This project is our first foray into the realm of inspirational furniture -- smart household objects that know about you and encourage you to reach your goals and be your best self. Wearable sensors like the Fitbit are a great way to track your activity level, and we love using Fitbit to encourage us to get more exercise. However, the Fitbit is tiny and worn inside your clothes; if you're feeling lazy, it's easy to ignore.
To bring Fitbit data out of the internet and into our living rooms, we created an Arduino-controlled chandelier with an individually-addressable RGB LED strip whose light output is controlled by the user's current Fitbit step count. A ruby script is used to poll the Fitbit API, quantify your progress towards achieving your daily step goal, and transmit the current state to the Arduino over USB.
If your chandelier is flashing red, you'd better get off the couch and go for a walk. This project was created at Science Hack Day SF 2013 by Bonnie Barrilleaux, Gabe Martin-Dempesy, and Michelle Peters.
The design and construction of the chandeliers began long before Science Hack Day, so we'd also like to thank Toby Schachman and Monique DeSalvo for laser cutting skills, as well as patience and fortitude in the face of what turned out to be a very long day of laser cutting; Matt Ganucheau for Arduino training, interactivity consultation, and pretending there's no such thing as a stupid question; and False Profit LLC for an art grant that supported creation of the chandeliers.
Step 1: What you'll need
- Jigsaw and drill
- Glue gun
- Soldering iron and heat gun
- Laser cutter with at least 18"x19" bed
- Large sheets of 1/4" frosted acrylic, enough for at least five 18"x18" squares
- 8" neckless white acrylic diffuser globe, like this: http://1000bulbs.com/product/7545/PLAS-199500.html
- Chandelier strands and crystals, purchased or repurposed from old chandeliers
- Clear packing tape
- Jump rings to attach chandelier strands to the acrylic arms, at least 10-12 mm in diameter
- Parachute cord to hang the chandelier
- One large washer (we used a 1.5" nylon washer)
- 2" clear polycarbonate tubing, like this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OMHJJO/ref=biss_dp_t_asn
- 1 meter LED strip, WS2811 aka "Neopixel", 60 LEDs/meter, like this: http://www.adafruit.com/products/1138
- Soldering supplies, rainbow cable, break-away header pins, heat shrink tubing
- Arduino Uno and USB cable
- Fitbit (any model)