05.3 mini-project: working 3D form machine [Michael Lin]

1. Abstract

Sound Sand Art is a mechanism that senses loud sound in the environment and captures it in sand.  The concept is that there would be different colors of sand that would be poured in to a container, thus, building layers of colored sand capturing a history of loud sounds.   Different levels of loudness in the environment will trigger the different colors to be dumped.

*Originally, I had designed two colors of sand to be used but unforeseen problems arose preventing two servos to be used (See section “3. How it works”).  So far, I have been able to successfully setup one servo to dump one color of sand when a loud noise is sensed.

2. Video Sketch

3. How it works

*Please refer to 5. Coding also

1. Setup the Sound Sensor

Bought a sound sensor off robotshop.com.  Unfortunately, it was not very sensitive to sensing sounds.  However, the way it works is to connect it through analog in (pin 0) of the arduino and read the PWM values.  After, connect its power and ground wires.  It is recommended to adjust the sensed values to the environment first and find the various loudness levels to detect.

2. Setup the Servo Motor

Servo Motors are used to open and close hatches where the sand slides down from and in to the container.  Connect a wire to the analog out so the current can be run through PWM (pin 9) to control the degree of turns on the servo.  After, connect its power and ground wires to the arduino.

There were problems setting up the second servo to the arduino to work with the sound sensor.  For some reason, the second servo is always in idle with current running through it, which interferes with the sound sensor when it is reading in values.

3. Code the Arduino

Arduino is programmed to have conditional statements when a loud sound is sensed and to open and close the hatch accordingly, while a LED is used to visually see the loudness of the sound input through its brightness.  You can download the code below.

4. Create Structure using Blackboard

A Blackboard was used to create the structure of the mechanism.  The thick, strong paper material allows the structure to stand solidly. Slits were made to slide and attach parts together and then taped to secure it.  A cross section structure setup was created for the base so the parts can stand in a sturdy way.

5. Paper funnel and Metal Pipe Clamp

Bought a 3 to 4 in. metal clamp from Home Depot to hold the paper funnel where the sand will be poured in.  Blackboard structure cut-outs were constructed to use as leg supports.

4. Schematic Design

As discussed before, the concept is to have two hatches opening to pour the sand depending on the environment loudness level.  Servo motor will be attached to a door turning it open or close as determined by the programming of the arduino, while the sound sensor senses loud sounds to trigger the servos.  One change from this design is that the servos, instead, will be controlling the hatch door to pour the sand rather than tipping the container that holds the sand.

5. Coding

Arduino Sketch: Sound Sand Art Arduino Code

6. Parts

All electronic parts are bought from robotshop.com

Sound Sensor: DFRobot Sound Sensor – $9.17

Arduino Duemilanove – $30.00

Servo Extender Cable – $1.95 x 2

Hitec HS-311 Servo Motor – $8.99 x 2

Blackboard bought from CMU art store


~ by Michael Lin on March 26, 2010.

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