These special windshield wipers move to the beat of a car’s stereo
March 28th, 2022—
Having your windshield wipers move to the beat of your favorite song can be a fun moment while driving, which is why YouTuber Cranktown City wanted to ensure this would always be the case by adding some intelligence to his truck’s wiper blades. The idea is simple: have a microcontroller “listen” to the music currently being played, analyze the beat, and then move the wipers accordingly.
To begin, the truck’s wiper blade control unit was ripped out and replaced with an Arduino Uno along with a new DC motor driver and motor encoder for determining its absolute position. The Uno is able to listen to the music thanks to a tiny MSGEQ7 spectrum analyzer module, which takes the incoming analog music signal and splits it up into seven different bands of frequencies. When the average amplitude of the frequency that is correlated with drums goes above a specified threshold, the position variable for the motor flips from 0 to 180 and vice versa.
After gluing everything together inside a watertight enclosure and attaching the device to his truck, it was finally time to take the system out for a test drive. Much to his surprise and delight, Cranktown City’s “dancing wipers” project worked quite well and moved in sync to strong drumbeats. You can see more about how he built this project below!