My wife and I have two little nieces. Even though they live 17,000 kms away they have a direct line to our Awwww instincts. As we pretty much have no choice but to spoil them rotten, we decided for their next Birthday to make a colourful, funky night lamp which uses RGB LEDs to illuminate and entertain! I'm in charge of electronics and my wife is in charge of making it look interesting.
There isn't much to show just yet, but stay tuned for more!
Whilst we wait for the parts and boards to arrive my wife has started on the sculpting. We are still not sure what we will make but we are looking at some sort of combination of baked plasticine and polymorph.
Whilst testing out some baked plasticine my wife made this little octopus:
I spent a bit of time over the weekend building a breadboard prototype of the design as well as writing the firmware. I've added the link to the firmware github repository over on the left hand side of the project page - MIT license.
The night lamp works like this:
There are four buttons - dimmer, brighter, change colour, "random mode"
You can change the brightness up and down with the first two buttons
The third button cycles between white, red, green and blue light
The fourth button does one of two things: (a) if the lights are dim it pulses a slow "sleepy time" pattern, or (b) if the lights are bright it does random colours for random periods of time.
I've set it up so that light shows can be "programmed" in as well as allowing random ones.
There are a couple of issues with the firmware still to be sorted out, a signed char somewhere is causing havoc with high brightness values and the time periods for programmed light shows aren't being correctly parsed. I'll sort these out eventually.
In the meantime my wife has been looking into the housing for the lamp. We are considering sculpting something from Polymorph plastic at this stage because its easy to use, relatively cheap and has a nice diffuse effect.
I've ordered some parts and boards so will return to this project once parts start arriving.