13. Covid solution repository

The assignment for this week is to propose a final project that integrates the range of units covered, answering the following questions:

What will it do ?

Who’s done what beforehand ?

What materials and components will be required ?

Where will they come from ?

How much will it cost ?

What parts and systems will be made ?

What processes will be used ?

What tasks need to be completed ?

What questions need to be answered ?

What is the schedule ?

How will it be evaluated ?


Where possible, we should make rather than buy the parts of our project. Also its so that projects can be separate or joint, but need to show individual mastery of the skills, and be independently operable.

What will it do?

The interactive mantra box is designed to act as an electronic heritage device - it is a “wayback playback” machine. It stores ancient hymns, chants and mantras and plays it back whenever the user interacts with it.

The materials and the design of the form could additionally align toward signifying cultural dimensions of an ancient looking device.

The interactivity should not a “pretentious on/off switch” through use of fancy sensors - there needs to be some depth to the interactivity. The main question to keep in mind is 5 sets of WHYs, as a paradigm for redesign.If there are more than 5 WHYs justified, then its probably in a good direction (provided the first WHY is not setting off a wrong Markov chain).

Who has done what beforehand?

The fab boom box by Matt Keeter - while a different device, seemed to resonate quite closely with respect to the components and generic functionality - so I found it closely inspiring.

The fact is that it has a main board, audio amplifier and capacitive touch that are all integral parts of an interactive “sound” box as mine.

Likewise, some of the loudspeaker and monitor manufacturers.

What will you design?

The PCB will be designed to accomodate different sensors and microcontroller. The outer module will need to be explored with different parametric 3d software to achieve the right look and feel.

The shape and design of the board for the microcontroller will be designed and fabricated as to resemble a ritual object.

What material and components will be used? The hardware components include the following: Wi-Fi Controller Board with Possibility to transmit to other “mantra boxes” and perhaps a smartphone connection Amplifier circuit, AT mega 328, 2 sided PCB SD card reader MP3 decoder voltage stabilizer Sound and / or proximity sensor module

for testing and prototyping purposes:  Arduino IDE software 

Where will come from?

Most of the electronic components could be available at the Aalto Fablab or ordered from Digi-Key, ebay etc.

How much will they cost?

This is something I am still looking into..

What parts and systems will be made?

The parts can be laser cut or 3D printed - perhaps biodregradble materials like coconut shells could be used.

What processes will be used?

  1. Computer Aided Design for interactive design
  2. Computer Aided Machining for parametric design or prototyping
  3. 3D printing with SLA for possible accomodating of electronics components within a translucent exterior.
  4. input Devices as proximity, possible sound sensor for triggering an event, a wifi module.
  5. Output devices for audio and display system
  6. PCB milling on SRM-20 and soldering for integrated amplifier, SD card
  7. Version control with github and project Management techniques.

What questions need to be answered?

  1. What is the differentiating design angle that a mobile mp3 player would not be able to replace?
  2. How does one incorporate heritage into electronics - what are the modules and parts that can be customized to achieve this ?
  3. How does one conduct a user interface study within religious and spiritual spaces - likewise for personal use such as in funerals and special rituals - how does the sensitivity to the surrounding get addressed by the design process?
  4. How does one divide this project into a design process - and which of these tools (eg 3d printer, cnc machine) are the prototyping tools and which are the ones for “hi fidelity close to final” design? How to identify them within the Fab Lab - likewise, at what point does a prototype module get into mass production and exit the fab ecosystem?

How will it be evaluated?

It will need to be evaluated with the people who are likely to use it - and hopefully does not become a art enthusiast object.