week 7

Jianing Jin - Sun 26 April 2020, 10:03 pm
Modified: Sun 26 April 2020, 10:05 pm

What is your concept / individual focus / individual responsibility for the project?

Our team works in the form of cooperation and our design idea is not much different from the previous proposal stage, that is, to create a playful interactive device for sound processing. To be more specific, “sound lab” is a sound processing device. The shape of the product will be the same as the commonly used tools in the chemical laboratory, that is, test tubes, droppers, flasks, trash cans, and the interactive form of the product will also simulate the way chemical experiments are usually carried out. It has five main functions, they are collecting and recording sound, playing sound, storing sound, mixing sound, and deleting sound. Within the group, I am mainly responsible for the design of sound storage and playback devices and will be looking at the aspects of visual design, physical interaction, technical involved, playful concerns, user-centered design to complete my part. I am aiming to design a radio and playback device, and at the end of the semester, assemble with several components from other team members to complete the final product.


What is the ideal finished product?

Each tool in the entire design has its own purpose and function. The trash can is used to delete sounds, the dropper is used to record and collect sounds, the test tube can store different sounds, the jar can store preset melody, and the flask can mix and play sounds. The complete operation process is as follows:

  1. The user finds his favorite sound in daily life (such as the sound of tap water, the singing of birds, etc.), he can move the dropper to a position close to the sound source, squeeze the plastic tip of the dropper, record the sound, and the sound will be stored in Dropper.
  2. Hang the dropper over the test tube and squeeze the tip of the dropper, the music data in the dropper will be transferred to the test tube and the led light in the test tube will begin to glow to indicate that there is sound stored in the test tube.
  3. The stored music can be played simply by shaking the test tube.
  4. In order to ensure the harmony of music, we provide a lot of preset music in different jars.
  5. Pour the test tube over the flask, then the sound from the test tube will be upload to the flask, and the selected music will be mixed together if the user shake the flask. There will be smoke during the mixing process, which represents the sound mixing by simulating the visual effects of chemical experiments.
  6. When test tube, flask touch the trash can, the stored sound will be deleted


During the break and this week, my main research is focusing on the realization of technology. Since I am new to Arduino, I spent some time to get a rough understanding of Arduino and consult related tutorials about sensor selection and code implementation. In the process of research, I found that the Arduino only has 32k of storage and cannot complete the sound storage simply using the Arduino. How to do the sound storage become the tricky part of our project delivery at the present. And we have tried different ways in order to complete this function. Through investigation, I found that there are ways to expand the storage.

Voice Recording Module

Limitation: supports recording and playback within 10s, cannot support the long time recording function.

Raspberry Pi: Can be used Microcomputer, not sure how to connect to Arduino. (Need more investigation)

SD card module: can store a large number of audio files and we also find some tutorials about how to decoding the sound and store it into the SD card.

The tutorial might be useful for building

Make your own spy bug Arduino Voice recorder. (https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Your-Own-Spy-Bug-Arduino-Voice-Recorder/)

Technical issues: how to call audio files in SD card, how to transfer the soundtrack in the SD card to the computer...

Since we are unable to think of a suitable solution, our project was stalled for several days due to technical obstacles. Thanks to the tutors for providing us a new direction in solving the problem, that is using python to call the recording function in the PC and link it with the Arduino



Tutorial video:



At present, our plan is to use Python to complete the coding part and then make connection to the Arduino.