- Bruna, Annelie, and I wanted to create something fun and engaging. We eventually settled on a hula hoop, with an accelerometer attached to it, that would hook up to a Processing sketch. The whole theme was the circus: once you started hula hooping, circus music would start to play and the Processing sketch would show a magical image of sparks that followed the movement of the hoop. Supposedly.
- Halfway through the circuitry and programming, Bruna, Annelie, and I realized that for our project to function properly, it needed to be wireless. We figured that out with help from Lisa, ITP’s resident hula hoop champion:
And the problems that we faced:
First, trying to set up the wireless communication using Zigbees turned out to be WAY more complicated than we initially expected. Though we managed to get the Xbees talking to each other, we could not get them to send the right data to each other from the accelerometer to the Arduino.
Secondly, Our accelerometer that we ordered didn’t arrive until the week that our project was due. Had we shipped it faster, we could have had a full two weeks to do substantive work on our project. We also didn’t think to just borrow an accelerometer from someone for those two weeks, which in retrospect seems mind-numbingly obvious. Sigh.
We changed our idea too many times. We spent a TON of time brainstorming ideas and even after we settled on one, we ended up changing our minds a couple more times. This was a mistake. It’s great to brainstorm, but if we had known from the beginning that we’d be using the hula hoop, we could have ordered a different sensor altogether (maybe used the much simpler FSRs instead!).
And finally, in all caps because this was the single most limiting factor, TIME. We didn’t give ourselves enough of it. Between the idea changing and the late shipping, we really crippled ourselves and underestimated how long everything would take. Worked against us.
However, I still enjoyed working with Bruna and Annelie and I learned a lot in the process, too.