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I want to make an object which can register button presses and sent the time being pressed to a webplatform Answered

I am a master student in Belgium doing Communication and Multimedia Design (Interaction)

For my master thesis I am trying to find a method of supporting children whose parents go through a divorce. I am trying to do this by making a physical object (cube for now) and combining it with a digital (web)interface.

The main goal is to have the physical compact and portable object (a cube with buttons for now) being used by the kid and he/she being able to press a button related to a situation or emotion they may encounter (read: portable diary). So wherever he/she is, they can use the object to express what they encounter (a button related to self image, a button related to denial, ...). This input then goes to a digital platform where parents and/or a psychiatrist can look at when and what the child went through and use that info to know which problems they are and start a conversation about it in a way that the child does not have to be upfront about it.

I got most of my theory figured out and went to psychologists myself to see what these processes are, the next step is to now start making a prototype. This is where I have my difficulties and hope to find some help in this great creative community. I have a bit of experience with Arduino and have access to a lab with lasercutters, 3D printing, ...

So the main technical questions are as follows:

  • Which material can I use to make a compact enduring cube?
  • What can I use to register button presses?
  • How can I make this object so it can be turned on and off (so buttons don't accidentaly get pressed)?
  • What kind of buttons can I use/make?
  • How can I integrate a indicator light for it being on or off?
  • How can I send the data collected?
  • How can I collect and organise the data on the digital (web)platform?
  • And how can I make this all compact so it fits in a cube of about 6 by 6 cm?

I know I may be asking a lot and I don't expect you to answer everything or do it all for me, of course I will keep doing whatever I can while this post is here. But any input/feedback is welcome here, since I just started doing this first prototype, many options and suggestions can still be implemented so if you have any knowledge of what I try to make (for example sending data over long distances OR other suggestions on what object is could be)FEEL FREE TO LET ME KNOW :D

Thank you in advance! I hope to hear anything at all :D



1 year ago

There is a recent Dr. Who episode where service robots watched people wearing a mood reflecting imogi chose to remove the life from sad people !

Take care :-)


Reply 1 year ago

Thanks for the reply but since I have to be done with all of this on the first of june, I'll probably have to spend my time on productive things only until then :)


1 year ago

This sounds like a great project to implement IoT(Internet of Things). You might want to look into the Adafruit IO system. You can use one of the Feather Huzzah boards - small arduino with wifi capability and a small lipo battery to fit inside a smallish cube. You can design in switches for the faceplates of the sides of the cube or go advanced with an accelerometer/tilt switches to determine which way the cube is moved and placed. The switch presses can be sent up to the IoT server where you can datalog or aggregate data and put into some display format like a graph, etc. Lights and beeps can also be generated with LEDs, neopixels and a tiny piezo buzzer speaker. The adafruit site has a lot of tutorials to put your hardware together and to get things connected. Good luck.


Reply 1 year ago

Thank you for the detailed and helpful reply, I want to make this in a week so I am looking where I can buy the Adafruit system and start working how how to use it and collect the data from it. I wasn't aware of this system since we mainly 'learn' Arduino only in school. I will give an update once I've seen the lab coach at school. He should be pretty good with coding and familiar with Adafruit.

Greetings, Senne