4URSatisfaction’s Pigity Fan


Our aim was to design a fan that would follow a person around a room. We debated as to whether we’d use infrared motion detectors but then realised that would entail too many detectors and that the user would have to “trip” a line before activating the fan. We finally decided on using a webcam mounted on a stepper motor that would swivel around to look at the person moving around a room. We consulted with Wilhansen Li who had done a previous project the year before, and he recommended we use OpenCV. Open Computer Vision was an open source project that gave C++ programmers a library of methods which manipulated incoming images in real-time. After further consultation with our professor, we had a better idea of how to create the circuit diagram and what DLL file to use to interact with the LPT1 Printer Port, and to use an opto isolator to reduce shock. As time went on, we even thought about ditching the fan altogether since it was too heavy…before we realised we could just use a smaller fan. Our final project was limited in a few ways. For example, the webcam only moved sideways on a straight line. We settled for an arm mounting that used a belt to move a platform left and right, and that platform we mounted the webcam. Also the device was only equipped to carry a small fan. Its view was limited to the bar it was mounted upon.