After seeing a real-life bicycle traffic signal in Fort Collins Colorado, Glen Akins reasonably decided that he needed one. The only problem is that real traffic signals cost over $1,000 per face, with 12” globes, making them way too expensive, and generally unsuitable for home use. Undeterred, he set to work building his own miniature three-face version, and after a few short months, he has a beautiful WiFi-enabled bike traffic light powered by a SAM D21 microcontroller.
His first post on this creation goes over the mechanical build in some detail, and even links to his GitHub page with design files. While the miniature signal is 3D-printed and laser cut, he doesn’t actually either of these tools, and instead had these parts fabricated by Sculpteo. Results are truly excellent, and this kind of distributed manufacturing makes the project quite accessible — even for those that don’t have a printer. The bike-shaped mask, however, was cut out locally on Akins’ own vinyl sticker cutter, with a design procured from the verbosely named: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) Interim Approval for Optional Use of a Bicycle Signal Face (IA-16).
Future posts about the project will discuss how to control the signal via WiFi using a board like the Particle Photon or Adafruit Feather M0. With this wireless data capability, one could set it up to indicate weather or trail conditions at a favorite riding location, or perhaps even other data of your choosing!