Archive for the 'Final Project' Category
Seth Simon’s Crocodile Dance Machine


My project was a crocodile dance machine. The purpose was to create an octave and have the ability to play it when a crocodile paddle was pressed. I made this device because I like music and I thought the ability to control the sound with your feet would be cool.


Me-Seth Simon


  • This project is to preform the function of entertaining people while acting as a giant piano. It will entertain because it will be unconventional on how it is played and the sounds that will be produced.
  • Final_Project_Code
  • Crocodile dance machine
  • I built this project out of cut 2 X 4′s, springs, buttons, 5/8 inch drill bit, drill, screws, screwdriver, wires, 8 5/8 inch X 7 inch bolts, nuts, and an arduino.
  • This project required me to cut 16 10 inch 2X4′s and 16 6 inch 2X4′s
  • First I cut my boards
  • Next I drilled 5/8 wholes in pairs of the 6 inch boards. I did this by mesuring 2 inches from the top and 2 from the sides to place the hole at one end of the board to make a lever.
  • Next I drilled length (this would be cutting 4 inches through the 2X4) 8 of the 10 inch 2X4
  • Next i took the remaining 10 inch 2X4′s and connect the paired 6 inch boards on them.
  • The 6 inch boards need to be square to the edges of the 10 inch 2X4′s when screwing them in with screws
  • Once the screws are in place take the 10 inch boards with the long whole drill through them and line up with the wholes of the 6 inch boards
  • Put the 7 inch bolt thought the wholes. Then put the bolt on the end.
  • At this point you have a lever without a spring and button.
  • Next Take the 5/8 drill and drill a whole where both ten inch boards collide. This is were the button will be pressed
  • Now move to the opposite end about an inch. Drill about a 1/4 inch into the wood with a 5/8 inch bit. This is will the spring will be held in place
  • Now the button paddles are done! Now all that left is to wire them!

Circuit Diagram


  • The project was mostly a success. I was proud of how well the buttons worked, but I would of soldered the joints better to the buttons and shortened the length of the 6 inch 2X4′s to maybe 4 inches to flatten out the design. I would also paint the project to make the 2X4′s look nicer. Other then the sizing and design the mechanics of the project couldn’t of worked better. If I was to do this project again I would definitely look more into force meters so I could make a totally flat platform to stand on. Another thing I would change is the use of a partner because the work load was fairly heavy for one person to handle. There was not only the building of 8 switch/steps to make but I also had to code for each one to work. And to expand on this project I would try to use clear materials I could light up with leds in coordination with the buttons being pressed. This would trigger music and a visual show. I would also like to find different sounds and incorporate a melody function to allow for multiple notes to be played simultaneously. Other then the diffuculty of the code the project came together well and formed a nice visual and idea.
Chris Oline – Clap Light


For my final project I decided to make a clap light. I’ve always been interested in them so i thought it would be cool to make one myself. I used a microphone sensor, relay, fet, 9 volt battery, arduino, and a lamp. The microphone sensor detects a value over 500 the lamp will turn on and then it will turn off again once the senosor detects another value of 500.



As stated above I made a clap light. In order for the lamp to have enough power for it to turn on I used a relay and a 9 volt battery. The 9 volt battery powered my project. The relay acted as a switch and when the microphone sensor received a value of  over 500 it switched the state of the relay to on or off.  Therefore turning the lamp on or off.

Circuit Diagram

Relay, fet and lamp


Microphone sensor



My project worked really well, especially when John took out one of the capacitors on my microphone sensor. That capacitor was making my light go on and off  constantly, but with that off the sensor only picked my clap real close to the sensor, which is exactly what I wanted it to do. I would expand my project in the future to have the light turn on when you walk into the room and then turn off when you clap.

Team Awesome – Samantha Salmans, Tom Tasker, Jaime North – New school Band

Overview of project:

The NewOldSchool Drum Machine uses photosensors to read ‘digital’ holes drilled in old vinyl records as they spin on a turntable. Initially, The main Arduino sends a signal to the Motor Arduino and the Light Arduino, beginning their loops or essentially turning them on. The Motor Arduino is responsible for modulating the speed of the Turntable (approximately 6rpm) and the speed of the disco ball.  The Light Arduino is responsible for looping the accompanying light show. 

               After this initialization, the Main Arduino begins its loop, searching for signal (in) from the photosensors and, in turn signaling (out) to operate four solenoids. This operation is sent through two banks of Field Effect Transistors (FETs) each one responsible for firing two solenoids by receiving the 5v signal from the Arduino and sending 19 volts to the solenoids. 

               THE RECORDS were drilled to play a variety of beats, a funk beat, a reggae beat, and a techno beat. There are three ‘shells’ that correspond to three different percussion instruments. The shells are spaced in equal ½ inch increments from the outer edge toward the center. The outer shell is the code for triggering the high hat. Since these beats happen quickly, the code reads this one line of information and sends it to two alternating solenoids. The second shell is the code for triggering the snare drum. The third shell is the code for triggering the kick drum. The holes were layed out in CATIA, then cut by a foamcutting CNC machine into 12”discs. These discs were used as guides to cut the vinyl and are also useful as tactile displays for demonstration purposes. 

               THE PHOTOCELLS are mounted on prototyping board with the same ½ inch spacing of the holes in the records. They are fed +5v power from the Arduino and return their signals to pins A0, A1, and A2 on the Arduino. 

THE CODE takes this input and sends signal to the instruments though pins 13 (hat 2), pin 12 (hat 1), pin 11 (snare), and pin 10 (kick). This signal is high for an amount of time (measured in milliseconds) defined as solenoidOnTime after which time it returns low and waits for another signal. Pin 9 is used to send a high signal to the Motor Arduino causing it to begin spinning the turntable and disco ball. And pin 8 is used to send a high signal to the Light Arduino causing it to commence the light show. The Motor Arduino code sends a pulse width modulated voltage to the dc motor driving the turn table. A value of 200 was found to give the desired turntable speed for this project. 

THE DRUMS are made from coffee cans. The hat is made by cutting the bottom out of a coffee can, laying it on top of the coffee can and striking it with a stick. A piece of electrical tape is used to keep the cymbal from being knocked off and the tape also dampens the tone of the cymbal in a desirable way. The snare drum is made in a similar way to the hat, the bottom cut out, laying on top, but the plastic lid is snapped on top giving a deeper and more resonant sound to the snare. The kick is made by putting only the lid on top of the can. 

THE SOLENOIDS are triggered by +19v. An onTime of 50 milliseconds is found to be long enough to give consistent results and also insures that the solenoid is released in time to be reactivated quickly. 5/8” dowel rods are used as strikers. They are mounted in such a way that when the solenoid retracts, the striker is levered forward toward the drum head. Some attention should be paid to the temperature of the solenoids as they will heat up after extended use. 

Here are some pictures:

the hat and alternating solenoids

FET setup

The whole project

the engineering of the drum stick


the coded (holey) record - Old vinyl becomes New digital

                        The Photosensors

Here are the codes used: 

Project for Engineering 101 

Here is a Wiring Diagram:

Wiring Diagram


THE PROJECT has taken on a life of its own and we look forward to future improvements and added features. We have enjoyed dreaming about it, building it, rethinking it, rebuilding it, re-rethinking it and finally displaying it successfully. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to you. It was a fun project and amazing when it works!

Matthew Reed- Toothpick dispenser

I made a device that when powered up depending on the charge will either diplay toothpicks to be taken or secure them away untill ready to use. The Ardino was to be used to control the motor and dictate what charge it recieved. I decdied to meke this because it seemed like a mechanical challenge.

Materials: Paper


a  motor

 plastic bottle

tooth picks and cardboard


I built this by cutting up a plastic bottle and placing the motr inside using tape to secure it. I later desingned a plat form for the the toothpicks to be attached so that it can they could then be attached to the motor inside the platic bottle. The motor rises and falls which determines if the toothpicks are stored inside the bottle or displayed to be used.


My project works mechanically when a charge is put to it does what it was intended to do. The project doesnt operate off code like it was supposed to. I could have had an easier time with this project had I dicovered a  concept that I wanted to do earlier. If I were to expnad on this project I woluld work on the cdeing so that it would  run at the push of a button.

Rachel Paletta & Nicholas Dunham’s Play-set


For our final project, Rachel and I just tried to build upon the ones before it. We took a little from each project and threw them together to come up with our final project, and while it did not turn out quite like we expected, we got it done and it worked better than expected. The project we built is a play-set for young children. We constructed our project to use light in order to fire solenoids are therefore create music. We achieved this by connecting three light sensors to their three respective solenoids, and using a code which would trigger the solenoid when it sensed a change in light. Then we powered it all by tearing apart a power supply.


Rachel Paletta & Nicholas Dunham


  • We began by sketching up some simple plans to try and define what we would like to do with our project. We ended up deciding on 3 photo sensors and 3 solenoids. These would power two drumsticks and shake a tambourine.
  • We then began gathering materials: 3 fets, 3 photocells, 3 solenoids, 3 3-Amp diodes, Wire, Solder and Soldering Gun, Computer power supply, Proto board.
  • The first thing we did was to get the solenoids to power, we accomplished this with the help of Ivy by tearing apart an old power supply for a computer then soldering that to the proto board. We would use the power supply as a common positive for all the solenoids ant the arduino would be used for the common ground.
  • Then we placed a fet on the proto board and soldered it to the board, connecting it to the solenoid through a diode. We also ran a wire from the fet to the a pin on the arduino, we used pin 13, 12, and 11.
  • The next step was to connect the photocell to the circuit board with more solder.
  • We repeated this step twice more creating a total of 3 sharing a common ground and power, each with their own pin wire.
  • We programmed our arduino with a code that would send power to the solenoid when there was a change in light over the photo-sensors.
  • Suprisingly everything worked on the first try and we did not have to work for hours to fiddle with the electonic part of the project, the trouble came from the physical part of the project.
  • To make the solenoids do something other than just fire we mounted them on T-frame piece of oak. We put two on the stand of the T and one on the top of the T. The two on the side held two drumstick which when the solenoids fired they pulled the drumstick down to hit on the kid drum and create a banging sound.
  • The third solenoid, when fired, rattled a tambourine on the top of the T-shape to make a rattling noise.
  • With some twiddling we got it to work alright and the last things were a few cosmetic effects.
  • We mounted the photosensors into a see-through plastic container so people could see the circuits and soldering and so the container would act as a controller of a sort.
  • Some final twiddling and we were done.


Reads an analog input on pin 0, prints the result to the serial monitor

This example code is in the public domain.

int LSV=0;
int LSV2=0;
int LSV3=0;

long TMO;
long TMO2;
long TMO3;

void setup() {
Serial.begin(9600); pinMode(13, OUTPUT); pinMode(12, OUTPUT); pinMode(11, OUTPUT);


void loop() {
int sensorValue = analogRead(A0);
int sensorValue2= analogRead(A1);
int sensorValue3= analogRead(A2);

if (abs(sensorValue-LSV)>10)       //if the absolute value of the current sensor value 1 minus the last sensor value 1 is greater than 10
digitalWrite(13, HIGH);}          //turn led light on for 1 second
{if (millis()>TMO)              //if the change in light is not greater than 10, the led light will stay off
digitalWrite(13, LOW);}

if (abs(sensorValue2-LSV2)>10)    //if the absolute value of the current sensor value 2 minus the last sensor value 2 is greater than 10
digitalWrite(12, HIGH);}          //turn led light on for 1 second
{if (millis()>TMO2)
digitalWrite(12, LOW);}          //if the change in light is not greater than 10, the led light will stay off

if (abs(sensorValue3-LSV3)>10)    //if the absolute value of the current sensor value 3 minus the last sensor value 3 is greater than 10
digitalWrite(11, HIGH);}          //turn led light on 1 second
{if (millis()>TMO3)
digitalWrite(11, LOW);}          //if the change in light is not greater than 10, the led light will stay off



