Will Winter Wane?

Happy Groundhog Day!

Groundhog Day, forever immortalized in the Bill Murray film, is the day when Pennsylvanians use a groundhog — Punxsatawney Phil — to determine whether winter will be over soon or whether it will last six more weeks. This year, Punxsatawney Phil saw his shadow, portending six more weeks of winter.

Well, at Digilent, we have Punxsutawney Sam the groundhog to tell us whether we’ll have more winter to look forward to. We 3D-printed him from Thingiverse, and now he’s ready to dig into meteorology (in addition to digging into the ground).

Punxsawtawney (or Pullman?) Sam the Groundhog!
Punxsawtawney (or Pullman?) Sam the Groundhog!

Using the light sensor circuit that Larissa demo’d on the Digilent forum, we decided to let him check for his shadow that way!

The first few seconds are groundhog-free, and the value shown on the PmodOLED stays in 200-400 range. When Sam the Groundhog approaches the sensor, the value goes up (with the resistance from the sensor).

Check out that shadow!
Check out that shadow!

According to traditional mythology, seeing his shadow means that winter should continue. But we’re all for new technology– what do you think? Does the rising value of the resistance indicated mean that we’ll have six more weeks of winter, or that we can look forward to spring soon?

What other Groundhog Day projects could we do? We’d love to hear about any projects you all have done.

Be the 1st to vote.

About Amber Mear

I was the Digilent blog editor, and now I'm a contributor. I love learning about wearables and writing about social issues in STEM. Outside of work, I can be found watching Netflix with my cat, working on an art project, or trying to find new, delicious local foods.

View all posts by Amber Mear →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *