The squirrel bar allows you to study hungry animals up close

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, more Swedes than usual chose to holiday at home and the word “holiday” became the highest fashion. But during both spring and summer, even crowded Byggmax and Bauhaus stores have made it clear that many have spent their time fixing homes. And we are not just talking about new balconies and facade renovations – sometimes these are pure entertainment projects – where some are a little … fitter than others.

One of them is Gregor Hirsimaa’s lounge bar for squirrels where, despite the Carlsberg fridge, it is not possible to get any beer for the nuts. In the smallest detail, he has recreated a lifelike miniature bar environment, complete with a small poker table, bottle rows and cozy lighting. As is so often the case, the inspiration came from Youtube, where someone had tame squirrels who liked to run obstacle course.

– I started by printing Star Wars characters on photo paper and making holes for the heads, as you can see at the amusement park sometimes. It was fun for a while and with an IP camera I learned a little about how squirrels work. But then I wanted to do more, he says.

Critters
Photo: Private

Gregor, who works with automation in sound and image on a daily basis, was also eager to test some consumer-oriented home automation. Using an outlet from Ikea Wireless, an rgb lamp, an Arlo Pro camera and Apple’s Homekit framework, he arranged round-the-clock surveillance, complete with a light signal that reveals when new guests are rumbling into the bar.

– Homekit can pick the motion signal from the camera, that’s how the lamp works. Then I get a notice on the phone when things are moving in there, says Gregor.

The bar is regularly filled with nuts so that the rodents have something to eat. But several different bird species have also found Critters, and in the camera images we can see woodpeckers, blue tits and large magpies taking the goodies.

Critters
Photo: Private

The bar furnishings that are not made on their own have mostly been bought online via sites like Wish. In total, Gregor spent an estimated 80 hours on the project, but he probably had to spend three days tinkering with the fiber-optic lighting solution.

– It was by far the hardest. The solution consists of approximately 300 fibers, such as tiny spaghetti strings that must be peeled in the right places. Only it took four days. The bar is at its finest when the darkness has settled, and it’s a bit of a shame that the squirrels don’t seem to want to get there at night, says Gregor Hirsimaa.

For those who want to know more about the project or just check out the fun jokes that the animals come up with in the bar, Gregor has created a Facebook page.

– I set it up for friends and acquaintances who were interested in the project. But everyone is of course welcome to look in, he concludes.

The music in the video comes from bensound.com


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The smart home is so much more than “Okay Google” and robot vacuum cleaners! Do you also want to share an innovative smart home project with us? Email and tell us more – preferably with pictures!


Some pictures from the construction:

Critters
Photo: Private
Critters
Photo: Private
Critters
Photo: Private
Critters
Photo: Private

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