Task: The Ambient Planner by Arjun Kalyanpur

Here it is, y’all! The final Making Studio Project! What a crazy fun ride it’s been. Please see my project description below, as well as the links to the YouTube video and Instructable I created. Enjoy!

I believe smartphones and social media lead us to feel overwhelmed and overloaded by the amount of detailed information we consume each day. Add in the fact that some jobs expect almost 24/7 reachability, and our once organized planners begin to look a lot like daunting novels. 

Enter Task: The Ambient Planner. By connecting an online to-do list (Todoist, https://todoist.com/) to Task, we can reduce some of the informational clutter we get assaulted with each day.

Now, when you add or complete an item on your list, Task will light up or turn off an LED in turn. In doing so, we can simply glance at an ambient display to see how much we have on our plates, rather than get overwhelmed with written or typed text.

Thanks for watching!! I can’t wait to hear your feedback and see your wonderful projects.

The Instructable teaching you how to make your own Task cube can be found here.


Project Ideas

Arjun is struggling a bit, but here’s what he’s got so far:


Idea # 1 – Innovative Switch Expansion

The initial “Reminder Wallet” was a basic product that, when the wallet was closed without a credit card blocking the switch, flashed an LED to remind you to close your tab. The new wallet would be a complete redesign, featuring a more professional aesthetic as well as the ability to check for multiple cards. Perhaps the light element would go on the outside using EL tape or addressable LEDs. Functionality expansion could include exploration into syncing with your phone to send you reminder text messages.

Idea # 2 – Weight Tracking Belt

A wearable that would help users track their weight loss or gain over time through the use of pressure sensing. Pressure sensors would be evenly spaced throughout the belt. The first day the user puts the belt on acts as their “zero” point. From there, over days and weeks, the increase or decrease of pressure sensed by the belt could be translated into weight gain or loss tracking.

Idea # 3 – Linked Wedding Rings

Wedding rings with a built-in small vibration motor or addressable LED. When your partner presses the button, your wedding rings buzzes, vibrates, or lights up to let you know they are thinking of you.

Idea # 4 – Fist Bump Gloves

A set of gloves that, when you fist bump with the owner of another set, an embedded speaker plays awesome music. Or fireworks go off on a linked mini-cannon.

Idea # 5 – Electronic Bean Bag Toss (Cornhole)

An electronic reimagining of the game corn hole, which features players attempt to land a bean bag on an inclined wooden platform. Landing on the platform scores one point, while getting the bean bag through the hole scores 3 points. First to 21 wins. The electronic version would include a scoreboard, pressure sensors (maybe?), and an IR sensor to determine when the bean bag goes through the hole.

Idea # 6 – Laundry Hamper

As a bachelor, I forget to do my laundry in a timely manner. Always. So I would design a laundry hamper with weight/pressure sensors that would remind me when it starts getting closer to the time that I should do my laundry. While a problem is that the obvious solution to the reminder would be to empty my launder hamper, I would try to think of an anti-tampering measure to protect my laundry.



This is where I’m at for now, but I definitely will be thinking more about potential ideas over the next 18 hours before class.


Arjun Kalyanpur – Temperature Sensor v. Heat Gun

Hi all!

For this week’s homework, I decided to rig up the temperature sensor circuit (Exercise 10) found in our Ardunio handbook.

Since all it did at first was read the ambient room temperature, I had to make sure it actually worked. Thus, I busted out the heat gun to do battle.

As you can see below, my code won.

I’m really excited to see how this sensor could be used to add functionality to our next round of objects/products!



The Memory Wallet – Arjun Kalyanpur

Imagine you go to a bar or restaurant, indulge and imbibe, and decide on the spot to get up and go to a new place. You’re feeling free and happy; the night’s going so well!

Riding this sense of exhilaration, you decide “why not!” and tell your friends “this cab’s on me”. You pull out your wallet, only to find that you left your credit card 40 blocks and two glasses of wine behind. Embarrassment and a sense of loss take over. Your night is ruined.

But no longer! Enter “The Memory Wallet”. This proof-of-concept show what happens when an intelligent yet elegant switch is incorporated into one’s wallet.

A built-in circuit is interrupted by your card of choice. When you remove said card and close your wallet, it completes the circuit, jump starting a red LED that flashes at you and reminds you to always, always, close your tab!

The code itself is relatively simple, utilizing a pull-up resistor and digitalRead and digitalWrite commands to signal the LED to begin flashing when the switch is connected.

DSC_0887 DSC_0926 DSC_0927 DSC_0936 DSC_0941DSC_0940  DSC_0949 DSC_0950

This was such a fun project, and I’d love to see what other complexity and code I could incorporate with some more time in the future!