Introduction: Build a Fun Installation and Help Create the Theme Park of Everyday

About: I like termoplastic and most anything sold at IKEA. Quirky, random, technical and even automagical...all adjectives you might use to describe me! That's all I've got.

Controlling physical stuff is fun!

Theme Park of Everyday enables you to create fun physical installations that anyone can control with a smartphone. Your installation could be anything controllable with an Arduino.

And your work can be installed anywhere! Imagine things like a hidden sign atop a traffic signal, a bubble machine hidden in a playground, pinwheels in a store window that are static until you control them with your smart phone or even a scavenger hunt for your friends!

Help create everyday fun with hidden installations around the world.

In this Instructable you'll discover how easy it is to integrate your installation into the Theme Park of Everyday by building a simple servo controlled otter that pops out of the grass when you rotate your phone.

Step 1: Gather the Parts

The Theme Park of Everyday is powered by the LightBlue Bean.

The Bean is a Bluetooth Low Energy Arduino based microcontroller. Once you've built your installation, you'll register it so it appears in PocketPark, the iOS companion app for the Theme Park of Everyday.

Parts needed to build Otter in the Grass:

You can use any servo you might have lying around and any battery holder that uses 2 AA batteries. In this example, I used a laser cutter and OpenBeam to create the otter the grass. But you can use anything you have sitting around!

The Bean runs at 3.3v, not 5v.

Step 2: Wire the Servo and Battery Pack to the Bean

If you're thinking of trying a few different ideas, it's not a bad idea to solder headers into the bean so you can disconnect and reconnect things without desoldering.

  1. For the otter, we will connect the servo control line to Digital Pin 0.
  2. The servo ground line is connected to the ground of the Bean.
  3. The servo V+ line is connected to VCC on the Bean.

Step 3: Write the Arduino Code

  1. Install the Bean Loader app and Arduino IDE. It's available from the LightBlue Bean website.
  2. Download the otter gyroscope example from the Theme Park of Everyday documentation website and open it in Arduino.

You can find more information about all the sensor inputs available (and example code) at the Theme Park of Everyday documentation website.

How does the Bean communicate with PocketPark on a user's iOS device?

  • The Bean receives messages from PocketPark wirelessly via Bluetooth Low Energy.
  • The messages are a range of numbers, depending on the sensor selected when you register your installation.
  • The Bean Arduino translates the range of numbers to a physical action, which you program. In this example, rotation of the iOS device is translated into the position of the servo.

Step 4: Program Your Installation

Now you'll program the Bean so your installation knows how to control the servo and respond to information from PocketPark on your iOS device.

  1. Press Verify in Arduino. This will compile your code and launch Bean Loader.
  2. Make sure your Bean is powered and control + click it in Bean Loader to connect.
  3. Control + click and choose Program Sketch.

Step 5: Register the Installation Online

You must register your installation for it to appear in PocketPark on an iOS device.

Once configured, a backend service tells the iOS device how to discover your installation using Bluetooth Low Energy and iBeacons.

  • To register your installation, go to
  • You'll select 'Gyroscope' as the control type for this example. This setting tells your iOS device how your installation is controlled.

Step 6: Configure Your Installation

In this step, you'll configure your installation so it can be discovered by PocketPark on your iOS device. Use the information provided when you registered your installation at

  1. Set the name of your Bean by clicking on the existing name and replacing it with the numbers provided when you registered.
  2. Control + click on the newly named bean and select iBeacon settings.
  3. In the pop up window, set the Beacon UUID to 0x5441.
  4. Set the Major and Minor ID to the numbers provided when you registered.

Step 7: Download PocketPark From the App Store

PocketPark is the free companion app for the Theme Park of Everyday. It's available on the App Store.

Be sure to turn Bluetooth on.

Download PocketPark on the App Store.

Step 8: Test Your Installation!

When the Bean name is set correctly in the previous steps, your new Installation should appear in PocketPark.

  • Tap on the name to begin playing with the installation

Step 9: Discover What Else You Can Create

Otters hiding the grass is only the start. Here are a selection of prototype experiences you can try out in New York City.

What could you create to make your community more fun?

Who doesn't love bubbles? Or LEDs?

Where would you like to see people have more fun?

Help create the Theme Park of Everyday!

Step 10: Troubleshooting: ​If Your Installation Doesn't Show Up in PocketPark

If your installation doesn't show up:

iOS builds a cache of Bluetooth names and sometimes this might make your installation not appear on the first try. But there is a trick to make it work:

  • Download LightBlue from the App Store
  • Find your bean in the list of nearby Bluetooth Low Energy devices. Usually it's designated by an icon of a bean next to the item in the list
  • Tap to connect to the beanTap 'Options'Tap 'Service View'
  • Tap the back arrow though all the screens in the app until you've disconnected.
  • You should see the Bean name update to the name you set in the previous step.
  • Reopen PocketPark. Your installation should appear now!

If it still doesn't work:

Step 11: