Cultivating Mindfulness

Problem and Aim

The problem we wanted to address with this project is the lack of everyday mindfulness. Research suggests that mindfulness is associated with a higher levels of life satisfaction and lower levels of mental distress (Wang & Kong, 2014). We created this trellis of flowers that react to their environment because we wanted to promote mindfulness and encourage people to be present in the moment and aware of inconspicuous interactions and relationships in their environment that they might not normally take the time to think about.

How it Works

Music and lights are generated based on the environment. A distance sensor turns the system on when something or someone is near enough, within about four feet. A light sensor reads the level of light and that sets the value of the first musical pitch. If the next value the light sensor takes in is higher, the pitch rises. If it's lower, the pitch falls. The intervals between pitches are generated semi-randomly based on western tonal music in such a way to encourage a pleasant sounding melody instead of jarring and discordant notes. The temperature sensor sets the rhythm of the music and determines the speed at which the string of LEDs blinks.The painted buttons on the front of the trellis change the color of the light tri-color LED so that it corresponds to the color of the flower on whichever button was just pressed. The overall system is presented as flowers growing up a trellis.

Here's a link to a wishlist with most of the supplies needed for this project:

http://sfe.io/w149472

Reference:

Wang, Y., & Kong, F. (2014). The Role of Emotional Intelligence in the Impact of Mindfulness on Life Satisfaction and Mental Distress. Social Indicators Research, 116(3), 843-852. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24720932

Step 1: The Trellis

Supplies Needed:

  • 2 1/8" pieces of birch, approximately 1' X 2' (can be an inch less on both dimensions)
  • Wood glue

Tools Needed:

  • Laser cutter

How to Make the Trellis:

  1. Download the Illustrator files below that include the trellis design, then laser cut the design.
  2. After laser cutting, line up the pieces so that the joints match up in the shape of a box with an open top and a trellis rising on one side.
  3. Glue the pieces together one at a time, holding or clamping them together for about a minute each.
  4. Congratulations, the trellis is complete!

Step 2: The Fabric Flowers

Supplies Needed:

  • 3 strips of 7.5" X 2" fabric of your choice
  • A spool of thread of the color of your choice

Tools Needed:

  • A needle that suits your fabric
  • Fabric chalk, pencil, or washable marker

How to Make the Flowers:

  1. On the side of the fabric that won't be showing, mark off every 1.5" along the 7.5" side of each strip of fabric with fabric chalk, pencil, or washable marker, so that there are five equal sections.
  2. Mark the point half way between those marks.
  3. From these halfway points, draw arches toward the lines that you had originally marked, but stop about 3/4 of the way down.
  4. Cut along the arches you have drawn.
  5. Sew loose, long stitches along the long, straight side of the fabric.
  6. When you reach the end, instead of tying it off, pull the thread gently through the fabric so that the fabric bunches.
  7. Once it has bunched up so much that the opposite ends of the fabric can easily touch, sew the end of the thread into the side of the fabric that you started sewing on in the beginning, making sure to leave the flower loose enough to fit several wires through the middle.
  8. Congratulations, the flowers are complete!

Step 3: The Buttons

Supplies Needed:

  • 3 pieces of 2.5" X 3" card stock
  • Acrylic paint including at least a green, yellow, red, and black
  • Copper tape
  • 3 pieces of 1" X 2" felt or fleece
  • Fabric glue

Tools Needed:

  • Paintbrush

How to Make the Buttons:

  1. Mix your paints so that you have whatever colors you want in order to paint a green leaf, a yellow flower, and a red flower vertically on the card stock.
  2. Use black paint to give the green leaf a smiley face, the yellow flower a neutral face, and the red flower a frowny face.
  3. For each flower, cut a piece of copper tape long enough (about 8") that you can tape one end of it down the middle of the back (the side you didn't paint on) of each piece of card stock, and for the end that is sticking off, fold it in half so that there is a length of copper tape sticking off of the card stock with no sticky side exposed.
  4. Cut the middle out of each piece of felt or fleece so that it looks like a picture frame.
  5. Glue the felt frame onto the back of each piece of cardstock so that it "frames" the copper wire.
  6. Tape a long strip of copper tape along the middle of the front of the trellis box and up into the box, leaving enough on the end so you can fold the end in half so there's no sticky side and there's still about 2 inches of copper wire hanging into the box.
  7. Congratulations, the buttons should almost be complete!

