I created my JukeBox Mario to sing, dance, and create a light show. The picture below illustrates my first prototype. I made it out of a shoebox and attached a tissue box beneath to hold the arduino. The concept was to play music (Mario’s theme song) while allowing people to control a variety of RGB-LED’s and a server motor (to raise and drop Mario) while bending the flex sensor.
At first, I wanted to create a push button to turn the music on and off. To make my Mario more interactive, after prototyping, I decided to go with the sonar sensors to trigger the theme song once the threshold was met. I wanted to go with a cool opera/theatre like instillation and place a conductor at the front. To get this effect, I put a green LED at the front of the instillation to blink according to the Mario theme song.
I ran into many issues while trying to piece it all together. At first, I used the arduino to run everything (the button, speaker, lights, flex sensor, and server motor) together. After MUCH trial and error, I realized that the arduino doesn’t have the capability to execute multiple commands simultaneously. So to counter this issue, I had to connect a second arduino to split the running code. One arduino was used to control the LED’s, Flex Sensor and server motor while the 2nd arduino controlled the speaker and sonar detection.
Another big issue that continuously haunted me was the wiring connected to the arduino. I used 9 RGB-LED’s which means I needed to connect 36 wires (9LED’s x 4Legs) in a very tight space. The wires were barely long enough to reach the circuit and kept on unplugging. Another issue was that the holes I drilled to place the lights were too tight which made the LED legs overlap and touch each other which resulted in a ruined circuit. It took approximately 3 days alone to get the wiring done properly. I used zip locks to tie each set of 4 wires together and had to stretch the wires to fit into the arduino (pain in the butt).
After spending nearly 6 weeks STRAIGHT on chopping the wood, carving the clouds, painting the structure white, testing the code and ensuring that each piece alone worked properly, I finally finished my piece. The videos below illustrate it working both during in light and in the dark. Though the speaker set was weak, if you turn your volume up loud enough, you will be able to here the music.