This Infrared Heater Is Always Aimed at You Thanks to Computer Vision




Infrared heaters are a great way to warm up in the winter time, but there is one issue: they’re directional. In order to be effective, the heater has to actually be aimed at you. That’s fine if you’re sitting down at a desk all day, but turns into a problem if you’re walking around in your shop. Matthias Wandel decided to solve that problem by using computer vision running on a Raspberry Pi to make sure his infrared heater is always aimed at him.

Wandel is a woodworker, and often spends a significant amount of time his workshop. As any woodworker knows, that means moving about from one tool to the next throughout the day. His infrared heater produces enough heat to keep him warm, but only when it’s actually pointed at him. The obvious solution was to make sure it is always pointing in his direction, which is exactly what he was able to do by mounting the infrared heater on a motorized lazy Susan and controlling the rotation with a Raspberry Pi and computer vision.

A stepper motor spins the lazy Susan, and is driven by the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins through a stepper motor driver. The Raspberry Pi is mounted near the heater, and a Raspberry Pi Camera Module points at Wandel’s workspace. The Raspberry Pi runs Wandel’s own imgcomp program, which is computer vision software that detects motion. Wherever is sees motion, it turns the heater to point at it. That means it will technically aim at any motion, but since Wandel is the only thing moving in his workshop, it will stay aimed at him.


This Infrared Heater Is Always Aimed at You Thanks to Computer Vision was originally published in Hackster Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original article: This Infrared Heater Is Always Aimed at You Thanks to Computer Vision
Author: Cameron Coward