Midterm update:

After last week’s discussion, we did some research and made some improvement for our midterm Pcom project. To be fair and honest, we didn’t treat this project serious, I mean we wanted to make it entertaining, so we didn’t think through the logic behind instead but we too focused on the funny part.

So, this week, we did something opposite to last week,  we slowed down our coding and fabricating processes, we spent a lot of time to discuss all the logical flaws and looked up more theoretic things to support our concept.

However, detecting ghosts(or Halloween?) is a controversial topic that is very hard to find scientific research to support.

So… we really tried!

According to Wikipedia… ghost hunters use a variety of techniques and tools to investigate alleged paranormal activity. While there is no universal acceptance among ghost hunters of the following methodologies, a number of these are commonly used by ghost hunting groups.

Still photography and video: using digital, night vision, infrared, and even disposable cameras.

EMF meter: to detect possibly unexplained fluctuations in electromagnetic fields.
Tablet PC: to record data, audio, video and even environmental fluctuations such as electromagnetic fields.

Ambient temperature measurement: using thermographic cameras, thermal imaging cameras, infrared thermometers, and other infrared temperature sensors. It should be noted that all of these methods only measure surface temperature and not ambient temperature.

Digital and analog audio recording: to capture any unexplained noises and electronic voice phenomena (EVPs), that may be interpreted as disembodied voices.
Compass: some ghost hunters use a compass to determine the location of paranormal spots, similar to EMFs.

Geiger counter: to measure fluctuations in radiation.

Infrared and/or ultrasonic motion sensors: to detect possible anomalous movement within a given area, or to assist in creating a controlled environment where any human movement is detected.

Air quality monitoring equipment: to assess the levels of gases such as carbon monoxide, which is thought to contribute to reports of paranormal activity.
Infrasound monitoring equipment: to assess the level of sound vibrations.

Dowsing rods: usually constructed of brass and bent into an L-shape.
Psychics, mediums, or clairvoyants: trance mediums or “sensitive” individuals thought to have the ability to identify and make contact with spiritual entities.

Demonologists, exorcists, and clergy: individuals who may say prayers, give blessings, or perform rituals for the purpose of cleansing a location of alleged ghosts, demons, poltergeists, or “negative energy”.

Ghost Box: an electronic device that some ghost hunters claim allows communication with spirits.

Interviews: collecting testimony and accounts about alleged hauntings.

From this long list, we picked some and discussed the possibilities of each of them, and tried to apply on our project.


1, Magnetic Sensor

Like the LuoPan we talked last week, using magnetic sensor seems a logical and traditional way to detect the energy of ghost. But we studied all magnetic sensors on market, it turns out all those magnetic sensors have to be limited by the distance, which means it will be triggered but only if the ghost(magnetic field) is very close to the sensor, like 1cm.



1 cm is way too close for a ghost detector. It is obvious too late that found ghost when it is only 1cm to you.

So,  magnetic sensor out of the picture!


2, EMF meter

Although the magnetic sensor is not perfect for this project, we still have other options, like EMF meter, here is a video shows how to use Arduino to build a simple EMF meter to detect electromagnetic fields.

I think this is a possible way that we add this into our project as another input. We will try to test it this week.


3, Air quality monitoring equipment

There are two kinds of sensors can be used as an air quality monitor, one is the air quality sensor, which is designed for indoor air quality testing. The main gas detected is carbon monoxide, alcohol, acetone, thinner, formaldehyde and other slightly toxic gases; and the other one is the gas sensor, which is useful for gas leakage detecting(in home and industry). It can detect LPG, i-butane, methane, alcohol, Hydrogen, smoke and so on. Measurements can be taken as soon as possible based on its fast response time. Also, the sensitivity can be adjusted by the potentiometer.

We bought the air quality sensor(MQ135), so we studied it, coded it and tested it,

Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 12.06.56 AMhowever, some problems we couldn’t solve:

a, yes we can detect the air quality number, but we cannot find an accurate reference to help us to know which number shows a ghost is nearby.

b, this sensor only can detect NH3, NOx, alcohol, Benzene, smoke, CO2, etc. But it couldn’t detect the percentages of each kind air.

c, this sensor need a pre-heat, which takes 12-24 hours.


4, Infrared and/or ultrasonic motion sensors 

We already built this in our project by using a sonar sensor.


5, Ambient temperature measurement

We added a thermometer sensor as an input this week. This sensor will keep testing the temperature every 5 seconds when the T1- T2 is bigger than 10 degrees, which means the temperature dropped 10 °C in 5 seconds. I personally think that is very suspicious and could be a ghost nearby.




jeff halo


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