Kinect Sensory Playbox

On April 2, 2011, in Electronics, Interactive Media, Kinect Dev, by Vlad Cazan

For a lack of a better title, I have started building my Kinect Sensory Playbox. It will consist of 15 miniature fans with red and green leds on each fan. The fans will be equally spaced out and inside a long box with circles cut when there fans are located. The led lights will be behind the fans to create a nice effect. sensory

Then Kinect will be mounted on top of the box and connected to a computer hidden under a table. The Kinect will capture data and turn on and off fans accordingly. Led lights will be behind the fan and they will be able to be programmed according to the kinect data.

After designing this concept I needed to find all the equipment I needed to make this project work. I knew I wanted to use an arduino to control the motors. In a previous post I figured out that in order to do this with an arduino I needed to buy tons of motor driver chips, or a ton of relays. I found some great 5v relays from sparkfun for about $1.50 when bought in bulk. To use these relays I also learned that you need a 2n222 transistor in order to boost the digital pin power to energize the coin in the relay.

These are the basic commponents to this project:

  • LEDS (red and green)
  • prototype board
  • 2n2222 transistor’s
  • Single Pole – Double Throw (SPDT) sealed relays (5v)
  • resistors for LEDs (470 ohm)
  • wire

For about $12 I found all these components at my local electronics shop in Toronto.

Next item I needed to find was motors and blades. One option for these could be buying pc cooling fans but these can come up to $5 each which is way to expensive for this project. Buying individual dc motors was an option as they are sold for about $2 each but finding a blade that was going to fit was going to be tricky and time consuming.

After a which talk to my professor I realized that the simplest solution was visiting the local dollar store and buying some handheld cooling fans. I found exactly what I was looking for and each motor only costed $1, or 1.13 with HST 🙂

I opened them up one by one making sure not to damage the blade or motor itsself as that was the only parts I was interested in keeping. Its really crazy how cheap this stuff really is.

Next I will be looking for a suitable enclosure and a way to create the holes for the fans cleanly.  I am still waiting for my relays so when they come I will be starting the wiring part as well.

Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.


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