So, I pulled off my Piano Stairs hack this past weekend using parts from Adafruit! Specifically, a Raspberry Pi, an Arduino Uno, and a bunch of photoresistors. I used flashlights on each stair, across from the photoresistors, in order to up the contrast and make it way more robust. (Without flashlights, you get effects like people casting shadows on stairs they’re not actually standing on, etc.)
Now, that was for a hackathon, but I think I have an opportunity to install this semi-permanently (well, maybe a few days or a few weeks) elsewhere on campus. However, the problem with flashlights is that the batteries only last a few hours, and I’d like to just be able to plug something in.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.