For homework this week, complete the Arduino Class Lesson 4 (and blog about your NeoPixels as you have done for previous exercises), and start brainstorming ideas for your 3rd project, the Innovative Switch. This is a group project! Working in groups will facilitate problem solving while maximizing creative energy, and create more time for project presentations/discussion on Nov 7 (presentations have been pushed back so you don’t have homework over the weekend of your field trip).
Micah, Xuan, Hannah, Rhea
Wei, Carly, Ellen, Ben
Eugenia, John, Evie, Yanying
Antya, Sophie, Zihan, Gustav
Tzu Ching, André, Oomung, PA
Get together with your group in person or online to brainstorm (can be asynchronous/email) about situations you’d like to try to sense, for example:
- someone opens the kitchen cabinet and takes your snacks
- tall grass sways in the wind
- you squeeze the brakes on your bicycle
Research switches that may be applicable to your situation. More than one may apply, and if so, weigh the pros/cons of each. Please read the Switches chapter of the Instructables Electronics Class to learn more about switches, and the Variable Resistors/Potentiometers section of the Resistors lesson. Many analog sensors are some kind of variable resistor. You should start acquiring materials/parts for your prototyping/work session next class.
Some ideas to get you started:
- Vibration Sensor Switch
- Tilt Ball Switch
- Microphone (volume sensing)
- Piezo Element can be used as a knock sensor (Secret Knock Gumball Machine, for example)
- Pressure sensor (FSR) also available bigger and extra long
- Flex sensor (FSR) also available longer
- PIR motion sensor
- Capacitive Touch Sensor or 5 or 12, can be done with code alone, copper tape makes great contacts, or other materials like conductive textiles and conductive paint
- Magnetic reed switch (door sensor)
- Hall effect sensor detects magnets
- Softpot ribbon sensor or circular version
- Muscle sensor
- Build-your-own with a sensor film kit
- Hannah Perner-Wilson’s encyclopedia of thoughtfully handmade sensors
Some sensors are more complex and may contain their own circuitry that communicates with your Arduino in a way more like serial communication than the previous inputs/outputs you’ve learned so far (accelerometers, digital temp/humidity sensors, etc.). While these more complex sensors are not strictly forbidden, their use is discouraged in this project in favor of more creative problem solving that will ultimately result in deeper understanding of the subject material. Rule of thumb: if you need to install a library to use the sensor, consider a simpler solution this time around.
In addition to your individual Arduino Lesson 4 NeoPixel blog post, your group posts (one per group) are due Wednesday 10/25 by 8pm, and should include:
- your group name and constituent members
- your top three favorite themes/situations from the brainstorm
- what switches/sensors you could use to intervene in each
- what potential outputs you’d like to go along with those interventions
In addition to your blog post, you should start acquiring materials/parts for your prototyping/work session next class.
Don’t forget that your midterm dossiers are due on Thursday, 10/26!