My former FLL team, the Flying Manatees, decided they wished to continue their STEAM work after aging out of the FIRST Lego League robotics competition. We brainstormed for awhile and finally focused on creating a new interactive donation box for the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts [a place near and dear to all our hearts].
The donation box would accept both coins and bills. It would reward the donor by adding a piece to a collaborative video art display created with Processing and powered by a Raspberry Pi. The path of the coin would select the shape and colour to be added. If they donated a bill, they could then select the shape and colour that would be added to the dynamic video. It would be fun, entice donors and reflect the Centre’s value and Mission. Here is a look at the build and the final piece.
NeoPixel Stick – 8 x 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers: Make your own little LED strip arrangement with this stick of NeoPixel LEDs. We crammed 8 of the tiny 5050 (5mm x 5mm) smart RGB LEDs onto a PCB with mounting holes and a chainable design. Use only one microcontroller pin to control as many as you can chain together! Each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED. Each one has ~18mA constant current drive so the color will be very consistent even if the voltage varies, and no external choke resistors are required making the design slim. Power the whole thing with 5VDC (4-7V works) and you’re ready to rock. (read more)
Each Friday is PiDay here at Adafruit! Be sure to check out our posts, tutorials and new Raspberry Pi related products. Adafruit has the largest and best selection of Raspberry Pi accessories and all the code & tutorials to get you up and running in no time!
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.