Idea: Final Project

Anti-anxiety plush animal! Using the pulse sensor, it will play a heartbeat sound slightly slower than your own heartbeat, helping you to slow your own heart if you are anxious about something. Could include an LED that pulses with the heartbeat. I would just need to figure out how to get the arduino to read the pulse rate in a way that I can modify it to be slower and also steady (I don’t want it to be just a delay of the user’s heartbeat, I want it to be steady, but at a slightly slower rate than the user, but will still constantly update.

Ideas: Final Project

Was just thinking about something possible for the final project. All I know is that it is going to be using the Kinect, and I was thinking about making a Harry Potter duelling game, kind of like the quick-draw game in Nintendo’s 1-2-Switch. Ideally, you’d be able to pick between a few different spells (using some device connected to you, like a glove), and depending on what spell you use, you get different results. Like Expelliarmus to disarm, Stupefy to stun and Protego to protect. If both players use Protego, it’s a draw, etc. I already have code that tracks colour and displays what looks like “spells” using different behaviours for particle systems where the colour is. If I can modify that to be more precise or track something specific, this could work? Maybe?

Idea: Temperature Sensing Tea Cozy

I was just thinking about one thing I really love… tea! It truly wouldn’t be difficult to embed a temperature sensor of some sort on the inside of a tea cozy, even one of the ones that came with the arduino kits we have. The sensor part would just have to be in contact with the teapot. Could be good to like… let you know when your tea is cool enough to drink or notify you if it’s getting cold. A smaller version for a mug cozy would be good too! And you could set your own temperature ranges. The trick would be figuring out the exact relationship between the temperature of the pot and the liquid inside, especially taking into account different materials and material qualities for the pots and mugs. Perhaps a calibration setting where you put it on the hot liquid receptacle and set what temperatures you like, and the sensor can record the temperature of the mug/pot.


Gif from this excellent artist:


Ideas: Thermoelectric Cooling

I was just pondering the heating pad the other day. Why aren’t there cooling pads? Which of course there are, but from what I can tell, it’s mostly in a hospital setting to help hyperthermic patients. But I’ve been pondering more… day to day use.

For example, I am a person who is a freaking furnace. I am almost always super warm, like I seem to run hotter than most people. People will be shivering in a parka outside, and I’ll be in a tank top and shorts like “yeah, it may be a bit chilly”. Ok, that may be an exaggeration, but it isn’t that far of one. But during the summer when I am about 2 seconds away from literally melting (well, yes, figuratively, but it certainly feels like it will literally happen when the temperature is above 23 for me), something along the lines of a cooling pad would be really good for me. I did find this – a mattress pad that you can use thermoelectric coolers to adjust the temperature of water that circulates through it, allowing you to cool or heat it depending on your preference. But the price – $499, and I assume it’s USD. For a twin. I can’t afford that! I didn’t even spend that much on my bed frame and mattress combined! I am also thinking… smaller. A large cube thingy plus a mattress pad seems kind of… hard to tote around. I want something with the convenience of something like a heating pad, ice pack, or hot water bottle, and at about the same size. Bonus if I can make a cute stuffed animal out of it. But I don’t want to have to remember to put it in the freezer or anything like that. I can deal with if I have to plug it in and/or fill it with water. I have one of these things:


USB Thermoelectric Cooler (and Warmer), perfect for a can of pop.

Which is a little fridge shaped thing with a little thermoelectric plate at the bottom of the device that can either heat or cool things (you can get one here). And it’s approximately the diameter of a pop can, and from the looks of it is about an inch or so high? I know at least cooling can be miniaturized reasonably small like this for what I want to use it for. The heating part, I am not sure about. I don’t think it would be safe to stick a metal plate that can get pretty hot in a stuffed animal or in a small blanket-looking thing. But the cooling for that would theoretically work in a heating pad-like thing. Or could be used to alter the temperature of water (or another liquid) to pump through a heating pad-like thing. I think running tubes of water through fabric of some sort would be significantly safer than sticking the metal plate in there. I have been trying to research thermoelectrics but… it’s a little above my head unfortunately.

I was also thinking of other applications for stuff like this… I’ve been having great fun in making lunch bags lately, I’ve made one for my sister, my mum and am working on one for myself. Having something that you could cool (and would stay cold instead of melting throughout the day) would be a good thing to put in a lunch kit – especially for people who work in an office with an overcrowded fridge (and food thieves), or people who need to bring a lunch/dinner but don’t have access to a fridge (like students).

Finished the lunch bag I was making for my mom for christmas!

A post shared by @blackcatblight on

I was also thinking of using the plates combined with fans to potentially use for like… personal temperature control units. Like in the summer if it’s too hot, you could use a cooling plate and a fan to make a personal AC, and likewise in the winter when it’s cold you could use it to make personal heating units with the plate hot. And if you make them so they plug in or can be recharged, they could be very handy! And the personal AC type one could be useful to people who dress in mascot costumes, or cosplay in large armor-like suits or fursuits. Overheating is a legitimate problem with those kinds of costumes, and an AC of some sort would make it much safer to wear them.

If I do manage to figure something like this out in a stuffed animal type incarnation, I am definitely going to make myself a plush of Snowball, the drone belonging to Mei-Ling Zhou in the game Overwatch. There is a really good picture of it in the reference that Blizzard provided here. And if you want quick gratification, it’s the adorably angry looking face on Mei’s back in the below pic.


Screenshot from the official Overwatch page for Mei. Snowball is the little angry face in the farthest right, middle-ish area of the image.

It would be really awesome if I could figure out the cooling Snowball plush because I do really want to cosplay Mei sometime when I can go to the Calgary Comic Expo again, but I dread even just thinking of attending a convention in a warm jacket like she wears. Plus, having it as a cooling plush would be in character considering her main “thing” is ice!

Eventual Goal


A photo of my plants! The clean tabletop is 100% staged.

Eventually I would like to make some sort of irrigation system for my plants. The poor, shriveled violet on the right is the one I had to leaveĀ for an entire month while visiting family. I want to make an app that I can connect to the irrigation system and use it so I can at least water my plants remotely, if not just schedule watering. It would be really neat if I could design the system in such a way where it could measure the moisture level of the soil, and depending on what the specific kind of plant requires, it could automatically water it as well. I would also like to include some sort of sun light at some point, seeing as the lighting in my current bedroom is absolutely terrible. The light is – in theory – much simpler than making the whole irrigation system, but is a much lower priority for me. Even though the lighting isn’t good, I can just leave the curtain open when I leave. I have no recourse for watering!

Making something like this could really help out my mom as well, as she gardens a lot. It may not be as much help with outdoor gardening (depending on how I construct the systems), but it could be helpful when she isĀ starting seedlings indoors and even container gardening.