We were going to make a board game using a ten by ten grid of LEDs but some guy told us we were hogging all the LEDs... Then we moved on to making a beaver spin, which resulted in our gift to humanity: Beaver Dance Party.
What it does
A Beaver. On a pedestal. That spins. With lights.
How we built it
As one can imagine, a spinning beaver on a pedestal is a highly innovative and extremely sophisticated project requiring both programming and electrical expertise.
We incrementally built the device, by configuring spinning, lights, timing, etc. We built following our initial circuit diagram and adapted/adjusted the code to make the device run fluidly. A small amount of machining was required to build the stand and acrylic platforms.
Challenges we ran into
As it turns out, the Arduino only has 13 ports, and with the lack of a multiplexer, we couldn't find a way to individually control LEDs. Our circuit is based off "Charlieplexing," a term used for Arduino that utilizes series/parallel components and the fact that current takes the path of least resistance to let one control (n^2 - n) LED lights from n inputs. However, we needed to ourselves generate for greater than 6 LEDs (3 inputs), and found that the LED structure resembled a tree. Hopefully this discovery can help with people attempting to get past Arduino's pin limitations and don't have access to a multiplexer or register.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The circuit was quite complicated! Moreover, the stand is built quite stably. All in all, the coordination of the lights and spinning worked out better than expected.
What we learned
Charlieplexing, and we had to pick some Arduino and machining too.
What's next for Beaver Dance Party
Beaver and pedestal aside, there's much extrapolation to be done in the relationship between Arduino pins and individualized component control. There is also room for improvement in containing the breadboards and Arduino. A Spin the Beaver spinoff game may be in the work as well.