Daugherty Passion Project: Raspberry Pi Busy Light

Daugherty Data and Analytics Director Anooj Zaveri has always had a keen interest in technology. His first true technological passion, video games, still resonates today with his collection of consoles, many still brand new and preserved in acrylic cases.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic surged and working from home became the norm, Anooj’s school-aged daughter also shifted to virtual learning. With the updated working and learning arrangement came a host of issues for his newly homebound family. 

Annoj had a ”bright” idea about how he could use technology to help.

Although the family had separate spaces where they could work and learn, his daughter would often need help and support during the day. For Anooj that meant unexpected interruptions and frequent shifting from “work mode” to “dad mode.” For his daughter, it meant not knowing when she could or should ask for help.

Since Anooj wanted a quick way to communicate availability to his daughter, he used a Raspberry Pi: a low cost, credit-card sized computer. In conjunction with Microsoft Azure, Annoj connected the device to his Microsoft Teams account and affixed a small LED light attachment which he placed at his daughter’s desk.

Through this arrangement, Anooj could instantly share his availability via a handy stoplight. A red light on the device indicated Anooj was in a meeting, whereas green and yellow lights were times he was available for her to come in the office. Best of all, the system was completely automated since it connected directly to Anooj’s Microsoft Teams calendar.

The new system was a hit and improved his home life dramatically! The stoplight indicator reduced unwanted interruptions while maximizing Anooj’s available time to help with schoolwork – all thanks to this inventive use of technology!