VoiceBox is me in a box. With the aim to appreciate my own voice, the device will expose me to the sound of my own voice with recorded messages. In the morning or throughout the day the device will detect movement and play a recording at random.
Using physical computing I needed to work on an idiosyncrasy of my own. In this instance I went with the lack off appreciation I have for my own voice. Using Arduino exercises I re-familiarised myself with Arduino and how components work together.
I used some quick research and brainstorming to arrive with the decision to go with an 'exposure therapy' approach. The first steps was to get a rough circuit working. I went with tackling each feature on its own. I know that I would need a way to record messages onto the device, a speaker to play them back and some form of a trigger to switch the device on.
I went with the Adafruit MP3 shield to store audio files, which also allows me to keep things simple by using an Arduino. I also decided to use an ultrasonic sensor to trigger the device, rather than an infrared sensor. This allows me to be more precise with my trigger. Walking directly in front of the device will trigger it, rather than any kind of motion in the room. Using infrared would cause the device to be triggered too often if someone was in the same room, leading to more frustration and unintended activation.
Both of these methods worked well and I was able to stitch the code together. What I wanted to include was a microphone to record these audio files directly onto the device. With a lot of testing and research, this proved to be quite difficult and unachievable in the time frame I had.
I loaded up some audio files with some very corny messages to myself (my classmates helped with some of these). I used a cardboard box to get an idea for the space required and how I might secure the wiring in place in the future.
With the electronics working, I had a bit of time to focus on the design for the device. I used the laser cutter to produce lattice cuts. These cuts allowed for the plywood to become flexible and achieve a cylindrical form. I used the front face of the device for mounting the components, as well as engraving some details. A friend came up with the sketch for my face and I replicated it in illustrator while adding a few finishing touches.
Using some hot glue, the parts were held in place quite well. I'm also happy with how everything fit inside the device as well as the wiring. There was a slight gap at the top and bottom of the device where the plywood lost its flexibility towards the flat section, but I managed to produce a more snug fit in the end result. All in all I'm happy with how it turned out and the plywood is not as fragile as I was expecting.