ESP32 E‑Paper Status Display

ESP32 E‑Paper Status Display

Using an ESP-32 board with an embed­ded E‑Paper dis­play, I cre­at­ed a gad­get that shows sta­tus infor­ma­tion from my web serv­er.

E‑Paper, also known as E‑Ink, only needs pow­er when being updat­ed, and uses no pow­er between updates. This means that the gad­get can be pow­ered for weeks from a recharge­able bat­tery.

The pur­pose of this gad­get is to put on my wall or desk, and show reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed impor­tant infor­ma­tion on my web serv­er, to keep informed of web site prob­lems and sta­tis­tics. The infor­ma­tion dis­played can be eas­i­ly changed, for exam­ple to the lat­est weath­er, news, cur­ren­cy prices or any­thing that can be accessed via the inter­net. E‑Paper means it uses a very small amount of pow­er and heat, com­pared to a com­put­er dis­play or tele­vi­sion.

You can view my code on GitHub if you are inter­est­ed in mak­ing your own.

ESP32 E-Paper Display
ESP32 E-Paper Display
ESP32 E-Paper Display
A HTML/JavaScript web interface and a Node/Express server, to control the robot drawing machine over the Internet.

A HTML/JavaScript web interface and a Node/Express server, to control the robot drawing machine over the Internet.

Using Node­JS and Express, I cre­at­ed a web inter­face to remote­ly con­trol the pen draw­ing robot ‘Line-Us.’ Avail­able from Cool Com­po­nents.

Line-Us robot
Line-Us robot

You can watch a video of it func­tion­ing here:

And my pro­jec­t’s source code is avail­able on GitHub:
 
 
The robot is avail­able to pur­chase here:
 
Vacation with Autographer

Vacation with Autographer

I was lucky enough to take an Auto­g­ra­ph­er device on vaca­tion to the Unit­ed States this year.

This piece of wear­able tech­nol­o­gy is designed to be an ‘auto­mat­ic pho­tog­ra­ph­er,’ doc­u­ment­ing your life with­out inter­rupt­ing it.Autographer digital camera

Auto­g­ra­ph­er is a small wear­able cam­era, that uses five sen­sors to deter­mine opti­mal moments to take pho­tographs. The sen­sors include a three axis accelerom­e­ter, com­pass, light sen­sor, heat sen­sor and GPS.

A few years ago I con­struct­ed a device using a keyring dig­i­tal cam­era and an Atmel AtTiny chip (essen­tial­ly a tiny, low pow­er Arudi­no). The idea was to take a pho­to­graph at set inter­vals, in order to doc­u­ment a day’s activ­i­ties. Pow­er and stor­age require­ments at the time meant it was­n’t fea­si­ble.

I found my Auto­g­ra­ph­er cam­era last­ed most of a day with a full charge. The 8GB stor­age last­ed approx­i­mate­ly three weeks.

It was a great talk­ing point when meet­ing new peo­ple. And it is great to have mem­o­ries doc­u­ment­ed. I have found it ‘reminds you to remem­ber moments’ when look­ing through images. I believe back in the days of Sense­Cam, a tar­get for the tech­nol­o­gy were patients with mem­o­ry loss.

The soft­ware sup­plied can cre­ate short time­lapse videos, and com­bine it with music. I made a quick video of a day at the beach, and won Auto­g­ra­pher’s pic­ture of the week, and received a t‑shirt.

Here is the video:

The low­er cir­cu­lar part of the cam­era is a lens cap. When closed, it shows a bright yel­low area. I found myself clos­ing the lens cap dur­ing moments requir­ing pri­va­cy. This removed any doubt that per­haps the device was still oper­at­ing:

I would high­ly rec­om­mend this cam­era for any­one who would like a record of their dai­ly activ­i­ties, per­haps on a spe­cial vaca­tion. I have want­ed to be able to record in this fash­ion for years, and this device func­tioned admirably.

You can find out more about this device at the Auto­g­ra­ph­er web site