Giving feelings to objects
An Arduino driven shoe shelf in action. Left out to stare at shoes gathering in front of it:
Building the shoe shelf
At the drawing board I started thinking of the design of the shoe shelf . I wanted all shelves to be easily accessible to place shoes on. The triangle shaped sides solved this problem with a longer shelf at the bottom and shorter shelves further up. The top shelf became the trophy stand for favorite shoe pairs.
Inspired by furniture design of the 50s with the black string shelf system I painted the shoe shelf black. The black color would also give the illusion of that the shoe shelf was made of something else than wood. The black color also became the obvious choice to hide dirt from the shoes and make the black Sharp sensors I would use blend into the construction.
During the process of building the construction I started investigating the electronics that would actually detect the number of shoes on the shelves. Trying out different detectors like ultrasonic sensors and push buttons the IR sensor did the job. A Sharp GP2D12 sensor would detect when someone was passing by the shoe shelf and trigger the sound to play depending on the sensors placed on each shoe shelf. A Welleman sound board was used with the ability to record 5 different sounds. Closing one of 5 circuits on the sound board would play one of the 5 sounds in the speaker included in the board.
I used a BasicX Stamp micro processor to control the sound board. I uploaded my Basic programming through a modified telephone cable connected to the serial port. Later on I switched to an Arduino board to be able to connect the microprocessor via USB. To improve sound quality I replace my sounds board with a Wave Shield 1.0.