Digilent Halloween Prank Using a BeagleBone Black and LabVIEW

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Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I have a sweet tooth so the idea of strangers giving me candy just for dressing up like a superhero blew my mind. Unfortunately, when I got into high school, trick-or-treating became less socially acceptable and costumes became more about looking good and less about feeling like a crime fighting billionaire. That’s when Halloween became about one thing and one thing only… pranks! Every year I would spend the week before Halloween devising a plan to scare my friends and family. After a few Halloween pranks that were deemed as “too far”, my friends started to avoided me on Halloween and I decided it was time to give it a rest. But when my boss approached me a few weeks ago about setting up a Halloween prank I just couldn’t resist.

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Catwoman was scared enough to reach for her gun😂

I set my prank up in our break room. I used copper tape to create a circuit on the inside of the refrigerator door, when the fridge is opened the circuit is broken and a loud scream comes from a wireless speaker hidden on top of the fridge.

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A BeagleBone Black on top of the fridge is running a LabVIEW VI that communicates over WiFi with a VI running on my computer.

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When the fridge door is opened the BeagleBone Black’s VI (front panel shown on the left below) sends a signal to a VI running on the computer (front panel shown on the right below) which then plays a sounds from a WAV file. The sound I used is called “ Woman Scream” (credit to “MaderaDelEste Films”).

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I placed the Bluetooth speaker on top of the fridge and placed something in front of it to block it. Then I set up 2 cameras, one inside the fridge and the other to the left of the fridge. Next I organized the top of the fridge to hide the prank as well as I could.

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When I was finished I did my best to set up the top of the fridge to hide the prank. I ended up pranking 7 people overall, and while some people jumped in horror, others barely reacted. Overall it was definitely one of my favorite Halloween pranks… but beware, I have already started planning an even better one for next year!

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Thank you for reading my blog post, and make sure to check out my Instructable where I give detailed step by step instructions for setting up this prank. If you are interested in making this project yourself but don’t have the right supplies you can purchase the LabVIEW computing kit for the BeagleBone Black. This kit includes a copy of LabVIEW 2014 home edition and everything you will need to run LINX 3.0 and start making projects. Please comment with any questions or comments you may have.

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