In this project we build a children's toy that consists of potentiometers, buttons, lights, and sounds. We started by researching what toddlers are capable of and what toys are currently on the market.
We were inspired by other music making toys on the market, as well as DJ sound boards. We added RGB LEDs and different potentiometers to make ours more interactive.
1 / 3 • Children's Music Toy
Designs and Sketches
To design our project, we used Tinkercad to help us wire and test code. As we were wiring our project we noticed that there weren't enough pins on one Sparkfun Red Board for all of our components. We didn't have the budget to buy a bigger board, so we decided to use one board for LEDs and potentiometers, and another for buttons and sound.
1 / 3 • Tinkercad Wiring Diagram
While we waited for the materials to arrive we worked on and tested our code.
1 / 4 • Wiring a Potentiometer to control an LED
The hardest part of this project was the assembly. After soldering wires to all of our components we found that it was difficult to make sure all the wires are connected.
Once everything was moved into the container the slide potentiometer was no longer working. We didn't have time to fix it so we decided to cut it out of our project. If we were to do this project again we would add the slide potentiometer and use it to change the tone of the buttons.
Our final toy consisted of 4 knob potentiometers, 4 RGB LEDs, 4 pushbuttons, and 1 piezo buzzer. The potentiometers control the color of the corresponding LED, and each button produces a different tone.
What we learned
We made the mistake of ordering Common Anode LEDs, through this mistake we learned the difference between Common Anode and Common Cathode.
- A RGB Common Anode LED should have it's longest leg (leg 2) connected to the 5V pin on your Arduino (Current sink)
- A RGB Common Cathode LED should have it's longest leg (leg 2) connected to the ground pin on your Arduino (Current source)
Anything we would change next time
We realized too late that our Sparkfun Redboard didn't have enough pins for all of our components. To fix this issue we used the Sparkfun Redboard for the buttons and piezo, and an Arduino UNO for the potentiometers and LEDs. If we were to do this project again we would use a different microcontroller with more pins
We would also add the slide potentiometer that we intended to add, but didn't have the time to do so. The slide potentiometer could be used to change the tone of the buttons.