It can be difficult when trying to figure out how much money we have saved throughout the years using our piggy bank. We also find it a waste needing to break a cute, ceramic piggybank in order to count how much money we have been able to save throughout the years. PigMoneyHero will encourage people to start saving and is great for teaching kids the importance of managing assets at a very young age.

What it does

PigMoneyHero helps to keep track of the amount of money you plan to put into your piggybank by selecting different values via pushbutton, which includes: $0.10, $0.25, and $1.00. There is also an option that allows you to choose between adding and subtracting the total. The subtraction feature allows users to reduce the amount of money if entered incorrectly. Because it is impossible to have a negative sum of money in your piggybank, PigMoneyHero will not display any values below $0.00. The LCD has a functionality where it will turn red if it has a $0.00 balance, while anything above $0.00 will make the LCD turn green.

How we built it

We decided to use the Arduino 101 along with the Base Shield attachment and it's additional components, including pushbuttons and an LCD backlight as a screen in order to build PigMoney Hero. There is a button designated to keep track of the added or subtracted values that are entered. There are also three additional buttons that keep track of the new values to be inserted by the user. The LCD backlight is used to display the information that has been entered.

Challenges we ran into

The first and most frustrating issue that we ran into was enabling our Arduino environment to communicate with the LCD display. Ultimately, we were having an issue with the LCD library and finding the proper folder path, and were able to resolve it after much trial and error. We also faced the challenge of having a limited amount of hardware to work with and a mess of cumbersome wires that got in our way too often.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Over at PigMoneyHero, we are very excited that we now have a way to keep track of our savings without smashing our precious piggy banks! We are proud to see our pushbuttons function exactly as we imagined them and the values are displayed in a neat and concise format.

What we learned

During the course of this project, we were each able to become much more familiar with the capabilities of the Arduino and see the potential that it has for other projects. We also improved our knowledge of C and learned how to apply it to a hardware output.

What's next for PigMoneyHero

In the future, we see PigMoneyHero becoming more sophisticated and implementing a variety of sensors to allow the user to simply place a coin into the piggybank without having to manually input the value of the coin or the total amount inside. This idea, though simple, is the building block that will provide children with the opportunity to grow into successful and powerful people with unlimited potential and money!

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