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BeagleBone project spotlight:
Dirty Dish Detector

By Tara Stratton

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. My family usually runs a turkey trot together, makes and eats great food, and spends the evening playing board games. The one down side of Thanksgiving is all of those dirty dishes! Sometimes I think it takes more time to clean up than we even spend eating turkey dinner. The result? The family falls asleep on the floor (thanks tryptophan!) before all of the dishes are cleaned up, leaving a mess in the kitchen sink.

Lucky for us all, London Hackspace member Tom created the Dirty Dish Detector to help keep the hackspace sink clean. The system alerts users when a dish has been left in the sink for too long, ensuring youíll get all of those dishes cleaned up before napping ensues. The Dirty Dish Detector uses a webcam above the sink, hooked to a BeagleBone open-source computer, based on TIís Sitara AM335x processor. The computer runs the HoughCircles function in OpenCV to detect circle-shaped items like plates, classes and bowls. BeagleBone then sends a signal to an Arduino, which deploys different alerts (based on how long the sink has been full) to remind people to clean up their dishes.

Tom has a few upgrades planned that may help us catch more criminals by next yearís Thanksgiving! Right now, cutlery can escape the gaze of OpenCV since it isnít circular. Next yearís offenders will be caught red-handed for cutlery misdeeds. Tom plans to add a camera to catch mugshots of these dish delinquents as well.

Want to make your own Dirty Dish Detector? Visit Tom's GitHub site to find the code!

Last updated by on Tue Nov 26 2013 14:06:09 GMT-0000 (UTC).