Blog - Sketching with Hardware

Day 4 – The calm before the storm?

Published on: | Author: Christian Mall | Categories: 2018b, Daily Logs, Terms

Today starts differently compared to the last days because of two reasons: First of, Franni (my team partner) and me meet at Bauhaus instead of in the Sketching with Hardware room because we have to get some supplies for our project (more details on that later) and secondly the weather drastically changed for the worse. Instead of approximately 30 °C yesterday it is now raining cats and dogs ☹️ But we finally arrive at the hardware store to get a wooden panel for our box and some smaller stuff (springs, boards etc.) and also encounter this phenomenon of either not finding an employee at all if you need help (which can happen in a huge store like this) or finding one which can’t help you because he or she is from the wrong department. But in the end, we manage to get everything. It takes longer than expected but after 2 hours and a stop at a drugstore to get a makeup sponge for our project we finally arrive at the university.

In the following I will give you a quick overview on what each team is working on today, what next steps they plan etc. I will also ask them for their satisfaction and stress level and ask them again in the afternoon if they met their daily goal. Keep in mind that the project names might still be subject to change. So, without further ado, let’s go 😀

Team 1 – Clothes Brand New

Team 1 is working on their “cleaning” machine for clothes. You put a piece of clothing into the machine, an RGB sensor measures the color and then the clothing gets sprayed with the matching color which gets mixed together beforehand. They already cut out the arms which will carry the color vessels. They plan to get the RGB sensor working today (which isn’t an easy task to do oneself) and want to build a display. In the picture you can see a servo with an arm attached which will hold a paint vessel.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: 🤯🤯🤯🤯 / 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯 (3,8/5 to be precise 😄 They are a bit afraid that they might perhaps not accomplish everything they planned today – to build the RGB sensor themselves is rather difficult – and then tomorrow would be a stressful day.)

When I talk to them again in the afternoon they tell me that they didn’t yet accomplish their daily goal and that they have to work overtime to get it done.

Team 2 – Smart Mouse House

Team 2 is building their mouse trap which isn’t so bad for the mouse as one would imagine: The mouse will get entertained by music and a rotating mirror ball. They worked with the laser cutter today and they finished the basic structure of the house. Today they want to focus on the technical aspects (programming and getting the motors to run). So far they didn’t have any major problems. At the moment they are evaluating and testing parts of their project.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: Inexistent 👌

In the afternoon they tell me that they managed to finish their code and that they are only minimally lacking behind.

Team 3 – Devil Dish Rack

Team 3 with their evil dish rack which gets slowly tilted to the point that your dished will fall down if you aren’t fast enough made it work that the dish rack gets lifted by the help of a cordless screwdriver which can be seen in the picture. Today they plan to make a nice box and work on the electronic side: If dishes get placed on the dish rack a countdown should start and the dish rack should then get slowly tilted more and more. Therefore, they need pressure sensitive switches which register the weight of the dishes. The team’s main problem at the moment is how to hide everything neatly inside the box.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: 🤯🤯 / 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

Later the team tells me that they redesigned their construction. Whereas previously it was planned that the screwdriver stands upright they now laid it down horizontally and built a pulley to lift the dish rack up which can be seen in the picture. They also already built a simple circuit to test their construction as well as a pressure sensitive plate with pressure sensitive switches (connected in parallel) so that when one switch gets activated the rack gets tilted.

Team 4 – Snack to Go

This team is working on their sneaky snack bowl that moves away from anyone that comes near it and that wants to grab some snacks. They try to make the stepper motor work which is of utmost importance for the team at the moment and which is also their daily goal for today. When this essential function works the team will implement the sensors. Similarly to the other teams they don’t yet have any major problems, just a few small Arduino related hiccups.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: 🤯🤯🤯 / 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

Later this day I learn that they made the stepper work and that they are using RAMPS (which is specifically made for 3D printing) instead of CNC shields (which they originally planned to use) because they weren’t compatible with their Arduino Mega. The next step is to work on the design of their robot.

Team 5 – In Your Face

Hey, that’s us 😀 We are building a makeup robot which can make you look like a star … kind of. After having gathered some parts from the hardware store and the grocery store it’s now our plan to finish implementing at least one of our three planned makeup functions: Eye shadow, lipstick and rouge. So far, no major incidents.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: 🤯 / 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

In the afternoon the laser cutter that we use to make a nice makeup box gives us a bit trouble and also some of our servos don’t quite work as anticipated but luckily, we still have some days left and our box is finished so far.

Team 6 – Weighn

“Hopefully UPS will be arriving soon.” That’s what team 6 tells me when I interview them because they ordered a chip (HX711 to be precise) to readout the weight sensors of their evil scale that makes you heavier than you actually are (accompanied by a mirror that bends inwards to create the illusion that you are corpulent). The latest news is that the truck was in Garching at 7:30. Let’s hope that the delivery arrives in time. In the meantime, the group is working on the case of the scale to hide every electronic part (including the Arduino). As soon as the chip arrives the team wants to trigger the weight sensors. Furthermore, the team is working on the mounting and underlay (which has to be elastic) of a reflective foil which acts as a mirror.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃😃 – 😃😃😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: 🤯🤯 / 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯 (way more if the chip doesn’t arrive today)

Luckily UPS delivered the package this afternoon and the weighing function works 👍 The next step is to calibrate the scale. Furthermore, the team bought a plate for the reflective foil in the meantime.

Team 7 – iCleaner

The fact that “Sketching with Hardware” can also be dangerous is proven by this team. One team member tells me that a finger was involved in a bloody accident the day before 😱 Luckily it isn’t a severe injury. Team 7 is working on their iCleaner, a washer for smartphones. At the moment they are working on building some electronic parts of their device and writing some code. Furthermore, they consider different options regarding how to build their machine. Their daily goal is to cut the case of their washer and to finish building the chassis.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: None 👍

Later on, the group tells me that they are unfortunately lacking a bit behind because the laser cutter was occupied by other groups. Furthermore, they made a few changes regarding the design of the box.

Team 8 – What’s the Story – Morning Glory

Apparently, team 8 had the same plan as we since they are not here when we arrive (another team tells me that they are buying some parts for their project). They are working on their messy breakfast machine. Luckily later I get to interview them. They finished their building plan at home and got some wooden planks from the hardware store which they now want to cut in the laser cutter. Yesterday they did some explosions 💥 to get the bottom off of some glass bottles so that they are easily refillable. The plan for tomorrow is to work on the code.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: 🤯🤯 / 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

Aside from some small problems with the laser cutter the team tells me that they met their daily goal this afternoon. They also tell me that they struggled a bit with the strong fumes and the heat from the laser cutter 😬

Team 9 – Cat Feeding Machine

Last but not least, team 9 is working on their cat feeding machine which makes sure that only eligible cats get food. Overweight cats get sprayed with water or the food gets launched away with a catapult. How evil 😈 They already made an RFID scanner work and are now working on the distinction between cats that should get food and cats that should not. They use two servos: One to open the bottle with the food and one for the catapult.

Satisfaction level: 😃😃😃😃 / 😃😃😃😃😃

Stress level: 🤯 / 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯

In the afternoon when I ask them again regarding their project status I learn that they made the distinction with the RFID tags work and that the next step for today is to build the feeding box.

In a nutshell

All in all, I think it is safe to say that today was a rather satisfying day. Most of the teams met their daily goal and even when they didn’t they don’t lack behind much. Also, the stress level was still rather low. Now the question is: Is this just the calm before the storm? We will see…

linked categories 2018b, Daily Logs, Terms


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