Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hunkered Down: Updated

For the update on my 3D Printer Art Project “Hunkered Down” I wanted to add a light element to try and create shadows of the two figures. These shadows would give it a more “secluded childhood fort” feel and make it seem more whimsical.

For the light element I purchased a LED flashlight stick from Walmart for about $5. I then had to disassemble the flashlight to get to the LED/Battery part. I was relieved to know that it was all in one piece that was small and compact and included a small button so that I could turn the light off and on. The light however had one white LED and one green one. The green light was not going to work with my project. I had to make a trip to RadioShack to purchase a replacement white LED. I found a pack of two white LEDs for $3. I then had to remove the greed LED and solder on the white one. This was accomplished successfully.

I then had to decide how to place the light so that it projected the right shadows. This is where I hit a road block. No matter where I placed the light hardly any shadow was created. The body of the project simply did not have enough depth to place the light far enough back so that it create shadow. So I had to scrap the idea of shadows and just affix the light to the top to just go with a “lighted” look.

Overall the project was a success and the resources at the Innovation House proved viable in creating art projects.

Stetson Startup Product

For the Stetson Startup Pitch we decided to build a computer which could sense both the moisture and the pH content of the soil including, then send that information to an android phone via bluetooth. This was done by using both a YuroBOT moisture sensor, an arduino UNO (from the sparkfun kit borrowed graciously from the Innovation House), a basic PH sensor bought from amazon, a HC-06 bluetooth transmitter and receiver, some resistors, and a basic breadboard.

The sensors were simply plugged into their respective ports on the ardiuno UNO, the bluetooth sensor was used in conjunction with a library found online with all the bluetooth commands needed, and then we found a simple potted plant to test all of our sensors.

After getting all of the sensors to work we calibrated them. For the moisture sensor we simply used the zero value as our lowest value, then to get the maximum value we placed the moisture sensor into a cup of water, after that whatever value we got was divided by our maximum plus our minimum. For the pH sensor we used the difference of the values received over out line to define our value. We then stated our minimum to be coffee (pH value of 5), which there was alot of at the Stetson Startup, and our maximum to be soapy water (pH value of 12). Once all of the sensors were calibrated we then stored the last 40 values and averaged them to display a simple smooth transition of sensor ouput values.

Our current sensor only gets the Moisture, and light amount; only because a pH sensor will slowly degrade over time, and the cheaper the sensor the faster it degrades and the worse the values will be.

 

photo

Above image is that of the current sensor with an arduino UNO.

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Our Stetson Startup team. From left to right David Edwards, Christian Micklisch, and Christian Casadio. Nathan Hilliard is not included, but was also in the team

 

Joystick Update

Continuation from Previous article.

The completed project

Final JoystickCloser look at housing

Unfortunately, my initial goal for this project could not be met, as I have continually run into structural integrity issues.  What remains however, it a large joystick that requires near full body motion to use, which is similar to my initial goal of creating a controller that allows the user to use their actual movements to navigate an environment.  As can be seen from the above image, the Fio v3 micro controller is wired to to the outer housing.  Inside each block is a potentiometer which in turn is glued to the dowel which is rotated by the joystick.  The base of the potentiometer is attached by two wires wrapped around screws to a metal bar.  This ensures that the base does not rotate, but only the top, so that it can more accurately measure the dowel rotation.

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The above images show how the joystick rotates inside the housing.  Both the X and Y axis are free to rotate, allowing the joystick to move in a full circle.

The joystick takes the rotation data and determines which key is to be pressed for the given configuration.  The key press is sent over the Serial XBee connection to an Arduino Leonardo with an XBee Shield (Seen below), which is recognized by the computer as a keyboard and mouse.  The Leonardo is then attached to the computer running the virtual environment program.  Once attached the joystick is able to send data to the computer and navigate the environment.

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The code for this project can be found here.

Innovation House Party (and Prize Award Event)

Next Tuesday’s Stetson Showcase provides an opportunity to announce the winners of the first round of the Innovation House prize and hold a brief party for ourselves. So I am inviting all members, their guests, and anyone else who can find the place to come by at 4 pm on Tuesday, April 15.

We will announce and recognize the winners of the prize.

We will have treats. Please participate in the following poll to select the menu:

I’m not trying to bias the results but if we pick the first menu, there may be dry ice to play with after the frozen food’s gone.

Lastly, we will have a new toy to play, with namely this one:

3doodler

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if you ever wanted to create 3D models freehand, or just stick stuff together with melted plastic, this is your chance.

Vote in the poll and try to let me know if you are coming (wball@stetson.edu) so I know how much stuff to bring.