Proposal: Interactive climbing

For my final project I would like to take the light up climbing wall to the next level by using a blue tooth device to interact with an App. I have not come up with a title quite yet, but it would be great to use the word light and interact in it.

The prototype will be on a 8 x 4′ piece of plywood as a start. I will use 2 or 3 kinds of holds. 1 large hold-like the one I made for the previous project- and 1 or two smaller holds that I will create and make multiples of. Total there will be up to 16 holds on the wall. The large holds have 3 LEDs in them, the smaller holds will only have one each.


The first thing I started doing is soldering the LEDs together:


Once  I receive the rest of the parts from AdaFruit I will connect the circuit (using JST 3 pin connectors) to emulate and test the patterns before the “wall” is built. While the circuitry and code gets worked out, I am going to be molding and casting the additional holds, which will also have to be drilled and fitted to the “wall”.

Draft parts and tools list

Functions I wish to explore

  • 3 levels of climbing on the wall, programed in 3 different colors.
  • Between climbs there could be a short light show
  • If time allows, maybe something happens when you reach the top and tap the last hold.

Links to prior similar work and/or tutorials

  • To read and understand: BlueTooth LE Micro page
  • Go back to the NeoPixel strand test code in my library and test my circuit, make sure everything is properly attached.
  • This Snow Flake Sweater tutorial will help me understand how use the BlueFruit LE App
  • This pixel brain cap is so much fun! Can I just make this for my project? I want one. 😉

This list is something I will probably be referencing for the rest of the semester, thank you for making us do this Becky, it is a good way to collect information and get our thoughts in one place!


GamiBloom light

The GamiBloom light was inspired by origami folding techniques which I translated into felt to take advantage of the transparency, and slight rigidity of the material. Here are shots of it fully open, midway and fully closed:

Take a peak for some process shots:

Thank you for checking it out =)

Here is what I have so far for the plush toy. The circuit is simple, I would like to add more lights eventually.


In this model I used a plexi glass skeleton I created based on an origami pattern, it  is encased in fabric. It seems there are too many layers of fabric, the effect I was looking for didn’t really materialize.


Here I tried making the pattern in thick felt, the transparency is more promising here.


Fading in and out of color


I had a lot of fun with the RGB LED this week. Instead of using a pingpong ball to diffuse it I used a flexible plastic material and was able to film the subtle differences in color through my phone’s camera by placing the plastic directly on the lens of the camera. I played some Amadou & Mariam in the background for rhythm:


In the second exercise for this week it was hard to get super creative, but I was able to change the rate of fade. Here is a faster fade than the original with the delay at 5:

Thank you for visiting!

Teardown: Nintendo Entertainment System

For our first project I decided to teardown a Nintendo Entertainment System, which I found at the Lower East Side Ecology Center Reuse Store in Gowanus, what a great place!


Aside from dropping off a bag full of old cables and some broken speakers; I had the privilege of walking around with one of the workers there, Carlos Cabrera. He showed me around the prop isles and some back isles where there were some things that he thought could be interesting to teardown. It was a hard choice, but I decided to go for a Nintendo, since it was the first video game I played with as a child. This one was damaged by a spill. Fun fact: the store has a functional one in the front that visitors may test out, I got to play Mario Bros for a couple of minutes   =)


The teardown was fairly easy, I used 2 small screwdrivers and a pair of pliers. Clic on the pictures below to see the full progression with some explanations along the way.

One thing that I noticed while tearing down the Nintendo is what caused the unit to break. A liquid of some sort must have spilled on the unit, and seeped through the top vents into important parts of the circuit board. The gravity of the damage could have easily been avoided if the vents would have been designed on the sides or back of the unit. While researching, I also came across people who complained that the way the games hooked into the machine,  it is delicate and prone to problems. Not only did dust interfere with the video game (most of us can remember having to blow on the game before inserting it!), but if any of the prongs were bent out of shape, the whole part had to be changed. In the last picture of my slide progression you can see it, it is the black plastic part right above the circuit board.

The experience of tearing down an electronic was pretty fun, researching the parts also yielded some interesting insights about this product, I am still in awe with the complexity of the circuit and I am looking forward to learning more about circuits and programing with Arduino. Thank you!