ActiviTea - physical data-scraping in action
From today (a cold and rainy one, ripe for tea drinking), we have a fully-working prototype counting the number of hot drinks made in the first floor kitchen.
The prototype consists of 3 objects:
1. A 'tea counter' object housing an ultrasonic sensor.
2. A receiving/transmitting object, housing an Arduino and a digital transmitter module.
3. An optional solar power object (housing four solar cells), which produces enough power to support the project.
The ultrasonic sensor senses the presence of a cup, which is then logged by the Arduino and submitted to Cosm website (www.cosm.com). Cosm plots the data on a graph that shows when and how many hot drinks have been consumed each day. [Dataset can be found here.]
We are continuing to develop this project, extending sensors to other parts of the building, and we're planning to incorporate physical-data-scraping technology in future projects. We've built the prototype so that it's easy to swap in different kinds of sensors. For instance, people flow in the building could be tracked by attaching motion sensors to the doors in the building.
Follow the #activitea tag for future updates on this project. We'll also blog results and trends right here on Imagination Labs, in due course.