storm, this durable DIY smartphone charger will make your life easier. It captures the energy of a real fire! For this you will need a thermoelectric module (it harnesses the energy of fire), an empty coffee can, a foldable rod, a smartphone charger and a thick wire.
Using a utility knife, cut a four-inch square hole on the box and drill two holes, about three inches apart on one side of the box and two more on the opposite side. Next, bend the rod into a U shape and thread it through the holes you just drilled, then drill six more holes at the bottom of the box for ventilation.
Next, cut off your charger’s USB connector and solder the exposed negative and positive wires to the thermoelectric module. Secure the hot side of the module to the coffee can with the wire and light a fire with kindling.
Plug in your phone and wait for the module to build up enough heat to charge your phone. You can even have a snack on the fire while you wait. Without question, this is a tech DIY project that makes your life easier, especially if you are still off the grid.
The best ? It is sustainable.
3. DIY robot vacuum cleaner
Robot vacuums like Roomba are incredibly efficient but come at some pretty steep prices. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave a hole in your budget to buy one because you can always DIY it. You will need an acrylic base to mount the smartphone controlled robot and ultrasonic sensors for obstacle detection.
Get a Arduino Nano to serve as a vacuum cleaner controller, a bluetooth module to remotely control the robot with your smartphone, a large LiPo battery for power and a HEPA air filter to expel air and dirt. The body is 3D printable, so you can make any design you want.
4. A home-made projector
Love to watch your favorite movies on the big screen, but can’t afford to buy multiple TV screens for every room in your home? Then this homemade projector is a technological DIY project that makes your life easier. What’s more exciting is that you’ll be using some easy-to-find items that are likely even in your home.
You will only need a cardboard shoebox, electrical tape / hot glue gun, magnifying glass and your smartphone. Start by cutting a hole large enough to accommodate your magnifying glass at one end of the shoebox and attach the magnifying glass to the hole using electrical tape or a hot glue gun. Make sure you secure it, then using your paperclip, create a small holder for your smartphone. You can also use a firm board to make a stand for your phone.
Place your smartphone upside down or rotate the screen in device settings so that the image is straight as it passes through the magnifying glass. Then put on your favorite movie, close the shoebox, get some popcorn and enjoy.
5. A coffee machine controlled by IoT
Imagine waking up to a cup of ready-to-use, perfectly brewed coffee every morning? It might seem impossible, but this IoT-controlled DIY coffee machine project is making it a reality. Compared to other tech DIY projects that make your life easier on our list, the project is slightly complex, but it’s something you can do.
Here is a list of what you will need:
- An IoT controller card like the Atmega 328P
- WIFI chip ESP8266
- Relay circuits
- Connection cables
- MQTT protocol
- NTP server – synchronizes the device’s system clock with the coordinated universal time
- Windows / Linux / macOS operating system
- Python 2.7
When finished, a Linux-based machine runs the Python script, comparing the actual time with the desired brewing time. The scheduled time is written into the script, and once the actual and desired times are synchronized, an “ON” command is sent to your coffee machine, prompting the relay to turn it on and brew the coffee.
The machine will then turn off after a specified period. Note that in addition to the Python script, the IoT board also does a lot of work. It controls the relay and communicates with the script via the MQTT protocol. The card is connected to the Internet via the Wi-Fi module.
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Have fun building your DIY device
There is a lot of fun to be had with the five tech DIY projects that make life easier above. You can try them out on your own, with a friend, or even with your kids. Plus, you can customize each project to suit your situation or take inspiration from it to create something even better.