DIY Raspberry Pi Based RFID GRO Clock

RFID GRO CLOCK : A bliss to all the parents for a better sleep based on Raspberry Pi 

If you are a parent then you must know the struggle while sleeping as you have to give your child constant 24x7 care. Most of the parents are having problems while sleeping that is creating sleep deprivation amongst people. It becomes hard for parents to maintain their daily life routine with a less-sleep schedule. David Gardner, an IT technician, also got the sleep deprivation that gave him the idea to build a device to solve this problem. David Gardner came with a practical approach to teach his kid about the sleep timing that made him solve the problem with RFID GRO CLOCK. We understand that parents also get some hard-time while giving a good life to their kids but they also need some good sleep for themselves also. Let’s dive into the project to learn more about  “RFID GRO CLOCK”!!!!

RFID GRO Clock Creator

David Gardner created the device RFID GRO CLOCK to make his life simpler. The MagPi Magazine is a renowned and respected magazine amongst tech-geeks, hobbyists and students. The practical approach to make kids sleep better took David Gardner in the columns of MagPi magazine that created a lot of buzz in the life of parents. Apart from being a creator of RFID GRO CLOCK, David is an enterprise IT Technician that first introduced him to the electronics industry. He  is into repairing things like household appliances that also made him learn about electronics. He recently fixed a 1970s food mixer, a kindle and his son's audio system (fortunately he is not stopping here and wants to add some more features into the system to make it better). DIY Raspberry Pi Based RFID GRO Clock

Let’s Sleep on Command!

Gardner’s practical approach of developing a product that would tell the kids in a simple way to sleep more and efficiently on command. This device uses a traffic light system to let the kids know about the right time to wake up. Isn’t it great? The project took hard work, dedication and creativity of Gardner in which he spent 6 months but finally it is ready for functioning. DIY Raspberry Pi Based RFID GRO Clock

Goal of the project

In the interview with the Magpi Magazine, Gardner talked about the goal of the project. The main goal of the project is “to get my son to be more independent in going to bed and then also to stay in bed longer in the morning. From a purely selfish point of view, that would give me a bit more time in bed.” It is one of the best things that enticed his kid which also made him sleep on time. He provided a device to his kid that would entertain him and in his words “a method to show somebody who cannot tell the time when it is OK to get up.”

Gardner used to play MP3 stories for his kid. That is a good method to make his child sleep. He connected the RFID system with the music player as a control mechanism. “I don’t like my children having lots of interactions with screens, so this is a great, physical way for kids to be able to control things.”

Development of the product

It’s very intriguing to dissect the product to understand the anatomy of the product in a detailed manner. David understood the power of Raspberry Pi Zero W and its application which made him develop the product around it. If we look at the features of Raspberry Pi Zero W then GPIO programmability, memory, and microSD card support, as well as its compact size and low cost makes it the perfect fit for the product. He understood Python programming in a better manner while programming for the project and also decided to use a VLC player for the product. He said “as this has a pretty well documented API and Python library, plus support for playing audio CDs.”DIY Raspberry Pi Based RFID GRO Clock

Working of RFID GRO CLOCK 

He used programming to identify the tracks that are playing in the MP3 player. He also programmed a ‘setcd’ command to look out for the number of tracks on a CD when it was inserted and from that he used the data to program the python to understand when the next or previous soundtrack was being played.

Advice from the creator

There is always something in the advice of the person who achieved or created something in his/her life. Gardner one of the most important pieces of advice for all the creators out there is “ do all your research before building anything”. For example he did not have a 3-D printer for his project and then he created a design in FREECAD from the learning of YouTube and internet and succeeded also. 

Raspberry Pi has been great for the project; it allowed me to have the flexibility of a computer and all the software packages that are available, whilst also giving me the ability to interface with a wide variety of electronics components,” he reveals.

Because he was using existing components as far as possible, not everything came together immediately. The RFID element caused a few issues with power consumption due to the Python package chosen, and because it and the OLED connect via SPI. Nonetheless, David recommends RFID cards as a method of control. ”It’s a great way to allow little people to interface with devices,” he says. “Maybe when [my son] gets a bit older and more into music, I may look to have some RFID cards play Spotify songs.” 

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