Step 4: Wiring the Lilypad

Supplies Needed:

  • Hook-Up Wire
  • 1 LilyPad Arduino Simple Board
  • 1 LilyPad Tri-Color LED
  • Copper tape
  • Solder

Tools Needed:

  • Wire Stripper
  • Soldering Iron
  • Safety Glasses

How to Wire the Circuit:

  1. Determine the length of wire needed, cut and strip the ends of the wire using the wire stripper, and solder the wire in place between the following pins/copper tape, being sure to attach each piece to the part of the trellis it belongs on before soldering.
    1. Connect the positive (+) tri-color LED pin and the positive (+) Arduino pin.
    2. Connect R tri-color LED pin and analog pin 3.
    3. Connect B tri-color LED pin and analog pin 2.
    4. Connect G tri-color LED pin and analog pin 5.
    5. Connect the red flower copper tape and digital pin 11.
    6. Connect the yellow flower copper tape and digital pin 5.
    7. Connect the green leaf copper tape and digital pin 6.
    8. Connect the ground copper tape and the negative (-) Arduino pin.
  2. Congratulations, the buttons and their wiring are complete!

Step 5: Wiring the Redboard

Supplies Needed:

  • Hook-Up Wire
  • 4 Male-to-Female Jumper Wires
  • 5 LilyPad LED White
  • 1 LilyPad Light Sensor
  • 1 Ultrasonic Sensor - HC-SR04
  • 1 Speaker - 0.5W (8 Ohm)
  • 1 Breadboard - Self-Adhesive (White)
  • 1 SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino
  • 1 Temperature Sensor - TMP36
  • Solder

Tools Needed:

  • Wire Stripper
  • Soldering Iron
  • Safety Glasses

How to Wire the Circuit:

  1. Determine where on the trellis the light sensor, ultrasonic sensor, LEDs, and speaker will be placed and where in the box the RedBoard and Breadboard will be placed.
  2. Place the temperature sensor in column E of the Breadboard with the flat side facing toward the bottom row.
  3. Facing the flat side of the temperature sensor, determine the length of wire needed, cut and strip the ends of the wire using the wire stripper, and solder the wire in place between the following pins, being sure to attach each piece to the part of the trellis it belongs on before soldering:
    1. Connect the negative of the speaker to a pin in the bottom row of the breadboard.
    2. Connect the positive of the speaker to digital pin 11.
    3. Glue the edges of the speaker to the back of the trellis
    4. Solder wires to each pin on the light sensor, thread the wires through a flower, glue the light sensor to the flower, and artfully thread the wires through the trellis
    5. Connect the negative of the light sensor to a pin in the bottom row of the breadboard.
    6. Connect the positive of the light sensor to a pin in the row above the bottom row of the breadboard.
    7. Connect the s pin of the light sensor to analog pin 5.
    8. Connect the negative of one LED to the positive of the next LED.
    9. Connect the positive of one LED to the positive of the next LED.
    10. Artfully thread the LED string through the trellis
    11. Connect the negative of the terminal LED to a pin in the bottom row of the breadboard.
    12. Connect the negative of the terminal LED to digital pin 8.
    13. Connect the pin directly in front of the right most pin of the temperature sensor to the pin in that column in the bottom row of the breadboard.
    14. Connect the pin directly in front of the left most pin of the temperature sensor to the pin in that column in the row above the bottom row of the breadboard.
    15. Connect the pin directly in front of the center pin of the temperature sensor to analog pin 2.
    16. Connect the left most pin in the bottom row of the breadboard to the GND pin.
    17. Connect the left most pin in the row above the bottom row of the breadboard to the 5V pin.
  4. Facing the flat side of the temperature sensor, attach the female-to-male jumper wires between the following pins, being sure to place the sensor in the right position on the trellis first:
    1. Attach 4 female-to-male wires to each pin on the distance sensor, thread the wires through the center of a flower and through the trellis, and glue the back of the ultrasonic sensor onto the flower
    2. Connect the ultrasonic sensor VCC pin (left most pin) and a pin in the row above the bottom row of the breadboard.
    3. Connect the ultrasonic sensor Trig pin (left middle pin) and digital pin 6.
    4. Connect the ultrasonic sensor Echo pin (right middle pin) and digital pin 5.
    5. Connect the ultrasonic sensor GND pin (right most pin) and a pin in the bottom row of the breadboard.
  5. Congratulations, the wiring is complete!

Step 6: Adding the Code and Running the System

Supplies Needed:

  • Lilypad and Redboard Circuits
  • USB Mini-B Cable
  • LilyPad FTDI Basic Breakout - 5V
  • Battery

Adding the Code:

  1. Use the FTDI Breakout and the USB cable to upload the Lilypad code to the Lilypad Arduino.
  2. Use the USB cable to upload the Redboard code to the Redboard.
  3. Plug the battery into the Lilypad.
  4. Leave the USB cable plugged into the Redboard to power the circuit.

Running the System:

  1. Make sure both the Lilypad and Redboard are turned on.
  2. Trigger the ultrasonic sensor by being less than 100 cm directly in front of.
  3. Congratulations, your system is complete and running!

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