A Voice-Activated Weather Station with LEGO and Low-Code

Use LEGO bricks and Hackeet Low-Code platform to build a voice-activated weather station that respects your privacy.

The Project

In this project, we are going to show you how to build a funny and personalized weather station that reacts to voice and respects your privacy without being an engineer.

This station will take the form of an animated carousel built from LEGO bricks on which will be attached LEGO characters, each indicating a state of the weather (rainy, sunny, cloudy, alert). This station will be able to react to commands such as “Hey Snips, what’s the weather like in Paris ” by rotating the carousel to display the right character just as shown below.

In order to achieve this, we are going to use stepper motors for rotating the carousel, Snips.ai for performing voice recognition, the OpenWeatherMap web service for getting forecast and Hackeet Low-Code platform to develop the the application that makes the glue between all these components. At the heart of the weather station will be a Raspberry Pi on which all applications will be installed and that will be in charge of all the magic.

About Hackeet

Hackeet is a low-code visual programming tool that allows you to connect hardware or software components together to create Web Applications and Micro-services for Microsoft Windows, Raspberry Pi and Arduino / ESP8266 devices..

Designed for makers, small businesses, developers and anyone that is interested in technology, Hackeet allows you to create your own apps easily and at an incredible speed by connecting boxes instead of writing tons of code.

As we value privacy, Hackeet is not another “platform as a service” offering and does not use any hidden cloud architecture. Applications built with Hackeet run directly on your own hardware as regular private application.

Check out our website to get more details!

Let’s do some LEGO!

Let’s start building the project!

First of all, we have to build our station from LEGO bricks! Of course, the point here is not to teach you how to do LEGO (we guess that you all do know :-)). Nevertheless, if you want to save some time, we provide you with the diagrams of the design we have used for this project.

Basically, the general idea of this design is to divide the weather station in two parts:

  • a first part that will be used as a pedestal and that will host all the electronic cards (Raspberry Pi and ULN2003 driver board),
  • a second one that will be the decoration that will host the carousel, the stepper motor and the status LED

Such design should allow you to easily change the decoration of your weather station without having to rebuild everything from scratch.

You can obviously use any design you want and any LEGO pack you have, not only the one we have put in the project’s description (especially for the decoration) !! Just make sure to have enough room for the boards and the wiring.

Sketchup files for pedestal are available for download here!

Place the LEGO characters for each forecast value on your carousel in the following order:

Hardware assembly

Let’s now consider wiring together all the hardware components.

In order to manage communication between the 28BYJ-48 stepper motor and the Raspberry Pi, we use a ULN2003 driver board that will be connected to the GPIO ports of the RPI as described below :

We use a LED as a status indicator that will light when the weather station is ready to listen to the commands (after you say Hey, snips).

Below is the detail of the whole wiring.

Source: A Voice-Activated Weather Station with LEGO and Low-Code

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