Interface Lab: working hard on hardware! I/O project.

For this project I continued on from labs we were assigned in the previous week. After lots of trial and error I managed to get some things working.

I enjoyed trying to combine different sensors with outputs. I did run into several problems trying to get outputs to function and always checked input sensors via the console to see if there was any reading. Once I knew these were functioning it was about trying to get an output to react to the sensors reading!

There were a few issues with servos not functioning but I was able to get a hold of a smaller servo which could function off the Arduino Nano. I got this smaller servo to work with the pressure sensor and with the LDR sensor. I though the LDR sensor was pretty cool in place of the pressure sensor and began thinking about ideas to use it with.

One of the things I forget to do quite regularly is drink water. I thought what if I could create a positive reinforcement habit loop by creating a device that gives me a compliment every time I have a drink. I decided I would use the LDR as an input and the servo as an output to create this device.

I used the following to build this:

1. Servo
2. LDR
3. Arduino Nano
4. Breadboard
5. Jumper cables
6. Resistor
7. Empty smartphone box
8. Pencil
9. Double sided and regular tape
10. Cable tie

I set up the Arduino as per the diagrams and code here:

I changed out the pressure sensor for the LDR and with some adjustments to the code got the range of movement for the output where I needed it to be.

I then created a rudimentary enclosure frame the smartphone box and put all the Arduino setup inside of it leaving a hole so the LDR would be exposed. Once this was done I attached the servo to the outside of the box to test it. When I was happy with this I removed the plastic attachment form the motor, attached a pencil to it and made a small sign/flag to attach to the pencil, then I attached this sub assembly to the servo and it was ready to test.

With a few final tweaks to the code to make sure the sensor was in the correct range I tested the final product.

I think it would be cool to advance this project more by having it log interactions that shows how often the bottle was lifted up and then weighs the bottle when it is put down so you can see how much water is being drank. It may also be useful to put a small note board on the pencil that has reminders for tasks. Then each time you drink some water you check your list!

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