MakeHarvard Information

Table Number: 38 Team Name: The Purrrfect Alarm Team Member Names: Anna Mun, Kavin Phan, Jeff Xu, and Ashley Cheng

Inspiration

We needed sleep. Just kidding, one member talked about building a cat toy using microcontrollers at home, so the team stuck with that idea.

What it does

The Purrrfect Alarm is activated via timer set by a website. Once the alarm is triggered, the cat begins scurrying around, avoiding obstacles on the way, while also playing obnoxious sounds. The only way it will stop is by pressing the button on its tail.

How we built it

The brain of the operations is an Arduino Uno, which is used to collect information from the sensors around the frame and also move the cat along using DC motors. To connect with the internet, the cat uses the Adafruit HUZZAH breakout board to connect with our server, which was put together using a Spring backend and a standard JS frontend. The chassis is made of cardboard, which was joined together using epoxy.

Challenges we ran into

We only had a couple of setbacks. First, our chassis was supposed to be 3D printed, but the print failed. Next, we were planning on using the microcontroller provided by Sunstone Circuits, but we ran into a common problem with uploading code to it. Finally, the motors we picked in the beginning were not torque-y enough to move the cat.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Despite these hurdles, we are still proud of what we've learned and built today, albeit not fully functioning. The event held many first-times for the team. Some of us learned how to solder, some of us learned how to wire multiple components, and some of us learned that sleep is very important.

What we learned

Overall, the team learned a lot about the applications of Arduino microcontrollers and how to start our own projects.

What's next for Purrfect Alarm

Making it work 100%.

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