Week 1: Principles and practices

01/22/2019 - Stéphane Muller

The assignment for the first week was to plan and sketch one or more potential final projects.

Because I love woodwork, the first idea that came to me was to make a piece of smart furniture. I moved to my apartment a couple of months ago and I need a small cabinet to store my wallet and papers. As I’m also a big fan of puzzles, safes and locking mechanisms in general, I thought I would make a hidden locked drawer. To open the drawer you would have to make the right combination on the top of the cabinet by touching a number of copper engravings in the right sequence.

The user would get feedback from a beeping sound and/or leds hidden underneath the surface of the wood (the depth of the wood would have to be very thin above, obviously).

I would also like to add a WiFi programmable LCD screen to display some information like the weather for example.

Techniques that would be used for this project:

My second idea is making a WiFi programmable thermostat. I have an old heater in my apartment and you have to manually turn a wheel to set the thermostat. My goal would be to make a device that would be fixed just above the selector in order to control it. The device would have a 3D printed gear driven by a motor and controlled by a PCB connected to my local network. I would then be able to set the thermostat when I’m away so that my apartment is nice and warm when I get back home, all the while saving energy.

I like the idea of adding connectivity to an analog device, thus expanding its features and capabilities. Instead of buying a new heater to have that particular feature, I can just make it and add to it.

Techniques that would be used for this project:

I don't know which one I'll do for my final project yet, but, in time, I will do them both.