Final Project: "Whispers"

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        After speaking with Neil, seems that the best option for the communications mechanism would be to use a short range magnetic or electric field.

        Relevant links:




Project Details

There will be *at least* 2 types of devices - regular cubes, that can only display color and pass messages to one another, and "master" cubes that can receive input and change their color manually, and then pass it on to the rest.

The different parts of the project:

  1. Networking
      a) physical layer communication - Several options:
            i) capacitance
            ii) inductance: neil
            iii) ultra-sonic
            iv) optical
            v*) linx: grace*  - need to reduce rate - "bad antenna"

      b) Low level protocol - most likely Interntet Zero

      c) Medium Access Control
            Phase 0 - pass a message by wire (or by copper trace, to be exact)
            Phase 1 - start small - just pass a message through the physical layer and make a change in another
            Phase 2 - more complex message format ( device addresses, control information )
            Phase 3 - try to handle issues like collisions, mutual transmissions, and so on
  2. Output
    Tri-Color, RGB LED's on each device. Each is color controlled by a separate PWM signal.
    For the final version - need a model that has enough illumination to nicely fill the cube space, or use multiple LEDs
    Specific models:
    Issues related to the material over the LEDs - see section about the packaging of the devices.
  3. packaging--physical packaging



  4. Input  ("master" devices only)
  5. Information processing - controls the devices


 1) /timeline/
 2) /website/
 3) /finalize 4 boards/
     i)   solder
     ii)  test rgb
     iii) read 3 pots
     iv)  pass info to led
      v)  out to rgb
 4) material experiments
 5) begin linx

 1) start integrating linx
       i) see if we need to order more, inventory of parts
 2) sketch movement of information
 3) start human input (capacitance)
    i) move from pots to final sensor
  4) list of final materials, including resistors

 1) /finish human input/
 2) start physical packaging
 3) begin: redo circuit and/or possible hardware

  1)buffer time
  2) website update
/1) finish physical packaging/
2) linx

1) /done with wireless communication
/2) almost done circuit/hardware
3) website update

1) make new boards
2) testing

1) buffer  time
2) website updates





Prototyping on Bigger Bertha - the develpment board


Playing with materials and light diffusion: