Planning out your list of fun, practical, and informative projects to try this year but running short of ideas? Here are eight tech DIY projects you’ve never thought of that you should try.
1. IoT-Based Pet Feeder
If your pet tends to gobble food meant to last it an entire day even before you leave the house, an automatic pet feeder would make an excellent investment. But automatic pet feeders can be very expensive, which is why you should try DIYing your own. It’s not just cost-effective, it’ll automatically dispense food at the set time, allowing you to keep your pet well-fed regardless of where you might be.
You will need a NodeMCU ESP8266 for the controller, a servo motor to operate the opening and closing mechanism, a 16×2 LCD for time display, and an LCD I2C module. Check out the video above to see how it works.
2. Automatic Arduino-Based Plant Watering System
Love plants but struggle to keep them alive because you always forget to water them? Make an automatic watering system and take the hard work out of the task. You’ll also see your plants live longer.
Get an Arduino Pro Mini, water pump, moisture sensor, MOSFET, cable, and DC socket, then put it together as illustrated in the step-by-step video above. Once complete, this Arduino-based watering system detects soil moisture levels and, if they’re low, automatically activates the pump to water the plant. You don’t even have to lift a finger for the task.
3. DIY RGB Lighting for a Gaming Setup
Gone are the days when gaming setups were poorly lit and messy, because nowadays having a visually pleasing setup is an all-time flex. Want to create one but on a budget? This DIY RGB lighting is one tech project you should try this year. It is fairly straightforward, and the resulting effect will definitely blow your mind.
Get some acoustic absorption panels (wide range of designs available on Amazon), cut out shapes from wood (hexagon or any shape you fancy), plexiglass, foam core board, stand-off mounts, NodeMCU development board, removable double-sided adhesive, acrylic jigsaw blade, LED strips, and a low-voltage LED cable. Then check out the YouTube video above for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make it.
4. Convert Old Phone into a DIY Dash Camera
Got a bunch of old phones collecting dust in your tech clutter box? Turn one into a dash camera, and save some bucks on a new one. Like most of the tech DIY projects you’ve never thought of on this list, it’s also easy to make.
Besides the old smartphone, you’ll also need a dash smartphone mount, a wide-angled smartphone camera lens and, most importantly, a compatible dashcam app. Although you can always use your old phone’s built-in camera, a dashcam app records more intelligently, meaning you won’t end up with hours of footage.
Get a long charging cable and connect it to your car’s power outlet, set it up as described, and record away. Check out the video above to see how it works.
5. Build DIY Star Ceiling
Tired of staring at a boring, blank ceiling every night? Try out this tech project and turn your ceiling into an awesome, star-filled space that’ll make slipping into slumber land easier.
You will need three 40mm x 12mm acoustic panels, 80 hollow wall anchors, fiber optic LED light strands, neodymium magnets, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth controlled strip lights, glue, cordless drill, LED light engines, and tools mentioned in the step-by-step video guide above to make yours.
Note: besides your bedroom’s ceiling, this DIY star ceiling is also a cool addition to gaming and cinema rooms.
6. Build Google+ Alexa Smart Speaker
An Alexa speaker is one of the best purchases you’ll ever make. But the high-end ones can cost upwards of $250, which is why you should consider taking the DIY path. It’ll cost you no more than $50 depending on the materials you use, and it can even support Google Assistant.
For this project, you will need wooden planks for the speaker cabinet, two speakers, Raspberry Pi Zero W, special PCB to get audio from the Pi Zero’s micro-USB port, power bank, microphone, and a soldering tool. Once the circuit is complete, use Raspberry Pi OS to install Alexa and Google Assistant and then assemble it all in the wooden speaker cabinet you created, as illustrated in the detailed YouTube tutorial above.
7. Transform Your Smartphone into a DSLR Monitor
Want to improve the quality of your photography? Get an external monitor. Because it’s bigger than the standard DSLR camera screen, it’ll help you easily determine if your subject is in focus for clearer and epic outcomes. But as with most tech items, external monitors sometimes cost an arm and a leg.
However, worry not as that old smartphone you ditched months ago makes a perfectly functional DSLR monitor. Get a hot shoe mount, OTG adapter, USB data cable, and a phone bracket, then put it all together as shown in the video above.
8. Quick DIY Cardboard iPad Stand
If you enjoy watching movies on your iPad as you cook, do the dishes, or any other task, an iPad stand is a necessity. It’ll hold your iPad so you can watch hands-free for easier multitasking.
The best part? It is one of the easiest projects you’ve never thought of that you’ll try in 2022, and you can make it from nearly anything, including Lego, wood, cardboard, or even wine corks. For this DIY project specifically, you will only need a cardboard piece and a sharp pocket knife to cut it, as shown in the video above.
DIY Your Way into a Smart Life this 2022
Whether you plan on spending more time indoors, or are simply looking for ways to keep your young ones occupied, the above projects are a sure way to make your life easier in 2022. They are also practical and surprisingly affordable, compared to buying the equivalent commercial products. For instance, making your own Alexa smart speaker will save you significant costs.
So, this year, get your tools out and try out the projects you’ve never thought of doing.
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