Of all the magical household items in The Burrow, the one that always captured my imagination and seemed to be of the most use was the Weasley family's clever grandfather clock.
In the books and films, the clock is described as having the ability to know where each family member is at any given moment and change locations in real time.
"Mrs. Weasley glanced at the grandfather clock in the corner. Harry liked this clock. It was completely useless if you wanted to know the time, but otherwise very informative. It had nine golden hands, and each of them was engraved with one of the Weasley family's names. There were no numerals around the face, but descriptions of where each family member might be. "Home," "school," and "work" were there, but there was also "traveling," "lost," "hospital," "prison," and, in the position where the number twelve would be on a normal clock, "mortal peril."
Duke University student and Imgur user Trey Bagley (tbornottb) was inspired by Harry Potter and used his computer science skills to recreate a functioning, digital version of Mrs. Weasley's clock.
Although it doesn't run on magic, the incredible work and attention to detail are pure wizardry. Check out Bagley's process and finished product!
The Finished Project
OK, I'm already sold.
The First Step
"I started by gutting a broken clock I found at an antique store."
"I drew out specs for all the vector patterns and gave it to a friend who knew how to use Illustrator..."
The Finished Face
"...and laser cut/etched those vectors onto wood! You can see the loose innards of the clock here — it's really just a Particle Photon connected via a breadboard to an addressable LED strip."
Setting Up The Family
"I used IFTTT (If This Then That) to define radii that would send messages to the Photon if my phone entered or exited them. (I would later walk the other 5 members of my family through the same process.)"
Pick Your Locations
"Most of the rules are location-based (setting me to WORK if I enter my university library, HOME if I enter my dorm), but you can set other triggers too (set me to HOLIDAY if the forecast calls for snow, set me to MORTAL PERIL if the stock of the company I'll be working for next year drops too low)."
"Some of the code and a to-scale wiring diagram."
Hello From The Other Side
"Looking into the back of the clock, with all the LEDs sunk into crudely cut styrofoam."
A Co-Lab Innovation
"The back all sealed up again!"
"Et voilà! The glass in the hinged metal rim broke in transit, but I kept the metal there anyhow. The glowing B is black paint on acrylic, lit by the tail end of the LED strand hanging down, and it flashes a different color for each member of the family when it's about to update their position!"
Bagley's version of the clock is certainly more modern than the one in The Burrow, but I think it would suit any wizard or Muggle family just fine. He also posted this video on YouTube so we can see the clock in action.
If you're someone who loves coding and wants to own one of these clocks for yourself, Trey has uploaded his code for free on GitHub. And if anyone wants to send one of them to me (because I definitely can't make one on my own), I would graciously accept!