Saturday, December 17, 2011

Autonomous, Rebelling, and Twittering Cheeriobot

Cheeriobot normally quietly follows CHEERLIGHTS and happily changes its colors. But, Cheeriobot can tweet, and thereby lead the worldwide cheerlights. Cheeriobot can also become rebellious.

Finally, the software worked and I got Cheeriobot to tweet to @cheerlights to change its own color, as well as the colors of others worldwide!

With the Cheerlights project, anyone can tweet a color request to @cheerlights and all cheerlights worldwide change their color to that same color. Anyone? Yes! Even an Arduino with an ethernet shield that is programmed to tweet when it "runs out of patience".

Many people have hooked up their own holiday lights to this twitter feed, and change their colors in sync with the rest of the world. This works through microcontrollers that can read websites through ethernet.

I called my version of the cheerlights controller the "Cheeriobot" and gave it a few extra capabilities:

- It runs out of patience if the same color came on for too long
- It then tweets a new color request to @cheerlights
- My Cheeriobot can be in "Rebel" or "Follower" mode

In Follower mode, all is good, and Cheeriobot cheerily follows the worldwide color like a good citizen would. In Rebel mode, Cheeriobot will deliberately be out of sync with everyone else. If they say green, Cheeriobot goes red!

See video below for a quick demo of the functionality. You will also see that I'm not good at explaining stuff. I'm also not a video producer or sales and marketing guy. But I think you get the point.

If you want to make your own tweeting and rebelling cheerlight following robot, email me or stay tuned. I will post the code in support of open source as soon as I get to it.

Happy Holidays!

PS: Contact Cheeriobot through twitter. Tweet to @cheeriobot.


  1. What is the bottom controller? It isn't a 2nd arduino, is it?

  2. The bottom one is the actual Arduino Uno board, with the gray USB cable sticking out. The one on top with the yellow ethernet cable is an Arduino Ethernet Shield. It is an add-on to the Arduino Uno ($45) that let's the user/Arduino send to and receive data from the web.

  3. hello Axel...could you please share code? I don´t know how to connect to twitter and detect incoming post...