11. Applications and Implications


Propose a final project masterpiece that integrates the range of units covered, answering:

What will it do?

It’s a special (coffee) table. I named it the hive coffe table. With unique frame structure, it can be freely combined in shape. All you need to do is split and assemble the modules according to the shape you want. With LED belt and touch sensor inside it can turn on/off the light with a simple touch to make the table more beautiful. This function can be endowed many distinctive functions:

  • You can use the LED light effect to play some games.
  • When connected other extra device like Kinect, it can be turned into an interactive device.

Furthermore, in later expansion design, each hexagon module can be endowed with more unique function, for example, adding voice module becomes a musical instrument, adding a mirror becomes an infinite tunnel.

Who’s done what beforehand?

I was inspired by a led device in hexagon shape:

This is actully a LED device which can be freely combined as you wish. With touch sensor inside,you can turn on/off the light with just a touch.
Then I was thinking: what if make this device bigger, and make it can be put on the ground to become a furniture or a game table will be super cool. So I draw a sketch to show my idea:

Here is a video to show how the hexagon parts are combined:

Alough a lot of people has made a hexagon table but they are all independent and without electronic function. Alough there are a lot of game device with hexagon shape but they are not furnitures. I will combine the furniture with the game device to make my hive coffee table.

What will you design?

  • I will use modular design concept to make a special structure for the hexagon module frame.
  • Designing myown controller PCB and supplementary embedded programming.
  • Designing a unique circuit system for it including input and output devices.
  • Designing an app to remotely control the table with phone even make the terminal equipmentas into a gamepad to play with the table.

What materials and components will be used?

Because I was a mechanical engineer before, my first though is that: most structure are made by aluminum frame. Because it is easy to buy and with strong structural strength. But since my project is a kind of furniture,so I change my mind to design a wood structure, most of plywood The table surface is made by acrylic or frosted glass to let the light can penetrate.
The main controller is made by myself PCino. The input and output device is mostly bought. The list is shown in the cost form.

Where will come from?

Most merterials and components are available in our lab. But we still have no access to our lab because of the crown virus. So I will buy them on Taobao. Some non-standardcan be bought on the location below, where I can get everthing I want to buy. By the way, I can also bargain with the seller ahaha~

The electronic components, input and output devices are mostly available in our labs’ inventory.

How much will they cost?

Qty Name Description price(RMB)
Several Aluminum alloy/plywood Frame about 500
Several PVC/acrylic Surface about 50
1 PCino Controller about 20
Several LED belt Output about 100
Several Sensors Input about 50
Several Wifi module IOT about 30

What parts and systems will be made?

Structure part

  • Computer-controlled cutting (for surface)
  • Computer-controlled machining (for frame and table support)
  • 3D scanning and printing (for small non-standard part)

Controller part

  • Electronic design (for main controller)
  • Electronic products (for PCB fabrication)
  • Embedded programming (for code)

Input and output device part

  • Input devices (RC circuit or Touch sensor)
  • Output devices (LED and Speaker)

App part

  • Embeded program (for code)
  • Networking and communications (for circuit)
  • Interface and application programming (for app)

What processes will be used?

  • computer aid design
  • prototype-version 1
  • development-vesion 2
  • ......
  • final version


What questions need to be answered?

  • What size is suitable? (About how many modules make up a table) Smaller size means more accurate size.
  • Is the designed structural strength strong enough to support the table without falling apart?
  • How to make the design more beautiful?
  • Is the connection method of components using wire or not?
  • Is the communication method wired or wireless?
  • Whether its embedded program is rich enough as a game table?
  • How to do secondary development of supporting app?

How will it be evaluated?

  • As a furniture, is it practical? Is it easy to separate and assemble when using?
  • Whether the appearance and artistic effectis beautiful?
  • Is the sensitivity of the input device and output device appropriate?
  • Whether the extra features of the design is interesting and can be continuously updated?

3D design model