My name is Patrick Mitchell. Thank you for taking an interest in my 21st Kickstarter campaign! This campaign will be the most educational campaign that I've launched to date, and I'm hoping that I can get you on board! I would like to introduce you to the Arduino Playbot!
The Playbot has many on-board features:
1) Relay Control - The on-board relay will allow for you to turn high power AC or DC devices on and off though software. If you've never used a relay before, you'll learn not only how it works, but how to control external devices with it!
2) Infrared (IR) Transmitter & Receiver - Learn how to take infrared signals from your TV remote control, and re-transmit them back to your television! One of the projects that I already have planned, allows for you to learn the TV on/off signal, and re-transmit it back to the TV when someone walks into the room. It makes for a great and spooky prank!
3) Active Buzzer - The on-board active buzzer can be selected via DIP switch, and can be controlled via software. I will be making a few different security system projects that will implement this little guy.
4) LCD Control - The on-board LCD can be controlled via software, and on-board DIP switches. The LCD will be used for most of the projects that I'll be creating. You will also be able to turn the LCD backlight on and off with ease! If you've never used an LCD before with your Arduino UNO, you're going to learn just how easy it is with the Playbot!
5) The Electret Microphone - That's right! We're going to make noise detectors, a clap-on/clap-off relay switch, and a double clap on/double clap off relay switch. You're going to learn how to do it, and how it works!
6) The Variable Resistor - I'm going to show you a fun way of using a variable resistor to control sensitivity digitally through the use of a simple variable resistor and the analog-to-digital channels of the ATMEGA328-PU chip.
7) The Light Sensor (LDR) - The light dependent resistor is a favourite of mine. We can determine if the light in the room is bright or dark. We can also detect FAST changes in light. Do you have a laser pointer? Even if you don't, you can imagine the possibilities. We're going to have some fun with this component.
8) Servo Motor Control - There is a 3-pin selectible header that allows for you to plug in a micro servo motor. I'm going to show you how to do some fun things with it. Remember, all of the code samples will be fully commented, so that you can easily follow along!
9) The Keypad/PIR Sensor Connector - This three pin header allows for you to connect to a resistor based keypad, or a PIR motion sensor module. We will be using these for many of our projects. Even if you don't pledge towards a reward tier that includes a keypad, or motion sensor, you can make your own keypad with my instructions, and you can use your own PIR sensor module if you'd like. Prepare to make motion sensor alarm systems, motion based pranks, and combination lock projects!
10) Ultrasonic Transmitter/Receiver Control - There is a 4-pin female header on the main board that allows for you to connect an HC-SR04 ultrasonic transmitter/receiver module. With this module, we will be able to create all sorts of fun projects together. This ultrasonic module was included in my last Kickstarter campaign as well.
11) The SEL (Selection) Button & The Reset Button - There are two buttons located on the Playbot labelled "SEL", and "RST". The SEL button is just a simple momentary push button pulled to 5v through a 10k pull up resistor. We will be using this button very often to communicate with the Playbot software. The "RST" button is a simple reset button. When pressed, the software loaded into the processor is reset.
Here is a short video that describes each of the on board functions:
What Projects Have Already Been Created?
I have already created ten projects, which all have instructional videos, and fully commented sample code. I will be uploading a video a day to youtube for the first ten days of this campaign, and will be providing several video links to pledges every few days via project updates. At the end of the campaign, I will be creating a project page on my website http://www.engineeringshock.com/ that will include the code samples, project videos, schematic diagrams, and the assembly video. Here is a brief description of the first ten projects:
1) HELLO PLAYBOT - This is an extremely basic project that only includes the LCD. It scrolls a message from left to right, and back again. Over and over. This lesson serves to give you a quick demo of how to use the LCD on the Playbot, as the LCD will be used in many of the projects that I'll be covering.
2) Clap ON/Clap OFF - This project is the first of three projects that build off one another. In this project, we'll learn how to use the microphone to create a device that turns on the relay and controls a lamp using a single clap. One clap to turn the relay/lamp on, and another to turn it off. You will also learn how to use the relay to control high power devices.
3) Clap ON/Clap OFF Part#2 - This project will show you how to use the on-board variable resistor to create adjustable sensitivity in software. This project will include the microphone, the variable resistor, the SEL button, the LCD, and the relay. On power up, you'll be able to choose between ten levels of sensitivity that is determined by the state of the variable resistor.
4) Double Clap ON/Double Clap OFF With Adjustable Sensitivity - This is the third and final "Clap" project, and it is the most complicated. Don't worry, though. All of the sample code is fully commented, and easy to follow. In this project, we will take the code from project#3, but we'll be adding in a timer function. Once one clap is detected, the unit starts counting down for 500 milliseconds, and during that time, it waits for a second clap. If a second clap is detected in that time frame, then the relay is turned on. If not, the software resets. After the relay is triggered, the units waits for a subsequent pair of claps to turn the relay off again.
5) Receive, Learn, and Re-transmit Infrared (IR) TV Remote Signals - This project will show you how to learn an infrared code from your TV remote control. It will also show you how to re-transmit the signal back to your TV by pressing the SEL button!
6) The TV Prank! - This is one of my favourites so far! In this project, we'll learn how to calibrate a passive infrared motion sensor (PIR sensor) with our LCD, learn the power on/off signal from a TV remote control, and use motion to re-transmit the code. That way, when someone walks into the room, the TV turns on. If someone watching TV, and someone walks by, the TV will turn off. This project will be a lot of fun for you, and very frustrating for those subjected to it!
