Galactic Apartment Bowling

My original two words were ‘fuzzy’ and ‘terrarium’.  My initial plan was to move forward with the word terrarium and create a terrarium mobile.  After exploring wiring possibilities, I realized that I would not be able to execute the mobile quite the way I was envisioning.  I decided to move forward with the word ‘fuzzy’ and the result was Galactic Apartment Bowling!


I set out to create a fuzzy game that people can enjoy from inside their cramped apartments. The game consists of a small bowing ball and a single pin.  The pin is wired with a string of LEDs and a FLORA accelerometer.  When the pin is struck, the accelerometer reads the variation in movement and lights up the LEDs.  To make the one pin bowling game more difficult and engaging the bowling ball is weighted to give it a wonky roll.  This project allows the user to experience the fun and excitement of galactic bowling in limited small spaces.

I began my making process by creating a sewing pattern for the bowling pin and ball:



I sewed two complete layers for the pin, an inner layer out of muslin and an exterior sleeve out of felt.  I made the inner layer as a structure where I could sew on the electronic components. This allowed me to hide the components and keep the outer layer nice and clean. The white felt turned out to be too sheer so I ironed on a layer of fusible interfacing as a backing.  I weighted the bowing ball with an interior pouch of rice to give it a wobbly roll.





I then set out to create my circuit and write the code. This is where I came into the most difficulty.  I successfully used conductive thread to attach the accelerometer to the Flora board. Initially, I had planned to sew individual NeoPixels throughout the bowing pin with conductive thread.  I planned on using the Sparkle Skirt code to create a variation of color and sparkle delay when the pin is struck with the ball.  After much frustration and no success trying to lay out a circuit and get my code up and running with the NeoPixels, I made the decision to use traditional LEDs.  I soldered together a strand of LEDs and altered the Blink and Sparkle Skirt code to have the accelerometer read the movement and then flash the LEDs.



The result was not as dazzling as I had originally hoped it would be, but the circuit works and Galactic Bowling is a success.

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