Finalisation of Design And Technology

In the course of a month, I changed my mind a few times regarding the realisation of the wall element of my project.

As I had mentioned in my Pe-De-Te relationship slide, Design and Technology will work hand in hand. The design part, however, is dependent upon my choice of technology. So without further ado, here are my initial & final design choices:

Initial Idea

My first idea to realise my product, was to create a panel for the wall. In this way, all the hardware would be hidden behind the panel. However, upon further thought, I decided this wasn't something I wanted to do as a panel wouldn't look professional or compliment my product in any way.

Second Idea

The second idea was to create two separate cases in the shape of disks, that would be hung on the wall and communicate with each other through Bluetooth.

I felt this idea would look a lot better, as all the electronics would be neatly enclosed in the cases. However, upon discussing it with Ali, I was told that this is not the best idea for a number of reasons:

  1. I would need an Arduino and a Bluetooth module for each case.

  2. Consequently, I would need a power supply for each case, as Bluetooth uses a lot of power.

  3. Overall, it is an overly expensive and inconvenient way of doing it.

Ali gave me a different option: Unify the two cases and enclose all the electronics, including a power supply port, in the connecting part.

I spend about 3 days experimenting with this idea. I did a few drawings on the possible designs but I was really unhappy with the way it looked.

I wasn't happy with any of the possible looks and I was running short on time. I had to take a decision soon in order to keep going. That's when I realised something.

Up until now, I thought I needed 2 disks on the wall, to represent each leg:

  1. I.e. when both feet are on the ground both disks would light up simultaneously

  2. Or when performing high knees or other exercises, where each leg works separately, each disk would light up respectively.

Instead, if I just use 1 disk, I could easily code the neopixels to work in semi-circles, or as a whole circle, according to the chosen exercise. Like this:

There are a lot of benefits to this choice.

  1. If I add pressure sensors to prototype a mortal combat type of experience (where users are required to kick and punch as part of their workout), it makes a lot more sense to aim for one thing rather than

  2. Fewer things to 3D print. 

  3. Less wiring to do. 

  4. Less expensive.

Technology wise, I will be using:

  1. Two Genuinos MKR1000 (one for the floor mat and one for the wall element) that will enable communication between the two.

  2. An RFID reader

  3. Two rechargeable li-po batteries to power the Genuinos.

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