Reminise – memory of home away from home

Reminise is a digital photo frame that lights up every time a new photo is added to your shared album. The idea behind this project is very personal since this is my first time away from home and hence, I miss everyone at home quite often. It is designed for everyone who is living alone, away from home. It is a great way for your family and loved ones to let you know every time they miss you by adding a photo to your shared albums, making you feel loved no matter the distance. Here is how you can build this interactive photo frame. 

Final Product


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Sama Srinivas – Warm Hugs: A Sun Lamp For Seasonal Depression

My mother used to put me to sleep by covering my eyes with her cool hand. It’s a memory that fills me with a lot of warmth. While surrounded by the darkness in the winter time, thinking of family and comfort is especially warming to the soul and body. Warm Hugs is informed by that personal memory and sentiment.

Warm Hugs is a sculptural lamp for those who endure seasonal depression during the cold, winter months. It is a natural alarm clock triggered by the sunrise and can also act as a warm lamp during the dark hours.


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Shun Cheng’s Final project (updated)

I combine all my projects in making class into a theme game called “zombie rush”

In this game, you can play games with the gears you choose

If you score high enough you can get a real one as a reward


Rocket shoes:

Ray gun:

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Nigel Keen “Turn Off & Tune In” Magic Rug

The “Turn off, Tune in” Rug allows you to be fully present when you meditate. By utilizing conductive thread, the entire rug acts as a touch sensor, which when pressed will silence your phone and turn off all of the other electronics that might interrupt your meditation. I find myself often unable to fully let go of the distractions of everyday life when I’m disrupted by the buzz of my phone or the subtle hum of the tv. With this switch, gone are the days of running around the house to make sure you everything is off. Saving you time and peace of mind!

Link to the instructable for more information on how to make this.

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Sarah’s Final Project: Slither

Slither is a desk pedometer, it tracks your steps and displays them visually. It is the perfect product for people who spend too much time at their desk. Instead of relying on your iPhone or Apple watch to remind you to get up from your desk and start walking Slither takes care of those reminders in sleek way. This decorative desk piece lights up to show you your progress towards walking your 50,000 step/week goal.

Slither’s form came from…a snake. Slither actually started as a painting I made for fun it evolved into a vector and now a pedometer. I definitely pushed my boundaries trying to create such a complex shape that contained several pieces.

The Materials

  1. Passion fruit Acrylic
  2. Hall effect sensor + Magnet 
  3. Adafruit HUZZAH ESP8266 wifi Breakout
  4. Wires
  5. Soldering Kit + solder
  6. 2 x Adafruit NeoPixel LED Side Light Strip – Black 90 LED 
  7. Hot Glue gun (with glue) + Gorilla glue
  8. IFTTT + Adafruit IO accounts
  9. Scrap wood
  10. 5V 2A switching power
  11. .75″ PVC pipe
  12. Edge tape
  • Machines
    1. CNC (wood)
    2. Laser Cutter (acrylic)
    3. Sander

The Build
Construction started with the CNC machine. We spent a lot of time together. Probably too much.

Once I calculated the dimensions I would need I CNC-ed my shapes out of plywood. I made sure to add dowel holes so the wooden frames would align properly.

I had to do some extra chiseling and sawing to get the shapes out. I also cut some PVC pipe that would be my on/off switch.

My wood frames needed lots of sanding. Next, I used the dowels to stack the frames on top of each other. Each frame had a layer of wood glue. I clamped that together for 30 mins.

Next I used the laser to cut the same shape out and also some circles for the PVC piece.

My feather huzzah board was connected to both a hall effect sensor and two strips of LED lights. The hall effect sensor is a sensor that turns on in the presence of a magnet.

Not pictured: lots of soldering…and resoldering…and oh no it broke soldering.

Next up, start trying to fit the huzzah board and LEDs.

I glued the acrylic piece to the top wood frame

Next, I glued an acrylic circle to cut PVC pipe. Wet wood strips and molded it to the cylinder volume before gluing.

The Code & Circuit
I used IFTTT to create a trigger for the Fitbit app. Every day the Fitbit app would fire a notification to my Adafruit IO feed with a step count. I set a goal for 50,000 steps. Slither would continue to light up until 50,000 steps was hit. When it hit the goal slither would go dark and reset.


The CNC proved to me very time consuming. I think I will be more aware of the time it takes in the future and the problems that may arise with working with a machine like that. Lots of testing had to be done and many of the frames I wasn’t super happy with I ended up using for times sake. Sanding these frames was difficult because of the small spaces between.

If I were to do this again I would definitely probably try not to fit everything into the snake. Trying to fit it all inside caused lots of electrical issues and broke my circuit a few times. If I did try and fit it all inside again, I would make the head larger. I wasn’t able to finish the back pieces because the gap wasn’t large enough.

I wasn’t able to UV print on the acrylic because it was broken. Funnily, the placement for the dowels ended up looking like eyes anyway. If I could make this again I would add a layer of matte clear plastic so you didn’t see the gaps for the LED channel so much.

