Some Old Projects

Posted Under: Projects, Tech

I've already highlighted a few of my favorite projects on this site, but I wanted to take a minute to post about some of my older college works. Enjoy.

PiOT

It's an Internet Of Things sensor based off of a Raspberry Pi. Get it?

The PiOT is a data capture device for a do-it-yourself IoT setup. It's equipped with a pair of DS18B20 temperature sensors, a DHT22 combination temperature/humity sensor, and an optional Raspberry Pi camera.

The sensors are read and logged on a five minute interval. This data is uploaded to Sparkfun's data.sparkfun.com data logging service, or a personal hosted instance of the underlying Phant service. From there, data.sparkfun.com and Phant can serve up .json files to a variety of endpoints, including a web dashboard, mobile app, or even a smartwatch.

It was a fun project combining several of my favorite technologies. I got to solder a sensor together, write some Python scripts for the sensors, design a Chart.js and Bootstrap web dashboard, and even learn how to write Pebble smartwatch faces.

PiOT Sensor
Pebble Watchface

Movie Knight

Movie Knight was my senior project. Working with a group of classmates, we followed standard Agile and SCRUM methodologies to create an 2.3 Android-based movie recommendation app.

The app was a least-grief recommendation service for groups. You and your friends would enter your movie collections into the app, giving each film a 5-star (with half increment) rating. Then, you would specify which users were attempting to watch a movie together, and the app would recommend movies that best fit the entire group's tastes.

I handled the majority of the work writing the Android app. Another classmate handled the database logic, and finally our final group member wrote the recommendation engine. It was a fun project, and gave a good amount of insight into mobile app development.

Movie-Knight

Dice Roller

This one might take a bit of explaining. My school had a Computer Human Interaction course. It was a fascinating class that taught Computer Scientists to use Humanities-style skills in order to study users more efficiently. As part of the class, we had to study a group of people in a culture we didn't belong to. These groups ranged from student athletes to bingo hall regulars. I had never played a tabletop RPG before, so I decided to study my friends during their weekly Dungeons and Dragons game.

I got to hang out with friends for homework, how cool is that?

The final project of the class was open ended. All we had to do was to create something that would benefit the group we had studied. I had recently been teaching myself the Arduino platform, so I decided to put those skills to good use.

I ended up creating an electronic dice roller. Tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons often require users to roll all sorts of non-standard dice. The device I created could simulate any number of dice rolls, and automatically integrate a player's skill modifiers into the final result. It even had a motion sensor in it so that you could mimic the sensation of rolling dice.

My favorite part of the project was the enclosure. I used Ponoko.com to laser-cut a custom enclosure I had created in the 3D modeling software Sketchup. It definitely helped turn heads during the final presentation.

Dice-Roller