Final Project Progress

Light sensing beds!

A couple weeks ago I decided to change my previously planned final project. Now I want to make interactive beds for my kids. The idea is that they are simple platform beds, low to the ground (my kids are young and tend to fall out of bed which is why they currently sleep on the floor), and on casters so that the kids can push them around and reconfigure their room. I decided to add ground effects for general awesomeness, so when the light turns out, the bottom of the bed glows.


Last week, I designed the files and cut them on the shop bot.

The wood I'm using is birch. The rails of the beds have decorative designs on them.

I stained the wood first and then used a 1/2 inch ball-nose endmill to engrave the designs for a two-tone effect. One hiccup during this process is that I realized I could have done a better job of fastening the wood to the bed. It was slightly uneven which made for varying thicknesses in the engraved design (which looks fine but is something to note for the future). John D. showed me afterwards that you really need to pre-drill holes before you put the screws in.

I had some extra space on this wood so I also designed some wooden trivets to paint later and give as Christmas gifts. Yay - I don't have to go to the mall!

Unfortunately I forgot to cut holes in the platform to let air circulate around the mattress -- doh! I had to go back to the ShopBot this week and cut some holes in my platforms. Thanks to Nadya for pointing out this detail.

This week I've also been researching parts and trying to get a better idea of exactly how my circuit will work. I'm using some super bright strip LEDS which I ordered in blue and yellow (to match the bed colors). It turns out blue is super bright but I needed to use two strips of yellow to match the brightness.

I tested the strips under my coffee table. Blue makes for an unearthly glow. I'm not sure if my table should have hydraulics or take off into space.

Now I'm going to be combining our phototransistor example from Inputs week with a Fabduino and an N-Mosfet transistor to operate as a voltage divider to let power flow/not flow to the LED strip. Many thanks to Nadya for helping me work through this - this is my main task for the coming week along with finishing to assemble my beds.