7) Software Sabotage / Limited Time Software - This is another favourite of mine. In this project, you'll learn how to limit the usage of any given software by implementing two integers into your code, and by calling a simple, and easily modified function. To put it simply, you'll learn how to create a piece of software that can only be used a limited amount of times before the program freezes on reset/power up. We will be creating a basic piece of software that operates perfectly until the 5th reset/power up. On the 6th power up/reset, the LCD will read "PROGRAM FROZEN!. You won't be able to do anything until you re-program the chip. While limited in its use, this is a fun project, and you'll learn how how to use EEPROM memory!
8) Understanding The Resistor Based Keypad - Whether or not you pledge towards a reward tier that includes a resistor based keypad, you will still learn how to make one during this project. The resistor based keypad has three pins (5v/Output/Ground). When you press a button, a very specific voltage level will appear at on the output pin. We're going to learn how to read these voltages using the analog input pins and the LCD!
9) Decoding The Resistor Based Keypad - Now that we know how to read the voltages for each button on the resistor based keypad, we'll learn how to decode those digital voltage representations, so that the processor will know which button is bring pressed!
10) Let's Make A Digital Combination Lock With EEPROM Memory! - Another favourite of mine. We'll take all that we've learned so far, and create our own combination lock circuit, with a re-programmable 4-digit code that we can save into memory. When the correct code is entered, the relay will latch on. With the relay, we can control an electromagnetic lock, or lamp, or actuator. Whatever you'd like! This is the most complicated project at this point, but all of the code is commented, and easy to follow!
That's not all, folks!
As of right now, there are only ten projects that I've completed. I want to do many more. As the campaign ramps up, I'll be updating you with new project ideas, and videos. Any project that I create for this set will be included on the project page at the end of this campaign. I have barely scraped the surface of what I can do with this beast! I'll be implementing stretch goals (With luck) that push for many, many more projects and extras. If you wish to witness my teaching style, here is a basic video that I created while designing the Playbot. It shows you how to import your Arduino UNO projects onto breadboards or PCB:
What is the current status of the Playbot?
Done. That is to say, that the hardware design is fully tested. The printed circuit board design seen in the campaign video is the final revision. I have created 10x projects thus far, with 10x pieces of fully commented code. This is just the starting point relative to software. I need to complete the videos for each project. As mentioned above, I will be releasing one project video a day for the first ten days of this campaign. Other videos with other code samples will follow.
Depending on the reward tier that you pledge towards, you can receive the following along with your Playbot assembly or DIY kit:
The AC-DC Wall Adapter: This wall adaptor is rated for 120-240VAC-IN at 50/60Hz, and outputs 9VDC @ 1A. This is a nominal power supply module.
Female to Female Connector Cable: These cables allow for you to interface your Arduino Playbot with other arduino compatible devices.
The 3-Pin Female to Female Connector Cable: This cable allows for you to connect the resistor based keypad or PIR motion sensor to the Arduino Playbot.
The Micro-Servo Motor Set: This micro servo motor connects to the servo output of the Playbot, and comes with several different attachments and screws.
The HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Transmitter/Receiver: This unit connects to the left side of the Playbot, and allows for you to measure distance, and create security barriers, among other things!
The Passive Infrared Motion Detector (PIR) Module: This unit connects to the Playbot via 3-pin female-female wire connector cable. It is able to detect the infrared signals coming off of the human body, and works as a pretty awesome motion detector.
The Resistor Based Keypad: This keypad has a single analog data line, a 5v power line, and a DC ground line. It also connects to the Playbot through the 3-pin female-female wire connector. We're going to make some great projects with this bad boy! If you do not pledge towards a reward tier that includes one of these keypads, do not fret. If you follow the videos, you'll learn how to make your own with your own components!
This campaign will stretch across forty days. After the first two weeks, I will have enough information to forecast how many components, printed circuit boards, accessories, and fully assembled units that I will need to order to fulfil reward shipments in a timely manner. During this time, I will also be uploading project videos, and creating new projects and custom code samples for pledges to work with at the end of this campaign.
During the third week of this campaign, I will be creating and sending out orders to all of my relative vendors. A project update will be published when this process is complete.
The fifth week of this campaign will be the last, and it will be spent working on new projects, project videos, and code samples. I will also be following up with vendors. I should have many of the parts in hand at this point in time. I will send out all of the reward surveys within 24 hours after this campaign ends.
The first two weeks after this campaign ends, will be spent programming chips, kitting up DIY kits, connecting LCDs to fully assembled units, and quality testing fully assembled units and accessories.
By the third week after this campaign ends, all reward shipments should be in transit.
I feel a little bit silly for repeating what I continue to say in each of my campaigns, but it never hurts to show gratitude. Without the Kickstarter community, most of my projects would never come to life. It is pretty darn expensive to design and manufacture my ideas. I've been so fortunate to have had so many people believe in me over the past three years, spanning twenty previous campaigns. Many pledges are return pledges. You guys know who you are. I'm very, very grateful. I'm thankful for everyone who takes and interest in my ideas. If you've never pledges to any of my campaigns in the past, please know that it is my main objective to ensure that I ship your quality tested reward out on time. I often to my best to ship early. Thank you for taking an interest in the Arduino Playbot!
Risks and challenges
There is little risk, if any in a delay in reward shipments. There is no risk to rewards never being shipped. I have had enough experience at this point, that I consider myself to be a well-oiled Kickstarter machine =) Rewards are expected to ship by the third week post campaign. I will be ordering all of the parts prior to this campaign ending. I have excellent relationships with my component sources, and years of working experience with my PCB assembling firm. If this is your first time pledging to one of my campaigns, then please know that it is my top priority to ensure that you receive a quality reward on time. Thank you for your consideration!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)