Applications and implications

This week is an update of the final project proposal. I will do a quick review on where it stands and what needs to be done. In week 1 and on the final project page my idea for my final project is a mindfullness pensieve. Originally I was thinking it would look quite similar to a bowl with lights on top, hidden sensors on the side and vents where aroma can come through. When the user holds the pensieve the stress levels are measured through the finger tips – based on the stress levels the pensieve will start a sequence of light and aroma therapy to create a moment mindfullness.

What will it do?

Above and on the project page I have described what the pensieve does: it creates a moment for the user to become more mindfull. A little bit more specific, the moment is slightly different depending on the stress levels that are measured from the user. In resting state the pensieve looks like a bowl that slightly flickers like a candle to draw a little bit of attention. When the user lifts the bowl up a sensor takes a measurement of the stress levels from the user and the lights ‘wake up’ indicating a moment is about to start. During the moment the lights fade in and out indicating the breathing speed, during the moment this slows down to a speed suitable for meditation. To make the moment even more immersive there will also be aroma therapy. The pensieve releases aroma from a special module. The aroma is indicated with a slight change of colour in the lights. When the smells change, the colours change accordingly. A less stressed / more mindfull user will also receive less indicators of this process happening challenging them to focus on this momment even more.

Who’s done what beforehand?

There are many different (smart) mindfullness gadgets. Like this smart Muse headband that calms you down with weather sounds. Or this famous app called Headspace that specialices in guided meditation excercises. Also I found Pebble that creates similar moments to the pensieve. In the Fabcommunity I found a project that also uses a GSR sensor from Norma Deseke. And this years student Nikita Kovalchuck is using the a similar technique to vape / aromatize. After reaching out to Nikita we discussed our test results thus far.

What will you design?

A list of parts and systems that will be designed and made are as follows.

Brains – microcontroller design based on Satshakit, pcb will be milled on the Modela mdx 20 and soldered by hand. Senses – GSR, will try to design this myself but based on experiences from others I might just buy this. Actuators – LED’s, would be nice to get these ‘deadbug’ style in a resin. These will be RGBw (warm white). Also I need to design a container for the aroma therapy part.

Body – Combination of molding and casting, milling 2D and 3D milling.
Bits and bops to hold everything in place will be 3D printed.

What materials and components will be used?

For now these are the materials and components that I will be using. All electronics from Farnell are in the Fablab inventory and don’t have to be bought. Also I am using scrap materials where possible (wood, nichrome, fillament). This list excludes things like milling bits, solder and pcb blanks and probably more.

QuantityPartStorePrice excl. vatCommentsCategory
1NeoPixel Ring – 24 x 5050 RGBW LEDs Integrated Drivers – Warm WhiteKiwi Electronics€23,95Electronics
1Grove – GSRKiwi Electronics€11,95Plan BElectronics
1DC Jack Adapter – USB to 5.5×2.1mmKiwi Electronics€3,50Electronics
12.1mm DC barrel jack (female) – Panel mountKiwi Electronics€1,95Electronics
1Grove – Water Atomization v1.0Opencircuit€11,95Plan BElectronics
1Air pump 3-6VOpencircuit€4,95Or fanElectronics
1PVC hose 4 – 6 mmOpencircuit€3,95Comes in 200cmElectronics
1Nichrome 80 0.2mm 32 Gauge AWG 40 M Roll 29.72 Ohm/m Heater WireGranado€6,99From stock, need less than 20cmElectronics
116Mhz/18pF crystalFarnell€0,20Electronics
1Green led 1206Farnell€0,12Electronics
1Yellow led 1206Farnell€0,05Electronics
1Button 1206Farnell€0,65Electronics
110k resistor 1206Farnell€0,03Electronics
2500 ohm resistor 1206Farnell€0,03Electronics
222pF capacitorFarnell€0,05Electronics
110uF capacitorFarnell€0,15Electronics
11uF capacitorFarnell€0,06Electronics
2100nF capacitorFarnell€0,04Electronics
1Pin headersFarnell€1,77Electronics
1PurpleheartFijnhout Amsterdam€25,00Material
1Fillament 2.85mmColorFabb€35,00Don’t need muchMaterial
1Epoxacast – smooth onFormX€24,60Or similar clear resinMaterial
1Oomoo – smooth onFormX€27,15
1Millable waxMillablewax.com0RecycledMaterial

How will it be evaluated?

A working proof of concept that looks finished (inside and out) that can easily be replicated by others.

  • Interaction implemented in such a way that it can be tested.
  • All physical elements made through various digital fabrication techniques (addative, substractive) where possible.
  • Design where form follows function.
  • Reproducabillity of design and production through clear documentation.

What questions need to be answered?

  • How am I ever gonna pull this off in two weeks?
  • Is the scope of my project not too big?
  • Decide between air pump and fan for the aroma’s
  • What is a reliable way to test stress levels with GSR, is it possible at all?
  • What is the best form for my pensieve.
  • What is the best placement for the GSR electordes?

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