For our final project we wanted to create a visually appealing and interesting way of displaying the emotions of those in a space. We thought about how it is beneficial to your mental health to be able to track your own mood and improve your understanding of others by becoming aware of the various moods around you.
Initial inspiration and sketch of interaction:
We created a system where users can input their current emotion and then visualize that emotion through a series of LEDs. Users input their emotion by selecting how they are feeling using a slide potentiometer and then submitting their selected emotion through a momentary push button. The data collected from the potentiometer is then translated into an LED lighting up or getting brighter. The color and position of the LED is determined by the emotion that the user inputs.
For the enclosure of the potentiometer, submit button, and Arduino we laser cut a box out of 1/8in plywood. After gluing the box together we treated the wood with a stain and then modge podged the surface with the labels attached, to give the box a semi glossy finish. We used an acrylic globe used for light fixtures to display the LEDs since we knew it would diffuse the light. To hold the LED strip in place we wrapped it around a styrofoam cone.
The hardware consists of an Arduino Uno, slide potentiometer, momentary push button, LED strip and breadboard. We used a DOT STAR LED Strip, the main difference between this and the Neopixel LED strip is that it uses two pins to control it (the data pin and the clock pin). To set up the LED strip we referenced https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-dotstar-leds. The momentary push button that we used has a white LED that lights up when the button is pushed. To get the momentary push button setup we referenced the YouTube video https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-dotstar-leds. In the schematic it shows the momentary push button connected to an LED this is to represent the LED in the momentary push button.
The code works to make the LED corresponding to the emotion input light up or get brighter. The color of each individual LED can be set but the brightness can not. To vary the brightness we instead started at a low amount of red, green, and blue and increased the amount of red, green, and blue keeping the same proportions. If the LED that corresponds to the emotion input is full the code checks to see if it can light up or increase the brightness of the LED to its left and if that is full it checks to the right. This continues until an LED in the range for that color can be updated. If all of the LEDs are at full brightness for that range then nothing will change. A future improvement would be finding the best way to represent the data when it reaches full brightness.
Final Images and Video Demonstration: