Starlight Paths

About: A Creative Technologies Major who is enrolled at Berry College.

Starlight Paths is a project for those who need help navigating a new space. We have navigated with lights in the sky for centuries and now we can make our own light. This idea came from the show Star Trek. In the show, they find their way through a giant ship, where every hall looks the same as the last, by using an interface to tell the lights to guide you to a certain room. This project will use connected LED bulbs to guide you through a space when you press buttons connected to a Raspberry Pi based interface. I will be taking this idea from pop culture and turn into something that is can be used anywhere with WIFI.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

The Tools

  • Things to run the Raspberry Pi (https://www.raspberrypi.org/learning/hardware-guide)
  • Drill with Bit for LED and Buttons
  • Hot Glue Gun (if friction doesn't keep the LED in place)

The Supplies

  • Plastic Enclosure (http://a.co/d/5m4FWjn)
  • Raspberry Pi with Case and Appropriate Power Supply (http://a.co/1exaycw)
  • Micro SD Card (http://a.co/ccdcO5a)
  • Squid LED and Buttons (Amazon)
  • Merkury Light bulbs (Walmart)

Step 2: Making the Case

Throughout this build, you can choose where the parts are located on the case.

  1. I started by drilling a hole for the LED and placed it so that the wires would go into the box.
  2. I drilled too big of a hole for the LED so I used hot glue to seal it in.
  3. Drill holes for however many buttons and screw them in place.
  4. After putting the parts in their place, I drilled a hole on the side of the case for power to run in (be careful if you put holes side by side).
  5. The last thing for the case was stickers (add labels for what room a button will guide you to).

Step 3: Wiring

Using the card included with the Squid components:

  1. Connect the LED wires as follows: Red to pin 18, Green to pin 23, Blue to pin 24, Ground to ground.
  2. Next, take the buttons and connect them to pins 17, 13, 21 with the other wires to ground.
  3. Wire up the Pi to start programming (https://www.raspberrypi.org/learning/hardware-guide/quickstart).

I chose to buy premade buttons (and LED) but you can make your own following any basic guide.

Step 4: The Code

The code takes input from the buttons and sends a signal using my PROJECTS THAT CHANGE LIGHT project to have the lights dim room by room to guide you to your destination. In the image, you can see the overall code that takes input from each button and if a certain button is pressed the code will do everything in that statement. The statements in my code include the code from my previous project so you will need to go in and change the keys/events to fit your IFTTT account.

A future code will make the LEDs change color to guide you to different rooms. I tried this and IFTTT wasn't changing my lights consistently so I am going to look into that.

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