Final Project – Part 1


I’ve lost my voice a bit, so I won’t be recording video until I start building. From here on out, this blog will be a record of my progress and contribution to our final project, which is a technological forest playable experience that focuses on players nurturing the forest to keep it alive.

Right now, things are very early on in the idea creation process, and I have been assigned (with the help of Billy) to make a singing tree that functions based on touch. Players will need to solve a puzzle to successfully bring the tree back to life/keep it alive and singing.

While I haven’t decided on the puzzle bit (I think that it may make more sense to wait until I have a functioning prototype), I do have a pretty good idea of how I would like to proceed. We’ll see how far we get, and how much changes from now. My initial idea can be broken into a few steps:

1) I found an example project for making a fruit guitar with an Adafruit Capacitive Touch Hat connected to a Raspberry Pi. My first step is to build this example, because my plan is centered around this idea.

2) Once I have that working (or potentially before if the part doesn’t arrive quickly) is to figure out how to make sound from the tree using higher quality samples. I’m envisioning using a bluetooth speaker connected to the pi that play sound samples when conductive surfaces are touched.

3) The third feature (if it’s not too cost prohibitive) would be to find a way to use the raspberry pi to control a colored light connected to some fiber optic cable. This way when the tree sings, it is also producing visual feedback. We could potentially use this to make a kind of color-matching or simon says type puzzle.

4) The next step would be to combine the ideas together in a small scale and see if it works.

5) Following that I would need to test if there are restrictions to the conductivity for paint (how far away from the source can people touch and still have it registered) and see if it’s still a viable solution. Maybe the touch points are at the branches and one at the trunk?

6) Once I have a functioning small scale prototype, I’ll need to find a way to scale it up to be maybe 6 or 7 feet tall. I’ll return to this type of brainstorming article once I’ve made the mini prototype, and I plan to record parts of the building process and include code snippets and reference material on the blog here.

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