As an exercise in low volume production runs,
the Tangible Interaction Studio runs a project called the Christmas market.
Students design small knick-knacks to be sold in a small shop that we set up during
AHO Works Exhibitions. The chips get manufactured from China and
the products need to make a profit.
Tangible Interaction Studio, Fall 2018.
For this project we had two weeks, separated by a month. In the first week we had to design the circuits which would them be manufactured over a month in China and then in the second week, we were designing and building the objects and assembling, testing and troubleshooting the technical aspects.
The objects were to be powered by a coin cell battery, controlled by a ATtiny chip and the output had to be light. As an ATtiny chip takes up power even whn on standby, and I wanted the battery on my device to last as long as possible, I had to build a switch that turns off by itself when the object is not in use. And it was very important for me that the device could not be accidentally turned on and left on. Also, I wanted the switch to be impossible to turn on if the object was not being used as intended. Finally, I wanted the battery to be user replaceable.
Therefore, as a solution to this problem, I designed an arrangement of three tilt switches arranged radially, arranged in a series. The switch was between the ATtiny chip and the battery and so, if the device stopped spinning, the power was cut off. I am still proud of it. Very proud.
The code runs a simple example code from the Adafruit Neopixel Library and the spinning top rewards longer spins with a variety of patterns and colors. The objects were printed in Nylon for the production run. The manufacturing of the PCB was arranged by Nicholas Stevens and was carried out by Seeed Studio. Christmas lights were priced at 249 NOK and it was all sold out.
I still get fan mails from happy customers. The cover image and the video is supplied by Boris Kourtoukov, a happy customer.