Here’s a rather cool device you can make to let you know when there’s an earthquake anywhere around the world using Arduino and RSS feeds from USGS.gov.
Basically, the device will simulate the intensity of earthquake’s magnitude through vibrations. For seismic scientists and reporters who specialize in earthquakes, this could be pivotal in launching an emergency campaign.
As a Californian who witnessed one of the biggest SF Bay Area earthquakes in 1989 (and lived through it), I can see the value of this gadget. Plus, most big earthquakes hit after a series of small/medium ones, meaning this could potentially alarm people of upcoming earthquake too. I still remember the day when my parent’s house rocked back and forth about 1-2 feet like if I were on a boat or something for full 20 seconds. I didn’t know it was an earthquake at the time until afterwards, that was not a lot of fun as I immigrated to the US like 3 months before it.
Even today, I know there’s another big earthquake coming to San Francisco Bay Area, my prediction is around 2070 though, I think they hit this area every 90 or so years.
This project has two strands, a software and a hardware component. The aim is to build a device which responds to earthquakes being reported in near-real time via the USGS RSS feeds. The device responds by illustrating the magnitude of the reported earthquake via two fairly chunky vibration motors of the kind used in video game controllers. The device is connected to a PC via a virtual com port over USB (thanks to an on board Arduino). On the PC, an application sits there checking the RSS feed periodically and when a new event it posted to the RSS feed, the desktop app parses the data out of it and presents the magnitude of the quake to the Arduino which interpreters this as rate at which to activate the vibration motors.