Tag Archives: Internet of Trees

Internet of Trees: Making smart birdhouses with Arduino


If we can have smart homes, why can’t birds? 


In collaboration with a pair of fellow students, Maker Valentina Chinnici recently devised a project entitled “Internet of Trees” during a recent workshop led by Arduino’s Massimo Banzi in Boisbuchet, France.

The connected birdhouse features a pair of Arduino Yùn (ATmega32U4), an Adafruit NeoPixel strip, a makeshift infrared weight sensor, two nests, and of course, some remote Wi-Fi.

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According to Chinnici, the idea was to redesign a traditional object — such as an outdoor wooden birdhouse — and connect it to an indoor nest-shaped lamp. In the event that a bird entered the house, it would communicate to the ATmega32U4 embedded lamp via Wi-Fi. Moments later, the bird’s presence would be denoted by an illuminated light (red, yellow or green) based on its size and weight.

While she had worked with Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and Leonardo (ATmega32u4) boards prior to this project, this was Chinnici’s first time using a Yún, which was a requisite in the “Internet of Trees” course.

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In order to build a weight sensor, Chinnici attached an infrared sensor at the base of the birdhouse. Additionally, the Maker constructed a scale of sorts using a second wood base held up by four cork mini bases mounted with springs, which were placed into each of the corners.

“The concept was to create connected devices to bridge nature and humans. The first [few] days were dedicated to the basics of Arduino, and the last days to the development of the connected devices. We came up with the idea of building a birdhouse, so we split into smaller sub-groups and started to work on our projects collaboratively,” Chinnici explained.

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Interested in learning more about the “Internet of Trees?” You can access the entire breakdown of the build here. In the meantime, the project is currently a finalist for Postscapes’ #IoT Awards.