  • The project ended up working alright, it seemed to draw a group of people particularly of the younger generation. They seemed to find it appealing. We learned that the solenoids could be very useful for triggering things such as drums if used correctly and effectively.
  • Now that we have finished the project, if we could go back and work on it again and try to better it, we think it would have been nice to spend a little more time on the project and to also try to find solenoids of a different quality that would push out instead of sucking in.

Murtadha – Hassan … Motor Bike


We decided to build our Motor Bike because we love to work with mechanical stuff. We used an 80cc engine and some other stuff

here is a picture for all the stuff that we used for the motor bike


Murtadha Alismaiel, Hassan Altulihi


you just need to put everything together .. it seems to be easy but the hardest part is the engine .. it took me around three to four days to put everything together. I had to buy a new bike because the engine didn’t fit into my old bike.

To start it you just need to paddle a little bit then it will start. Speeds up to 40 mp.

YouTube Preview Image
Matt Phillip Final project

Intro: I wanted to originally design a game on an LCD but i couldn’t figure out what type of game plus i didn’t have time to code it.  So i decided to make a billboard like project with led’s surrounding the screen and have  the lcd in the middle displaying a message.

Description: My billboard displayed a message saying “Engineering 101 is a great elective and John Harrison is an awesome teacher”.

Materials: Lots of wire, about 10 LEDs’s, a 8 character by 2 line LCD, soldering iron, arduino, laptop, and a  bread board.

Circuit diagram:


// include the library code:
#include <LiquidCrystal.h>
// initialize the library with the numbers of the interface pins
LiquidCrystal lcd(12, 11, 5, 4, 3, 2);
void setup() {
// set up the LCD’s number of columns and rows:
lcd.begin(16, 2);
// Print a message to the LCD.
lcd.print(“Engineering 101 is a great elective and John Harrison is an awesome teacher”);
void loop() {
// set the cursor to column 0, line 1
// (note: line 1 is the second row, since counting begins with 0):
lcd.setCursor(0, 1);
// print the number of seconds since reset:

// include the library code:#include <LiquidCrystal.h>
// initialize the library with the numbers of the interface pinsLiquidCrystal lcd(12, 11, 5, 4, 3, 2);
void setup() {  // set up the LCD’s number of columns and rows:   lcd.begin(16, 2);  // Print a message to the LCD.  lcd.print(“Engineering 101 is a great elective and John Harrison is an awesome teacher”);}
void loop() {  // set the cursor to column 0, line 1  // (note: line 1 is the second row, since counting begins with 0):  lcd.setCursor(0, 1);  // print the number of seconds since reset:  lcd.print(millis()/1000);}

Reflection: My project worked the night before we showed our projects at exploration place but for some reason my project didn’t work the morning of.  I tried to fix it but i couldn’t get it to work properly.  Looking back i probably should of ordered my LCD sooner so i would have more time to do what i wanted to do but the 3 hours of soldering didn’t help matters.  If i were to do this project over i would start sooner so i could make a cool game.

Thaiband nith – RC-xD


I wanted to make a replica of something that existed in the world and constantly played with virtually by many.  after seeing the new video game Black ops i saw the exploding remote control car. i thought that was definitely something i could do.


A replica of the killstreak Rc-xD from a video game. its  a remote control car with a bomb attached, in this case a party popper

tri-color led with changed color at a distanced when detected.

green = good nothing near

yellow = caution

red = self destruct


full color led, electrical wires, rubber bands, AA and 9v batteries, any LARGE rc, party poppers

Circuit diagram


My project was somewhat successful. It didn’t exactly work out the way i wanted it. i couldn’t find the right material,

my mini motor didn’t work the way i intended.

One thing that worked great was the color change at a distance. Though it wasn’t very far i should have made the color change at a longer distance.

