SMART FORT – Interactive Hideout for Kids




Introduction: SMART FORT – Interactive Hideout for Kids

A tent with interactive lights and sounds embedded in 3 cushions. One cushion using conductive fabric acts as a control to choose the combination of light and sound to create a fun environment. One cushion is embedded with a speaker. The third cushion has RGB lights inside.


Smart Fort from vidhi goel on Vimeo.

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Step 1: Start

You Will Need-
Tent - Wooden square dovels, round dovels, Chiselling tools or the CNCLinen fabric. [one can customise and build their own design]
Cushions- Colorful fabric ( Felt), Translucent Fabric(for light to pass while diffusing it), Plush fillers, colorful threads
Electronics - Arduino Uno, Wave Shield flora kit, Led RGB strip, Conductive fabric(capacitive sensors), Wires, Alligator clips, Soldering Equipments Conductive thread, Needle

A. Wave Shield Assembly

• We start by putting together the waveshield as instructed by Adafruit website. The waveshield sits on top of the Arduino board.

Step 2: Code

B. Code

• Then figuring out the code.
• Adafruit has its own libraries for it components
• Capacitive sensors will need the CapSense library. Make sure you have it before beginning.
• I started out with making few LEDs light on by touching a capacitive sensor(conductive fabric) with my neopixel strip.
(code attached - OneSensor_light)
• I  merged a code of the example code strandtest (on adafruit ) and the Plush Game controller code.
• I worked on the WaveShield and Ardunio separately (without the LED strip) Make sure to perfectly convert your music files before putting into the SD card. Also pay attention to the formatting SD card tutorial.
• Once that’s done, use the Wavetest
• I used the Wave test example (will pop up after you download the wave library on the website
• The songs are played in loops if you hear it and all the wiring is proper.
• The other code example lets you choose a song and play just that from the SD card. So you know you can program it specifically.
• So here is the problem: I successfully wrote a code merging two codes CapSense and WaveShield (It compiles successfully but never runs.) (code attached - CapSense_Light+wave)
• So sadly I cudnt have the LEDs react same time the speaker does. So I programmed the LED lights only for the purpose of my project.(code attached - CapSense_Light+RGB)

Step 3: Meanwhile Start the Tent

C. Tent
• Wooden tent: Plan the height and profile of the tent.
• Make the frame strong with more wood brackets
• Make it dismantlable so it can be brought down.
• Measure the fabric needed to put around it
• Put the fabric with the help of velcros, which can be replaced if need be.

Step 4: And Cushions

D. Cushions
Plan you pillows on a paper. Helps to visualise.
• Make three base pillows of three different sizes (for fun)
• Make The Button Cushion (which controls the light and sound)
      o Cut out conductive fabric and stitch it with running stitch with conductive thread, to build connection and keep it in place.
      o Let the threads hang extra on one of the side. Tie that with flexible wire by splitting the wire into two parts and intertwining the        two.
      o The arduino will control the three buttons at A0, A1 and A2. These can be used as digital pins 14, 15 and 16.
      o The three capacitive buttons are made into fun shapes and symbols which correspond to the light and sound (for eg. cut out a tiger shape for the “jungle” theme)
• Make the Light Cushion
      o Material - RGB Led Strip, Translucent fabric
      o Put the Led strip around the pillow  before putting on the cover of translucent fabric. Stitch it lightly in place
      o Construct the pillow cover with translucent fabric
      o Before finishing the edges, keep some space for the wires  to come out which connects to the Arduino.
      o Optional: Add a wooden stick inside the pillow to attach a hook which can hang inside the tent
• Make the Sound Cushion
      o Use the speakers which came with the waveshield pack.
      o Stick the speaker onto the base pillow with the help of scrap fabric and glue
      o Measure that and Cut a hole through the cover fabric to fit the speaker through.
      o Before sowing it all around leave a hole for the wire to connect
      o You can make more designs on the pillow using embroidery methods

Step 5: Finish

Wire all the cushions to the Arduino Board, Use colorful electric tape to make it fun. 

Keep under the tent and enjoy your project!

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    3 Discussions


    6 years ago

    At what angle did you cut the mortises at on the top


    6 years ago on Introduction

    That is a great project- way better than the tent/fort I made for my kids! This is definitely going on my to do list.