Arduino : Plush

#chrisrand

Awaken the visual cortex rather than the cochlea… . .  .  .   .    .      .       .        .          .

arduinoplush1-2

(: plush 2 ) An interactive object to be used as an activity to guide communication in groups.  It is based on a kids game called “Hot Potato” where the user holding it is given the stage to speak until the potato gets HOT and must be passed. 

The red light within the plushy can be calibrated to different durations of time and intensity of light. An accelerometer senses when the plush devise it passed between people and this begins the program cycle.  Some possible light variation may include blinking and color changes. 

Although an App could be made to do this with a smartphone, this is meant to be an made using Arduino circuitry and sketches as a learning experience for me to program and build. 

The Knight Light: Keeping You Safe In Your Kitchen

When I was younger, we would regularly have thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house in central Arkansas. It’s a place where my extended family would gather from around the country. Aunts and uncles and cousins would gather in this small house and tell stories and reminisce about Thanksgivings long before those I was present at. There were several stories I heard year after year. One of those stories was a warning against trying to steal from Grandma Roses’ kitchen the night before Thanksgiving.

There’s not much to this story, as the house was small and the moment was quick. It happened at one of these gatherings before I was born, when my older cousins were in grade school. My cousin wanted a midnight snack and couldn’t resist sneaking into the kitchen. So, he waited until the lights were out and everything was still before quietly (and probably proud of his sneakiness) he slipped into the kitchen.  But it wasn’t so much slipping as tripping.  My grandmother had tied up a line across the kitchen doorway.  It was looped up through every pot and pan on the counter and stove.  They came hurtling down to the floor!  Of course, everyone was woken and my cousin was caught amidst the commotion. And the story was probably told every year the family was together for thanksgiving after that.
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The Knight Light is a reminder that the pots and pans guard the kitchen at night.  Before Thanksgiving, it’s a warning!  In a quiet home the rest of the year, it’s good company and a soft glow to welcome you to the kitchen for the occasional midnight craving.

How it’s made:

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The light itself comes from 10 white LEDs just over 3V each, wired in series of 2. Then those series were wired in parallel.  The battery pack is only a 6V pack for two coin-size batteries, so the lifetime is shorter.

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I packaged them in this nifty fake lightbulb so they could stay concentrated in the same location in the body of the light. This also took away some of the distance the light has to travel through the diffusing material.  I used these soft plastic pellets that are for filling things like bean bags and Beanie Babies.  They create a nice even diffusion and give a weight to the light so it plops on the surface an a cute kind of way.

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The main body was made of white sheer muslin to aid in letting out that light.  Then the pots and pans are made of a rayon fabric to get a nice sheen that pairs interestingly with the glow in the dark.

Here’s the on/off difference as seen by an iPhone!IMG_0674IMG_0676

The thing I enjoyed the most here was playing with the diffusion of the light, and the way the light sits in the object.  And going back to it, I would just focus on the core of this little thing and make it bigger.  It’s possible that it could get more out of using actual pots and pans than plush ones.  That was definitely the biggest making challenge, thinking of ways to make pots and pans fit this little guy and still have proper proportions.  In the end, there aren’t many that lend themselves to fabric construction that also then lend themselves to use as armor.

Thanks for reading!

I look forward to showing you my next project!

Will

WORDPLAY COURTESY OF: Josh Corn

The Cloud

Work in progress, after days of working to get the separate components of the cloud working independently I now have them working together in the same arduino sketch. The components I am using are the the PIR sensor, the Wav Shield & LED Storm. My system does thus: The PIR sensor is triggered by motion > then the randomized Lightning sequence begins in a randomized cycle followed by a super lightning strike > milli seconds after the super lightning strike is a randomly selected thunder sound, the cloud then waits until the PIR is triggered again.

Lightning Cloud Test

Here is my code thus far: Continue reading “The Cloud”