What I learned

  • 3D print probably would have been easier
  • Don’t get so complicated with shapes for the CNC machine
  • Compressed boards would probably have been better than plywood in terms of chipping
  • Mini LEDs are very difficult and time consuming to solder
  • Hall effect sensors aren’t as sensitive as you’d think
  • Laser cutting is pretty easy
  • You can do weird dancing when PoD is empty


The Code

#define IO_KEY         "YOUR IO KEY"


#include "AdafruitIO_WiFi.h"

/************************ Main Program Starts Here *******************************/
#include <ESP8266WiFi.h>
#include <AdafruitIO.h>
#include <Adafruit_MQTT.h>
#include <ArduinoHttpClient.h>

// #define BUTTON_PIN 4
//#define LED_PIN 13

#include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>

#define PIXELS_PIN 15
#define NUM_LEDS 180
#define BRIGHTNESS 50
#define HALL_SENSOR 2

Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(NUM_LEDS, PIXELS_PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);

int state = 0;
int TotalSteps = 0;
int ledlevel = 1;

// button state
//int current = 0;
//int last = 0;
//int sensorValue = 0;

// set up the 'command' feed
AdafruitIO_Feed *slither = io.feed("slither");

void setup() {

  // set button pin as an input
 // pinMode(TotalSteps, INPUT);

  strip.begin();; // Initialize all pixels to 'off'

  // start the serial connection

  // connect to
  Serial.print("Connecting to Adafruit IO");
  // set up a message handler for the 'command' feed.
  // the handleMessage function (defined below)
  // will be called whenever a message is
  // received from adafruit io.

  // wait for a connection
  while(io.status() < AIO_CONNECTED) {

  // we are connected


void loop() {

  //; is required for all sketches.
  // it should always be present at the top of your loop
  // function. it keeps the client connected to
  //, and processes any incoming data.;
  ledlevel = map(TotalSteps,0,50000,0,strip.numPixels());

  state = digitalRead(HALL_SENSOR);
  if (state == LOW){
    Serial.println("Hall Effect Sensor Activated");
    Serial.print("LEDs to light up: ");
for(int i=0; i<ledlevel; i++) { 
   strip.setPixelColor(i, strip.Color(100,0,30)); //on;

  else {
    Serial.println("no magnet detected");
for(int i=0; i<strip.numPixels(); i++) { 
strip.setPixelColor(i, strip.Color(0,0,0,0)); //off; 


// this function is called whenever a 'command' message
// is received from Adafruit IO. it was attached to
// the command feed in the setup() function above.
void handleMessage(AdafruitIO_Data *data) {

  //int command = data->toInt();
  TotalSteps = TotalSteps+ (data->toInt());

Serial.print("steps counted: ");

if (TotalSteps >= 50000){
  TotalSteps = 0; 


// else {

    //Serial.println("no steps");

//  //change NeoPixel color here using format strip.Color(R,G,B,W)
//     strip.setPixelColor(0, strip.Color(0,0,0,100)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(1, strip.Color(1,0,100,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(2, strip.Color(2,100,0,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(3, strip.Color(3,100,100,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(4, strip.Color(4,0,80,40)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(5, strip.Color(5,90,0,20)); //turn off NeoPixel
//; //always remember to call to display changes
//     delay(500);
//     strip.setPixelColor(0, strip.Color(0,0,0,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(1, strip.Color(0,0,0,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(2, strip.Color(0,0,0,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(3, strip.Color(0,0,0,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(4, strip.Color(0,0,0,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//     strip.setPixelColor(5, strip.Color(0,0,0,0)); //turn off NeoPixel
//; //always remember to call to display changes
//  } 

Monica’s Mood Tracker Blog Submissions

Group project by: Nihaarika & Monica

Short project description

The IoT mood tracker is a device that provides feedback to student advisors on how a group of students is feeling. Graduate school can be extremely challenging. Sometimes it gets so bad that students get burned out. What if student advisors knew that students were not doing well before they reached the burnout stage?

The IoT Mood tracker uses a suite of Adafruit products, Adafruit IO and IFTTT to invite passersby to hit a physical thumbs up, thumbs down, or thumb level that represents the mood they are feeling. When any one thumb has been pressed a certain amount of times, the device sends an email to a student advisor.

Watch the IoT Mood Tracker in action here:

Link to Instructables:

A sample social media message:

Have you ever got burnt out with schoolwork? This IoT Mood Tracker helps student advisors know how a student cohort is doing through out the semester in order to keep burnout at bay. The device uses thumb-shaped buttons, electronics and the internet to record student moods and relay the information to school administrators.

Blogs we sent our Pitch to

Arduino Education
Arduino Education
Adafruit Blog

Charvi’s You Better NOT Forget My Birthday CupCake

Inspired by my friends’ tradition of calling each other at exactly 12 midnight on their birthdays, I developed this product out of guilt of missing out on this tiny but precious practice. To make it worse, due to the time difference, I have been calling my friends either too early or too late to wish Happy Birthday. This simple product is a gag gift to give your forgetful friend.

Jaemin’s Final Project

From smog hanging over cities to smoke from wildfire, air pollution poses a major threat to our health. Visibility is easily impacted by air pollution. As we have more and more bad air days, we get more of blurry, hazy vision.

Using Visibility as an Indicator for Air Quality

We always use colors to indicate the air quality. In this concept, I added one more visual element—the visibility.

It has 4 layers of mountains which are made of acrylic sheets and 5 row of LED strips which light up the mountains and the wall behind it.

Not just color of the LED but also the number of lit LED strips constantly change, depending on the air quality. For instance, when the air quality is terrible, only the first row of LED turns on in red and all you can see is the silhouette of the first mountain.