We were given a broad brief to play around with some Arduino boards and come up with an idea that made use of them to be presented 2 weeks later. Our group comprised of Simon Batty, Rachael Dalton and myself.
We took the first week coming up with various ideas for the project and ordered several components we could use with the Arduino Mega 2560 I had used for Weather Transplant. Playing with the components allowed us to think about how a user could interact with them and how they could be applied to demonstrate an interesting and fun concept.
We went through a number of different ideas including a runaway computer mouse, a camera trapped fridge and a censoring twitter viewer before settling on our final idea.
The final concept we arrived at was to create a machine that observed its surroundings and complained about them on a LCD display. The device would complain on both sides of a threshold value with no possible state of contentment.
Our demonstration featured two sensors, a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) and an ultrasonic range finder. If a person or object was to get too close it would complain about its personal space being violated but if nothing was detected in its range it would complain of loneliness. Based on readings from the LDR the machine would complain about the light being too bright or too dim.
The code is designed in such a way that each sensor and its associated complaints are modular so that different sensors can be easily added.