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Lab Log 2017-01-05: Squirrels are back!


As you may have seen on Twitter, I have recently wired up a Squirrel Feeder with some sensors using a 1st generation Raspberry Pi laying around and a ESP8266 micro controller to log environmental weather data.

I thought it would be great to give you some insight of the idea behind this project. Therefore I've published the page, you are currently looking at: "Internet of Things: The Squirrel Cafe".

 

Maybe this project inspires you to do something similar. If you have any questions or would like to give some feedback don't hesitate to contact me at TheSquirrelCafe(at)it-trend.de.

Two years ago I came up with the idea to analyze the eating habits of squirrels in order to use the data as a biological indicator for upcoming winter weather conditions.

 

I've proposed a "Nuts Theory": 

 

The amount of nuts taken by eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) from a feeder correlates with upcoming winter weather conditions significantly.

 

But how do I verify my hypothesis?

 

A basic prerequisite for verification is the availability of "nut consumption by squirrels" data. Unfortunately, despite some generic data, I haven't found any valuable data source on the internet as of today. Thus, I have to gather the necessary data on my own and the "IoT Squirrel Feeder" project came into existence. 


Hardware

Nuts and bolts

+ Software

Zen of Python

= The Squirrel Cafe


You'll find more information about The Squirrel Cafe on the Gourmet Mecca pages. If you are interested in the Raspberry Pi Micro Computer and the sensors I have used, have a look at Nuts'n Bolts. Python is used to glue the bits and bytes together. The latest source code can be found here: Zen of Python

Go to my ThingSpeak page to have a look how many nuts have been eaten and to see the speed of nut consumption measured in nuts per minute [npm].

If you interested in this project, please feel free to follow my Twitter account @TheSquirrelCafe to receive project updates.