The construction part of our little handometer was definitely the more challenging part, but ultimately it proved pretty satisfying. There were two parts that we focused on. First, the stuffing (and FSR-attachment) of the glove (materials pictured below):
And secondly, the construction of the actual device, the boxy part of it that would give the strength readings and also give our hand a nice steady support. We focused first on the board that would give the reading. We found some nice slabs of scrap wood that could function as the base and sides of the structure and then found another piece to be the top. On that last piece, we used the laser cutter to write in the three different levels: “Ouch”, “Firm!” and “Wimp”.
Those three ping-pong looking balls functioned as our diffusers. They were hot-glued to the wood and covered the holes we drilled for our LEDs. With the balls on top of them, the light from the LEDs would be more nicely diffused, and would give us the light-up effect that we were going for.
We stuck our little Arduino and breadboard into the box that we had created, making sure that all of the wires fit through (it took a bit of soldering to make sure that all of the wires were well-connected, just FYI)….
…and were pretty happy when we discovered that the wiring still worked:
(It’s impossible to show all of the troubleshooting that went on, but we ended up needing super-bright LEDs that would fill up the entire plastic ball, so we said sayonara to the ones that I showed in the first post).
Confident that the circuitry would still function correctly within our woodwork, we got another slab of wood and laser-cut the phrase “Nice to Meet You” onto it. This was the board that the hand would be stuck to…
So by the end of that day, we had the basic outline of our final product, minus all the bells and whistles:
Niiiice. So the next day was all about filling in the details. Like the color on the words….
And the filling in of the hand (we named him Ferdinhand, silent “h” of course), so that it (he?) would feel realistic…
Buying a larger FSR, drilling a hole for it through the board, and then connecting the FSR…
and finally, drilling all of the boards together.
And all of that work came together into one final product:
Nice to meet you, indeed.
Check out our final video to see little Ferdinhand working successfully from start to finish (or actually, finish to start). Credit to Alessandra for making it.
And for the curious, here’s a shot of the code. Click to enlarge.