Star Trek. It's a show about space and people in space interacting with various species (in space). There are a billion of those species (I counted), but there is one specific creature that has captured the hearts of pretty much anyone who has seen the episodes in which it is featured: the tribble.
Tribbles do three things: look cute, sound cute, and multiply. When one of my friends made a tribble—clearly a fake as it didn't sound cute or multiply—I decided that I should take a stab at it. Not literally, of course. Have you seen how cute they are? (You could just skip to step 7 and make a fake tribble, too.)
Making sound is easy. That's what Arduinos are for. Cute sound might be a bit more difficult, but it's manageable. Multiplying, though, was going to be an issue … until I remembered that the Arduino programming language can do the four basic mathematic functions including multiplication in a shockingly short period of time. Like tribbles!
And so was conceived (brace yourself for the puns) the tribble calculator. All it can do is look cute, sound cute, and multiply.
(If you just want a stuffed tribble without all the bionic implants, skip to step 7.)
(If you wanted to see the video, it's on step 8.)
Step 1: Okay, But What Does It Actually Do?
It takes numbers as input in the form of button presses and outputs their product as a series of gentle purrs. The computing power comes from an Arduino (or a clone thereof) hiding in the furry thing.
I made a clone Arduino circuit board with the button and speaker built into it. I didn't want to put a real Arduino semi-permanently into a tribble, so I did this. You can use a proto-shield and real Arduino if you want.
There's a video in step 8 that shows how it multiplies.
Speaking of Arduinos, I'm putting this in the Arduino contest. Vote for me if you like.
I'm also putting this in the Kit contest. As a kit, the PCB could be an Arduino and proto-shield. Vote?
I'm putting this in the Battery-Powered contest. It's like I want to win just by entering a billion contests and getting lucky. I want a robot T-shirt because they're cool. Vote?