A personal Messenger/Greeter for special occasions !

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Want to deliver a special message for your love? This is a simple toy which delivers the message for you !
Did I forget to say that you have to kiss the toy (or tough it) to see the message ? :)

System Design 

There are three questions that needs to be answered to understand this project.

1. Message String - What has to be displayed ?

2. When the display has to be triggered (Touch Button or perhaps a kiss?) ?

3. How the message has to be displayed ?

What is the message? 

This is the string/test which you want to deliver to your loved ones.  This could be just alphanumeric or simple pictures (Heart??) which can be accommodated in an 8x8 LED Array. Now to get the message into the system we can either hard code it which burning the code into the micro controller or send the message over Bluetooth or use our PC/Smartphones to load the data into the toy.

When the message has to be displayed?

The message has to be displayed only when the toy is touched or kissed.

How the message is to be displayed?

Over an LED Matrix 8x8 - Driven using an 7219 - Why 7219? It makes programing easier - Why LED? Because LED's are super cool !

  • 1 × Arduino Barebone Arduino on Perfboard
  • 1 × MAX7219 Interface and IO ICs / Display Interface
  • 1 × 8x8 LED matrix Fiber Optics / Emitters
  • 1 × BC547 Discrete Semiconductors / Transistors, MOSFETs, FETs, IGBTs

  • Transistor Switch - For Vibrator Motor

    Jayahari J08/18/2014 at 18:32 0 comments

    Now addition of a vibration motor as a feedback for touch/kiss is considered. For this we will be using a BC547 transistor - The base is connected to a resistor and in turn to an arduino. The emitter is connected to ground where as the collector is connected to one end of the motor while the other end of the motor is connected to VCC. When the arduino pin goes high, The motor's flow gets complete and it just buzzzzzzes :)

  • Capacitive Touch

    Jayahari J08/18/2014 at 17:35 0 comments

    Testing Capacitive touch library with Arduino - With a net 400 K Ohm resistance for sensing and a whole copper clad as input. The Cap Sense library worked like a charm !

    So a KISS activated toy is on the way !

  • 7219's magic

    Jayahari J08/17/2014 at 18:43 0 comments

    I followed tronixstuff's Guide for 7219, Initially I had troubles - This was because I was using a 8x8 display which was lying around in my parts bin. 

    The pins were not mapped properly by me, and China LED's no datasheet - so went ahead and connected +5V to the first pin of the matrix - Then to the 12th pin connected Ground through a 10K resister - Voila - The last LED glowed !

    Now figured that the first four pins are Common Anode row pins - Followed by 8 pins pertaining to Common cathode for RED LED's (yes I was using a bicolor Matrix) and the last four (20 to 24) were the rest of the Common Anode row pins.

    At many online sites, There were specific products called "Common Anode" 8x8 Matrix - Don't believe - Its a matrix - 8 Pins are common anode and 8 Pins are common cathode !

    MAX7219 datasheet says its Common Anode ! Yes its common Anode but only for segment displays - For Matrix displays MAX7219 is always a friend!

    A picture to end the the log!

  • Selecting Components

    Jayahari J08/17/2014 at 18:12 0 comments

    Selection of components is a major task in any project, with previous project exectuion using arduino and huge number of LED's, I used simple shift registers and ULN2003 - The software complexity increased many folds and I used to run into out-of-memory errors.

     With LED's the brightness when one LED is "ON" and when the whole row is "ON" should be the same.

    Hence time I chose MAX7219 as it takes care of the LED matrix, Brightness, refresh rate etc.

    Why RED LED Matrix ? RED is the color of love and Danger !

    Why DIP components ? Its easily available in India - in low quantities!

    Perfboard setup ? Yup !

    Which/what Switch is used to trigger ? Physical or Capacitive or Kiss .....  Still working this out !

    Message - How is the user's message get into the system? While Programming .. Bluetooth .. Sterio cable .. Still working this out

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Jayahari J wrote 08/18/2014 at 00:03 point
The heart would definitely look better @ 45 degree shift :) But am worried about other text and pics - That might take a hit - but will try for sure.
For the figure - I will be using cardboard and if time permits wood.
When there is no message - It will display a face.

  Are you sure? yes | no

davedarko wrote 08/17/2014 at 18:54 point
I wonder if a heart looks better on a 45degrees rotated 8x8 matrix :) but then again you would need special fonts and shift your pictures in a 45 degree, too. Sounds funky. Anyways, have fun :) those matrix controllers are great. What will be your figure material? 3D printed stuff? Cardboard? Wood? What will it show, when no message is there to display, a face or a heart?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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