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Parent Makes One-of-a-kind Night Light for Daughter – “Harpa’s Night Light” #arduino #3Dprinting

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Trent Brooks contacted us to share about a project he made for his daughter: “I made a one of a kind smart night light for my daughter with a bunch of adafruit electronics — she absolutely loves it. Thanks so much, Adafruit!”

This is an ongoing project we made for our daughter Harpa (1 and a half years old). It’s a hand sewn elephant head sculpture with microcontroller electronics inside- essentially it’s a night light. It has evolved from a small paper origami elephant with blinking LEDs, to a large hand crafted elephant lamp shade with Wifi controlled RGB LEDs, microphone, speaker, and a custom designed iPad application to teach Harpa about colour. 

DESIGN:

The elephant model was designed in Blender, and 3D printed as a solid wireframe using the Shapeways service. The 3D print cost $70 and measures a fairly large 50cm wide x 50 cm high x 30cm deep. The idea with the wireframe was to hand sew all the faces onto the model, that way I could try different materials as well as save money on the 3D print (printing filled surface faces would cost thousands at that size).

HARDWARE:

The electronics are driven by an Arduino MEGA 2560 microcontroller with ethernet shield for network control. Connected to the board is a 50cm 5V RGB addressable LED strip with 30 LEDs, a 3.3V microphone module for sound detection, and an 8ohm speaker for playing back generated ‘white-noise’ audio. Total cost for the all the electronics was less than $100.

SOFTWARE:

I designed and built a custom iPad application which allows Harpa to learn about colour by selecting from colour presets. The main interface displays a grid of coloured elephant heads. When one is selected- the name of the colour is pronounced from the app, and the main night light changes colour. 

CONTROL MODES:

There is a hidden control panel in the iPad app which allows me to change some of the more advanced features. For example- I can switch the ‘white-noise’ speaker on (this used to be the only way we could get her to sleep all night uninterrupted); I can switch on audio reactive mode which uses the microphone to detect variations in sound level to change the LED colours (great when playing music, not so much for a sleeping baby); I can also change the number of LED’s, brightness, saturation, and have them auto cross fade into different colours.

Check out more project documentation and photos here!

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