Hi STEM enthusiasts
The post was long due. Here is some interesting update. Finally, after some iterations, we come up with the prototype version of the configurable motor matrix which can be used as a model system for cognitive science experiments. This is also special because this is one such project where makerspace and LSR team collaborated. If anyone of you is interested in knowing more, you have to visit the lab and experience it
Here is how the Prototype Version 1 looks like:
What’s happening here? Here you can see @jtd aka Jude who designed the prototype trying to sense the different vibration pattern which can be generated by these tiny circular vibration motors on the skin. We generated a linear, snake-like pattern that was clearly distinguishable when kept on the skin.
How does it work? Its simple, you coordinate the switching (ON/OFF) of the motors in sequence using a micro-controller( here we used Arduino Uno). Currently, there are 16 vibration motors attached to a flexible matrix which we designed and 3D printed.
Here is how the 3D printed design looks like? We used openscad to design it.
Here is a brief pictorial journey along with some goof-ups!
13 Dec 2019
We started with the design of a vertical mount for motors and printing it using a flexible filament. We designed a 2*2 matrix for exploration purpose and played around with the duration for which the motor was kept ON and then OFF duration.
Here you can see Jude and GN testing the design.
Later, we also tried a linear strip where one can change the distance between the motors too.
19 Jan 2020- v1.0
This can be called the prototype version 1.0. Here we printed the 7*7 matrix and it was working fine but the problem was the fragile connection near the motor ends which can break easily if one applies force on the wire.
We all were excited about the trying it out!
Top View - I know it looks bit wire-y, but we do plan to design a PCB to reduce that too.
GoofUp = More Learning!
What’s inside a single motor? This is what happens when the connection gets broken. There is an epoxy coating on the flexible PCB near the ends which makes it extremely hard to re-solder. One of them came out, so we used this opportunity to open up the motor to explore what’s inside! Can you guess how does this vibration motor works?
28 Jan 2020 Version 1.1 with the requisite modifications
Do you see the small pieces on the table, that fit on the top of the vertical column and presses the wire so that the tension near the joints is minimized during usage.
The Arduino code and design files can be found here