Things different that i should have done was using the rubber bands instead of a motor. the motor wasn’t strong enough to ‘pop’ the party popper, it only threw out the confetti. I had a rubber band idea, where i have the rubber bands attached to the string of the popper and when release it will pull the popper and pop. tested that it work but wasn’t quite sure how to implement it.

If i were to expanded it in the future, i would have fixed the camera to angle up a little higher to see where i was going. Also put a larger tv screen to see better.  change its power source to multiple 9v battery or stronger instead of many AAs.

I’m sure it would have came out better. Definitely should have picked up some teammates on this.

Kylee Kirchoff/Michael Leblanc – 8x8x8 Cube (draft post)


We chose to make a LED cube that controlled 512 LED lights individually with one Arduino because it was a challenging project that tested our knowledge of the Arduino. For our project we used 512 LEDs, 64 100 ohms resistors, 8 22 K resistors, 8 NPN transisitors, wire, perforated soldering boards, a computer power supply, 4 shift registors, solder, and an Arduino. Our cube uses a matrix setup to allow more LEDs to be lit individually than a regular Arduino would allow. By doing this we were able to make our cube “dance.”


Michael Leblanc and Kylee Kirchoff


How we built our project…

1. Gather up all LEDs and bend the cathodes to the left. Make a small hook with the anode at a 90 degree angle.

2. Then take 16 LEDs and make a square that is 4×4 with all the cathodes connected. (insert picture here) Solder the square together. Repeat this step 31 more times.

3. Now build 4×4 cubes by stacking the squares on top of each other and connecting the anodes this time.

(Here is what the 4×4 layers look like)

4. Take two of the 4×4 cubes and stack them on top of each other making an 8×4 rectangle. Take the 8x4s and solder them all together making an 8x8x8 cube. Now you have a cube!!!

5. Now take the A6276EAT and place it on a perforated board. Then connect a 100 ohm resistor to pin 5 through 20. Repeat this step 4 times making sure you space them all apart. Connect three wires top pins 1 through 3 and 21-24.

6. Take a small Break you deserve it

7. To connect each level to the cube solder on a wire to each cathode plane then setup transistors with pin 1 of transistors connected to 5V and pin 2 to each plane with a 580 ohm resistor and pin 3 to the ground.

8. Connect pin 2 to a resistor and then connect the resistor to the corresponding pin on the Arduino. Take the 5V from the computer power supply (fan) and connect that to the 5V on the Arduino. Then connect ground from the power supply to ground on the Arduino.

Circuit Diagram


As of right now, we are having difficulty getting our project to work. Mainly we had problems getting the leds to work fully it looks like a problem getting the clock pins to fire correctly. The other interesting thing was soldering every thing to gather (i think there is well over 1000 points of solder). It would be cool to build something bigger and have it do a crazier light show for a future project.

Dylan White Final Project

I got the idea for my project from taking my car to a drag race. When you race your car you pull forward just enough to break a beam of light then the tree lights up and you go! I decided to use my me motor car and put a light sensor on it. When i cover up the light sensor, it triggers the rest of my code which lights up a red, yellow, and green led then my car goes for ten seconds.

If i were to improve it i would put a relay on it so that two of the batteries would go directly to the motor, because the arduino would barely make the car move.


int red = 9;               //digital pin 9
int yellow = 11;           //   11
int green = 13;            //   13
int motor = 8;             //   8
int photocell = 0;         //analog 0

void setup() {
  pinMode(red, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(yellow, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(green, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(motor, OUTPUT);


void loop()


void car()
  digitalWrite(red, HIGH);          //red led on
  digitalWrite(red, LOW);           //red led off
  digitalWrite(yellow, HIGH);       //yellow led on
  digitalWrite(yellow, LOW);        //yellow led off
  digitalWrite(green, HIGH);        //green led on
  digitalWrite(green, LOW);         //green led off
  digitalWrite(motor, HIGH);        //motor on
  digitalWrite(motor, LOW);         //motor off