The Best DIY Gadgets For Securing Your Home

These Gadget Freak projects are ideal for anyone looking to make some homebrew upgrades to their home security.
  • Home security has always been one of the most popular categories for Gadget Freak. Something about catching a potential burglar with a homemade device seems to really get engineers excited. We've rounded up some of our favorite projects* from the past. No matter what your home defense needs are, we're sure you'll find a worthwhile weekend project here.  We'll even show you how to guard against UFOs and zombies!

    Click through the image above to start the slideshow. 

  • The Distant Object Detector

    The best method of defense is to see the threat coming from a mile away. Or maybe you have something valuable and you want to know if it moves. Sajjad Haidar created a Distant Object Detector that uses ultrasound, laser, LED, camera, and infrared to detect the presence of objects up to hundreds of meters away.

  • A 'Portal' Sentry

    Every DIY lab or garage deserves a sentry robot to guard it. A team of university students built a sentry robot inspired by the popular video game Portal. It has the ability to locate, track, and execute commands once a target is found. It even looks and sounds like the turret machines from the game. Add some non-lethal weaponry to it and you're all set. (The cake is not included...because it is a lie.) 

  • The Window Watcher

    The Window Watcher is a simple homemade device that can be mounted to your window and will sound an alarm when any potential intruders approach your window. The device uses an infrared passive thermal detector, a with a very narrow beam, a piezo audio sounder, and is powered by a 9V battery. Replace with piezo with something high frequency and you can probably use it to ward off annoying animals as well. 

  • Motion Sensor Light Switch

    Sometimes all it takes a bit of light to ward off a would-be intruder. Motion-activated lights can also be a great convenience. So why not rig up your house with a few? This laser-based detector can be mounted near any of your light fixtures to make rounding up a midnight snack much easier and to potentially scare off any prowlers.

  • The Autonomous Zombie Defense System

    Zombies! You know you're worried about them. Why not get ahead of the apocalypse and have your zombie defense system already up and running? Michael Frenzer, a professor at Harper College in Palantine, Ill., conceived of his Arduino-based Autonomous Defense System as a coding project for his students. But that doesn't mean you can't use it to keep the walking dead away. The Zombie Defense System automatically learns an area, actively scans it using an ultrasonic sensor, and will fire a laser at any approaching targets.

  • Wireless Water Depth Sensor

    Do you live near any bodies of water? Maybe you're worried about the most dangerous intruder of all - Mother Nature. This water depth sensor can monitor water levels with up to 0.05-inch accuracy and is built using dual BMP280 pressure sensors and a KY-013, water, temperature sensor. Don't let possible flooding catch you off guard.

  • DIY Polarimetric Camera

    Which would you rather guard against? Landmines or UFOs? Why not both. The 2016 Gadget Freak of the Year winner was a homemade Polarimetric ​​​​​​camera - the DOLPi - that uses polarized light to let the user detect objects invisible to the human eye (like aliens with cloaking devices). For the more environmentally-conscious engineers out there it can also be used to detect pollutants in the air. 


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*Design News, its staff, and parent company make no claim to the effectiveness of these devices in preventing robbery, theft, or physical harm. Use at your own risk.

[Main image source: Pixabay]

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