I burn my tongue on food far too frequently. I need a buddy who can help.
Building my Final Buddy
what will it do?
My temperature buddy will have a temperature sensor that can detect if food is too hot (or cold) to eat. If the food is too hot, the temperature buddy will shake violently and its face will slowly glow a nice burning red. If the food is too cold, the forehead will glow blue denoting imminent brainfreeze and its head will shake with a chill.
who's done what beforehand?
The most common thing that's done beforehand, is people have burned their tongues. There do exist common food thermometers but these are rarely used in practice. There have been projects that try to build thermistor-based food thermometers, as discussed in this thread, thought I haven't found any documentation of finished projects.
what materials and components will be required?
I will need the following materials and components:
- Wood/3D Printer Material/or Acrylic to create a structure for the head
- Felt cloth or some material to create the external 'skin' of the head
- Thermistor and associated hardware to create temperature sensor
- Motor to control head movements
- LEDs to illimunate 'skin' based on food temperature
- Batteries, wiring, and connectors to power and connect all the electronics
- Googly Eyes
where will they come from?
Many of the electronic components are available in the Fab Inventory. I have several motors that can be used to drive the movement. I have some spare acrylic that I can use to build a prototype of the head structure, and I can use wood/3D printing to create a final version if deemed worthwhile.
The fabric to encase the exterior of the buddy is not currently available at the lab, but I will be able to buy some at local craft shops.
how much will it cost?
I expect the fabric used for the external skin to cost a couple tens of dollars.
what parts and systems will be made?
- Body/Head Structure of the Temperature Buddy
- Temperature sensing circuitry
- LED system driven by temperature sensor reading
- Motor driver and motor driven by temperature sensor reading
- External fabric 'skin' to cover the temperature buddy
what processes will be used?
- 3D CAD design of body/head structure
- Milling Circuit Boards
- Pressfit Design for head structure
- Lasercutting head structure
- Embedding programming to drive motors/LEDs/sensors
what tasks need to be completed?
The tasks outlined in the section 'what parts and systems will be made' need to be completed. In further detail, this included designing the head CAD model, designing the circuit boards that drive the LEDs, motors, and sensors, and designing an output scheme to convert the sensor readings into appropriate outputs
what questions need to be answered?
What is the dynamic range of the temperature setting? How quickly will the temperature sensor cool off (denoting the food is no longer too hot to eat)?
what is the schedule?
I plan to spend the last couple days of this week building the sensor, LED, and motor hardware and associated software. Once that functionality is verified, and the dimensions of the components are known, I will build the structure of the head/mouth. Final touch up and details will be made towards the end of the weekend and Monday.
how will it be evaluated?
The temperature buddy has one main goal (and two minor goals). The main goal is to accurately notify me when food is too hot. This means that the sensor will appropriately measure the temperature and output a signal (face red, head shaking no). In addition, the temperature buddy will be evaluated based on its ability to denote if food is too cold, and to denote when food has sufficiently cooled down and is ready to eat. The timing characteristics of this are important, so quantitative results on the timing curves for temperature response may be a useful measurement to document.