Trossen Robotics @ Makers Fair with Magic Air Tubes

Could we be any more behind on posting our Makers Faire videos? I don’t think so…

We were invited out to Makers Faire by our friends over at Microsoft Coding4Fun. They wanted us to build some fun stuff using Visual Studio Express that would entertain the kids and families attending the event. The Visual Studio Express is a free version of Visual Studio that is aimed at the hobby market place. We use it in a lot of our projects and find it has most everything you need even if you are a serious developer.

We built two projects for the Faire. One was a shooting gallery which we have no good footage of and the other project was our magic air tubes. Below is the only descent footage we got of the air tubes because we were so swamped the whole time we could only grab a camera when there wasn’t a sea of ankle biters swarming the booth :)

See if you can figure out how we built it before scrolling down to the answer below.

Behold the magic air tubes!

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How we built the project.

Input: 8 IR sensors plugged into a Phidgets 8/8/8 Interface Kit (A/D converter)

Then we wrote a program which converted the variable signal input caused by people waving their hands into a variable fan speed output.

Output: 2 Phidget 4-servo motor controllers plugged into 8 Banebot DC motor controllers plugged into 8 high speed fans.

And that my friends is how you entertain Makers Faire Attendees.

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