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Device

Studio ______________________ HopsCultor


SZU JUNG (JENNY) TAO SID 410002580
M: 0430050329

HopsCulator
Device Studio is a course of study provided for student to understand the concept behind an interactive device where it could possibly bring the society a more convenience in any kinds of manner. Students get to study a device they wanted to build, from brainstorming the idea, gathering concepts, finalizing idea and to build up the device. Students gain the fundamental knowledge of how circuses work and how different kinds of boards function, from there, students are able to come up with their ideas and create a unique device by themselves. I searched for an idea that would actually help children age from 6 month to 6 years to learn the general knowledge in a fun and entertaining way, as well to learn the skill how to socialize with other peers. From research, children from 6 months to 6 years learn most efficiently. Their brain develops and grows rapidly during this period. Children attempt to learn any kind of skills and easily absorb what they experienced, depending on how the environment impacts them. However, parents attempt to teach their children from home, due to their children arent old enough to go to Pre School or primary school. Parents teach them the basic knowledge such as speaking, writing, reading, counting, communicating, and extras. But is this really enough for children to learn with only two parents and not with all other same age kids? Technology these days may offer us great teaching methods to educate the next generation. There are varieties of excited devices such as Television, eBooks, Computer, Internet, iPad, or any sort of device that could help children from 6 months to 6 years to learn. Although these technologies brought parents convenient to be able to teach their children at home, children learn skills in a young age. However I think theyre missing a very important ingredient, that is, socializing skills. In the latest Y and X generation, you may find teens rely on computers, Internet, daily devices like iPad, and smart phones. It seems they only live in the virtual world and some teens dont even have the skill or ability to socialize or communicate with others. This may cause by the technology boosted in the early 90s, the major invention was the Internet. Children were introduced to the technology in the early age, and now they value the computers, television, or smart phone devices their only way to learn. Therefore, I want to make a device that encourages parents to take their children outside the house and to learn with other children as learning peers. This way they get to learn the skill as well communicating and socializing with others.

I cam up with an idea creating an electronic hopscotch for children, however it is not only a hopscotch, its a giant calculator. The reason to make it giant is because children are over-active. They love over sized toys. Making them move around the device can be one of the major keys that draw a kids attention. And I named it the Hopsculater.

Thoughtless Act:

Thoughtless act is defined as something we do without thinking or realizing or perhaps insensitive. You may ask me how this device relates to the project them Thoughtless act. Well, lets have a think about it. People these days including us living in a high technology environment. We rely on mobile phones to retrieve information via Internet. We call, we receive calls, we text, we play games, we read, watch news and videos, we check dictionary, weather, emails. We check social webs to get connected 24 hours 7, we google search anything we arent sureall sorts of other things. I mean, once the environment has influenced you, its hard to live without what youre used to. However as were living in the high technology environment, we attempt to stay where we are and not to think further what can be improved. Because we are used to what everyone does and we do it as well without thinking. This is called the thought act action. The project Hopsculater has complete relationship with thoughtless act. People these day they teach their children using high technology, but they not yet realized although these high tech device brings the convenient to our daily life, it also reduce down the chances and possibility to communicate or socialize with a real person. And more importantly, once the children are used to using these high technology devices, they start to refuse to talk to the peers, they dont learn from the peers, because they did not learn the skill of how to communicate and socialize with others! Parents dont realize, because theyre influenced by the environment, and they uses what has been provided to them. This is where HopsCulater comes in, encouraging the parents to take their kids outdoor, to compete with other peers as well learning, communicating and socializing with other same age peers. At first I was going to make a word spelling hopscotch with 26 letters from A-Z. However after I delivered the idea in the presentation, it comes back in result that numbers are easier to make and still achieve my purpose of making this design. Therefore I switched my original idea to numbers from 0-9 and inly with +, -, and =. I also need a Clear button for clearing / reset the formula. The Hopsculator. The Hopsculator works as a calculator, but only with Plus, Minus, and Equals. It may seems way too easy for adults to interactive with the device, however this device is targeting on children from age 6 months to 6 years. (Children who are still learning the basic of mathematics). More over the challenge is, the Hopsculater knows how to read negative and positive numbers. For example: -3 + -3= -12. Once you hop this formula, the device would spilt out Minus, 6.

Or even when you hop on 3 - + 3, the answer that answers you would also be Munus, 6.

Technical aspects:

In the technical aspect, there are some difficulties I encountered which may have failed to be solved and were lead to change my project plan. At first I was going to use the MP3 Player Shield, apply onto Audrino. MP3 PLAYER SHIELD MICRO SD CARD (FOR SHIELD) AUDRINO BOARD - The mp3 player shield is for triggering the track when a specific mat is pressed down. For example, when A mat is pressed down, it would trigger a specific mp3 track on the micro SD card, which would say A while the audience jump on the A mat. - The micro SD card is for storing the track and insert on the mp3 player board, like an external memory. And the tracks in the SD card need to be organized applying with the Arduino code.

- The Arduino board is there to talk to the mp3 player shield and sanding data between the mp3 player shield and the arduino code. I had to solder the mp3 player shield with the female pins, somehow I soldered it on the wrong side of the board, so I hade to unsolder it, which it happened to be burnt the board and cannot to be read through Audrino board. It was a tragedy that there wasnt enough time for me to ship another one from littlebird electronic or spark fun. Therefore I decided not to mark around with the mp3 board. Instead I am going to use processing to trigger the sound (track). Though triggering the sound tracks from processing through computer doesnt make my device an independent device, however it still achieves what I need to achieve and still delivers the idea as a prototype.

Arduino Code:

(Download) This code allows your Arduino board to talk to the Processing and transferring data between them.

Processing code:

(Download) This code will allow you to trigger the sound from 0-9, Plus, Minus, equals and clear once you jump on the mats. # Note: when you jump on a mat each time, you will need to stay off the hopscotch for the mat to release again to trigger the sound. (It is a bit slow due to there is no air going through the mat, it takes a bit of time for the mat to release and so as triggering the track) It doesnt have the function of inserting the answer see if youre correct or not, due to difficulties not knowing how to write an insert code in processing. However the general idea is, when you create a formula, you also input the answer, then the hopsculater will indicate you if youre correct or not. In this one you can only create a formula and the device will spit out the answer for you, just like a calculator, but a giant one.

List:
Item Mp3 Player Shield Sun shade Quantity 1 Yellow x 1 Blue x 1 Pink x 1 Green x 2 1 Sticky Tape x 2 Double sided tape x 4 2 1 Price $ 44 AUD $ 40 AUD

Yoga Mat 185 cm x 80 cm Tapes (Clear tape, Double sided tape) Aluminium Foil Inc Arduino Board kit

$ 14 AUD $ 10 AUD $ 2.30 AUD $ 99 AUD


Pin Pin 2 Pin 3 Pin 4 Pin 5 Pin 6 Pin 7 Mat Number # 2 # 3 # 4 # 5 # 6 # 7

Pin 8 Pin 9 Pin 10 Pin 11 Pin 12 Pin 13 Pin A0 Pin A1

# 8 # 9 # 0 # 1 Plus + Minus - Equal Clear

Pictures:

Video: http://vimeo.com/32034190

Schematic:

(Download)