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Weekend Workshop: Stave off the heat this summer with a DIY smart electric fan

Need something to keep you busy this weekend? Look no further. The Weekend Workshop is our weekly column where we showcase a badass DIY project that you can complete with minimal skills and expertise. We’ve dug through all the online tutorials on the web, and gone the extra mile to pinpoint projects that are equal parts easy, affordable, and fun. So put on your work pants, grab your tool belt, and head to the garage. It’s time to start building!

During the summer, the one thing most people can’t live without is a reliable electric fan. Capable of making even the hottest and incredibly humid days more bearable, owning a proper fan tends to be the difference between getting a good night of sleep and tossing and turning in a stuffy bedroom all night. But to be frank, outside of their ability to keep your bedroom cool during the dog days of summer, fans are boring — technologically speaking.

So what if we told you that with little else than a simple USB connected electric fan, a Raspberry Pi, and a relay converter, you could have a remote-controlled, person-sensing, smart fan? Yeah, we’re building one of these this weekend, too.

Well, thanks to some clever engineering by an Instructables user known as Naran, building your own smart electric fan shouldn’t take more than a few hours of at home DIY work. To help you get started on this innovative project, we’ve sifted through the walkthrough to see exactly what’s needed to pull off the build. Here’s what you’ll need before building:



With the required batch of tools and materials assembled, it’s now time to start piecing together this novel electric fan. Simply follow Naran’s comprehensive Instructables walkthrough and in a mere matter of hours, you’ll kiss those humid summer nights goodbye — inside your home, at least. Happy building!

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