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Flynn Bittner recently joined Seventh Beam for work experience and took on a project to automate the CTO’s (Jeff Smith) front gate. The goal was to create a system using a Bluetooth tracker on Jeff’s glasses to detect when he was approaching the gate and automatically open it for him. Once Jeff had passed through the gate, the system would close the gate again.

Flynn wrote software to control an ESP32 microcontroller, which is well-suited for IoT projects. The ESP32 listened for the Bluetooth tracker on Jeff’s glasses and controlled the gate motor. The software interfaced with the onboard Bluetooth system and controlled the gate using GPIO pins. Flynn built a Bluetooth server, designed to listen to specific Bluetooth beacons, with timers to close the gate again.

The system is a success. It automatically opens the gate for Jeff whenever he approaches and then closes it again after he has passed through, making that trip home, or taking out the bins a little simpler.

We’re proud of the work that Flynn did on this project. He was able to learn the ESP32 platform quickly, and he was able to write the software needed to control the gate. I’m confident that Flynn will go on to be a terrific developer if that’s the path he chooses.

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