Introduction: The Match Maker
In this tutorial, I will be guiding you through the process of recreating my ITTT-Project for school, "The Match Maker". It is a cute kids' toy where kids can make combinations of the things they can see on the poster and three exercises, displayed on a bar below the poster. See the pictures for some visual references.
Feel free to adjust the size of the box or change up the code a little for a higher difficulty. This is a first iteration, so there are definitely things that I would do differently next time. Have fun!
- Arduino Uno
- 1 x large breadboard for prototyping
- 1 x solder board
- A lot of wires -> color coding is your friend! Make sure the wires have some length to them, otherwise the assets connected to them won't reach far enough
- 6 x pressure sensors
- 1 x green LED
- 1 x red LED
- 1 x small buzzer
- 8 x red/red/brown resistors (for the LEDs and the pressure sensors)
- 1 x brown/black/orange resistor (for the small buzzer)
- USB cable and a power bank to power up the Arduino -> you can also use a battery for this!
- 1 cm thick wood:
43 x 27 cm (2x) -> top (lid) and bottom of the box
43 x 8 cm (2x) -> long sides of the box
25 x 8 cm (2x) -> short sides of the box; these are to be placed "between" the long sides
27 x 8 cm (2x) -> these are placed on the inside of the lid to prevent it from moving around when placed on top of the box
- Wood glue
- Soldering supplies
- Transparent paper holders
- Double sided tape
- Acrylic paint (I have used blue, green, pink, and white)
- Cool posters with three core subjects on them (A4 paper; see pictures for the posters I've used!)
- Piece of paper divided in three with exercises on it (21 x 4 cm; see pictures for what I've made!)
Step 1: Coding
The coding for this project isn't too hard. Download the code provided with this instructable and take a look at it. I've added in comments to explain what does what. Again, it's not too hard, it's just very repetitive- after all, you'll have to make three combinations of 6 pressure sensors and you'll have to make sure that with every possible wrong combination, something happens too!
IMPORTANT! In order for the code to work, you'll have to place the file in an empty folder that carries the exact same name as the file itself! For some reason the website didn't allow me to upload a .zip folder, so don't forget to do this! You'll need the Arduino app for desktop, download it here.
The code basically makes sure everything is connected and read by the Arduino. In the loop(), it tells the Arduino what will happen when certain pressure sensors are triggered. Nothing will happen yet when only one sensor is being pushed on. However, when two sensors are being pushed, the Arduino will respond to it; on a right combination, the green LED will go on. On a wrong combination (any possible wrong combination!), the red LED will go on and the buzzer will go off.
Above you can see the building scheme that comes with the code. This too isn't too hard, but it's very precise work. Make sure to connect everything correctly!
Step 2: Building
In order to build the box, you will have to glue all the pieces together, as pictured above. To let it dry up as good as possible, place some books on top of the box for some weight.
Take the lid and determine the place of the poster and the exercises. I've added a reference sheet of the dimensions I've used. For the exercise bar, I have divided the length (21 cm) into six even units (3,5 cm) which will serve as "boxes" for the exercises and the holes where the pressure sensors will stick through- in order words, you'll have a bar with in the first box an exercise, the second one a hole, the third one an exercise, the fourth one a hole, the fifth one an exercise, and the sixth one a hole. The holes should be about 1 cm thick. Carefully drill the holes. Don't forget the holes for the LEDs in the middle!
Finally, glue the two remainder pieces of wood to the inside of the lid. Then you can paint the box however you like!
Step 3: Soldering
Unfortunately, due to lack of soldering supplies at home and the global pandemic, I have not been able to solder, so I cannot show you the result. Feel free to skip this step if you don't feel confident enough to do it without visual references. I have included a (somewhat poorly) drawn visual that could guide you.
The soldering scheme is almost exactly the same as the prototyping scheme on the breadboard. The only major difference is that, instead of soldering the pressure sensors, buzzer, and LEDs onto the solder board, you connect them to male to female wires and solder those to the board instead.
For security, instead of soldering the pressure sensors and LEDs to their wires, just make sure they're affixed with some wire tape. This way it is easier to replace them if they stop working. I already mentioned this in the supplies part, but make sure the wires are long enough! They'll have to be able to reach all the way to the lid of the box from the Arduino and the solder board.
Step 4: Finishing Up
Finally, put your Arduino in the box. You can glue some leftover pieces of wood around it to make sure it won't fly in all directions inside the box when you're carrying it somewhere else.
Stick the pressure sensors through the holes and glue them to the lid of the box. Carefully stick the LEDs through the holes. Make sure they're stuck in there and can't move around- if the holes are too big, you can put a little bit of glue in it to get the LEDs to stay in their place.
At last, attach one of your posters and one bar of exercises to the lid. Achieve this by cutting off the one corner of a transparent paper holder that has both sides closed (there's four corners: one of them is completely open, two of them have one side open and one of them has both sides closed, the last one is the one you need!) and use double sided tape (or glue) to attach it to the box. You can then easily slide in your posters and exercises without them being stuck permanently.
Step 5: The Final Product
Congratulations! You've successfully built The Match Maker. Above are some pictures of my final product.
I hoped you enjoyed this instructable!