10: applications & implications

The assignment for this week is to propose a final project masterpiece that integrates the range of units covered and answers the following questions.

The idea for my final project is a Neopixel Smart Mirror based on the project made by Super Make Something.

What will it do?

The purpose of the smart mirror is to use a camera as an input device to output a pixelated version of what it sees through the neopixels and display a “mirror” effect.

Who’s done what beforehand?

Super Make Something has detailed his process of making the mirror in the Youtube video shown above. I want to make a version of this project that is more cost effective and is customized to include the processes covered in this course.

Other unique, interactive mirrors have been made in the past, like the Penguins Mirror and Troll Mirror, that also come as inspiration for this project.

What will you design?

I will design the backboard and frame of the mirror, the frame(s) to cover the LEDs, the case for the camera and boards, and any microcontroller board necessary to work in correspondance with the Raspberry Pi.

What materials and components will be used? Where will come from? How much will they cost?

Here is the link to the materials spreadsheet I created in the beginning of the course including the components necessary for Super Make Something’s version of the Neopixel mirror. As I continue to design for and build my final project, I will make edits to the spreadsheet so the materials are specific to my project (including quantity and price). To summarize, the mirror will have several strands of neopixels attached to a wooden backboard. Over each individual LED will be some sort of cover, either a 3D printed clear PLA cover or a ping-pong ball (for time and cost efficiency’s sake) with a frame. A Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi camera will control the electronics portion of the project.

What parts and systems will be made?

The frames, backboard, and necessary boards will be made.

What processes will be used?

I hope to incorporate:

  • CAD (designing backboard and frames)

  • computer-controlled cutting (laser cutting LED frames)

  • electronics design & production, embedded programming (creating the necessary microcontroller board)

  • 3D scanning & printing (individual LED covers and/or Raspberry Pi mount and camera hood)

  • input devices (Raspberry Pi camera)

  • output devices (Neopixel strips)

What questions need to be answered?

  • I need to figure out how to incorporate making my own board to work with the Raspberry Pi
  • I need to alter the original design of the project so it is more cost effective, but still doable in light of the current status of COVID-19.

How will it be evaluated?

My project will be evaluated based on whether the neopixels can successfully reflect what the camera sees.


My current plan is to catch up on the weeks I am behind in during the break, then begin looking ahead to the next coming weeks. I have not been able to coordinate the past couple weeks with components for my project like I had initially planned, so I need to start working with the Raspberry Pi or look at other cameras that will work with the neopixels. I will go through the tutorial video provided my Super Make Something, but also look into the several “image” options Neil provided from input week. To ensure that the electronics of my project work, I will be making the mirror on a smaller scale than what is produced in the video. Therefore, I need to design a less basic backboard and frame. I am also planning on looking into using ping-pong balls as opposed to 3D printed every individual cover for the LEDs, which will consequently require adjustments to the frame that will be placed on top of the neopixels.

Current Status

You can view the development of my final project over these next few weeks on my final project site here.