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Project Design Ideas

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My ideas for Responsive Environments coursework.

My ideas for Responsive Environments coursework.


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  • I have chosen to tackle brief 2 because I want to challenge myself to something completely new – in this case, changing the function of something using electronics and arduino. It also gives more freedom of choice as you can choose to alter the function of almost anything so long as it is family friendly.
  • I am most interested in using light and sound in my project as there have been some very inspirational interactive designs (examples on next slide)
  • Turn something plain into something more functional, exciting and inspiring – improve the functionality of the toy by applying electronics!
  • Soft toys have no function other than comfort or playthings for children – easily manipulated using electronics
  • I am currently readingthis book by Tom Igoe, as recommended by Neil in class. There are extensive projects inside showing you how to implement electronics into soft toys, essentially bringing them to life, giving them character and purpose.
  • Sound of the mother’s heartbeat
  • Several toys on market with similar functions but none with sensors
  • I will need sound sensors or pressure sensors to pick up on baby’s restlessness and cries. These small electret microphones come with a 100x opamp to amplify the sounds of voice, door knocks, etc loud enough to be picked up by a microcontroller's Analog to Digital converter. 

  • A Waveshield is needed to place on top of the Arduino – this will read the SD card and play the soundsof mother's womb/heartbeat music through a small speaker. Volume can be controlled with the onboard thumbwheel potentiometer.
  • Babies like glow worms because they generate a cozy warm light which makes them feel safe and at ease
  • LED dim light to pulse at the same time as heart beat (warm glow through toy's chest).
  • Transcript

    • 1. BRIEF 2“It’s Not Supposed to do That” Project: Baby Soother
    • 2. Light & SoundI am most interested in using LIGHT and SOUND in my project
    • 3. My aim is to turn a plain boring toy intosomething more functional, exciting and inspiring by applying electronics!
    • 4. I am going to use a soft toy because they have no function other than being a comfort for children – I want to expand on this by giving them more useful functionality.
    • 5. I am currently reading this book by Tom Igoe.There are extensive projects inside showing you how to implement electronics into soft toys, essentially bringing them to life, giving them character and purpose.
    • 6. Research has shown that the sounds of the womb can help newborn babies to relaxand sleep better as it reminds them of thecomfortable safe environment they lived in for 9 months.
    • 7. The sound of the mother’s heartbeat is also part of the womb environment.
    • 8. So I want to create a sound reactivebaby soother which will play womb sounds whenever the baby cries
    • 9. There are several toys on the market withsimilar functions but none of them have a sound reactive sensor, you have tophysically push a button or squeeze them to activate lights/sounds.
    • 10. I will need to use a microphone sensor topick up the sounds of the baby crying. TheArduino forum suggests these electret mics are great for picking up voices.
    • 11. A Waveshield is needed to place on top of theArduino – this will read the SD card and play the sounds of womb/heartbeat music through a small speaker. Volume can be controlled with the onboard potentiometer.
    • 12. Babies love glow worms because theygenerate a cozy warm light which makes them feel safe and at ease
    • 13. I also want my toy to have glowingLEDs which pulse at the same time as the heartbeat sounds