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Toothless, the Roaring Plush Puppet

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Picture of Toothless, the Roaring Plush Puppet
This is the second project of the Spring 2012 Things That Think computer science course at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The goal of this project was to create a plush that also used computing in some way. The team, comprised of Jed Diller and Ken Hoff, decided to do a dragon puppet that would sense when its mouth was open and roar with the volume varying depending on the extent to which the mouth was open. The eyes also change color, from blue to red, as the mouth is opened wider - indicating the dragon is getting mad. The lovable Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon was the dragon we modeled our puppet after. The behavior and final product can be seen below.

  

You may notice in the video that one of the openings of the mouth was not accompanied by a roar. This happened because the mouth was not fully closed to reset the behavior between roars.

 
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Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need
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1 Arduino UNO

1 SparkFun MP3 Shield (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10628)

1 MicroSD card (and some external way to transfer data to and from the card)

2 6-pin headers and 2 8-pin headers (for connecting the shield to the arduino

1 Light sensor

1 resistor (any old kilo Ohm resistor should do)

2 RGB LEDs

Single core wire

Step 2: Electronics Overview

Picture of Electronics Overview
Light sensor

Connect +5V to light sensor, to resistor, then to ground
Connect sensor line between light sensor and resistor (not after resistor!)

MP3 Shield

Getting your MP3 shield working: http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/295
Solder headers on carefully to the shield, then attach it to the UNO board by simply plugging it in
Plug in speakers or headphones to headphone jack

LEDs

Wire 2 tricolor (RGB) LED's in parallel, about 6 inches apart
Connect the wire that runs to the blue pins of the LED's to pin 5 on the MP3 shield
Connect the wire that runs to the red pins of the LED's to pin 10 on the MP3 shield

Pro

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