Monday, November 14, 2016

A Working Prototype (#IoT)

Merging Different Functions

I've reached the point in my exploration where I've got several different functions merged into one program and a working prototype that uses alligator clips, a servo, a buzzer, NeoPixels, and surface mounted LEDs. The trick is going to be figuring out how to streamline the circuit so that it can fit neatly inside of a book (that will be built to accommodate it), with different functions playing on different pages to help tell a story of some sort.  

I just ordered some conductive fabric strips to test out for the hinges.  This tape is conductive on both sides, so I could conceivably use it on the hinges and adhere it to copper tape soldered to the Photon.

I have been unsuccessful getting a more compact servo to work with the code, so I may have to table the servo idea, unless I can come up with a way to conceal it.  The servo I'm currently using, the TowerPro SG90, is over an inch tall.  The one I want to use, the HK5320, is much smaller.  I can't figure out if the issue I'm having relates to voltage or something else.

SMD LED Function

Monday, November 7, 2016

Interactive NeoPixels with Photon and Twitter (#IoT)

Today, I spent time experimenting with code and playing around with  If Then Than That (IFTTT), which recently changed its set-up.  My goal was to start merging programs on my Photon.  So far, I've got a servo and NeoPixels running in one program, but I'd still like to add in code for a buzzer and LEDs that will be triggered by a light sensor.

My most exciting breakthrough was figuring out how to use IFTTT's "New Tweet From Search" feature, which makes it possible to trigger a web request by filtering a search in Twitter.  In the case of my experiment, I created Applets, formerly referred to by IFTTT to as recipes, that can control the colors of NeoPixels connected to my Photon, in much the same way that CheerLights work!

This could provide an interesting way to interact with a wifi-connected book.  A reader could send a tweet to change the color of LEDs in the book or scan a QR code to achieve the same effect, by triggering a Maker Event (also set up in IFTTT).  While I'd already figured out how to do this with my own Tweets, I now know how to allow other peoples' tweets to interact with my Photon.  My next step is to add code to the program so that a musical function is called in response to data received on a light sensor.