My name is Brandon, a rising junior from Valley Stream South High School. My main project is the Kaleidoscope Eyes (Trinket-Powered NeoPixel LED Ring Goggles) which are cosplay/steampunk goggles with glowing LEDs behind the lens! My starter project is the Junior Theremin which is a rudimentary version of the instrument that can be played without the need of touching it! I choose these projects mainly because both require a decent amount of soldering, something I am hoping to master by this summer’s end. I also choose the Kaleidoscope Eyes because it requires basic to novice coding, which I plan on going into as a field if I decide not to go into electrical engineering.
I feel that my 5 weeks here at BlueStamp Engineering have taught me more than I could have ever learned on my own or from my school. I was a bit stubborn about the whole concept of taking this much time out of my summer, but after the first day I knew that I’d get to learn and implement skills that I would have thought I wouldn’t use until I entered a engineering career. While here, I’ve faced challenges and hardships in terms of finding the right modification for my goggles and refitting such ideas to the goggles. This program has mostly taught me to adjust to problems and solve them little by little rather than to let it consume the whole project and cause the whole thing to be taken over and held over you. I had no experience in coding, building, or soldering, but that meant little as the instructors are always available to give a basic rundown and demonstration if needed while also encouraging students to improve their own problem solving skills. BlueStamp has even opened me up to working with others, as all the other students are at different levels and have their own strengths and weaknesses as you do. In short, BlueStamp has boosted my skills, mindset, and interest in engineering as a whole.
Area of Interest
Valley Stream South High School
For my third and final milestone, I decided to change it up from what it was originally planned to be. Instead of a servo mounted laser on the side of the goggles, I’ve begun on making a distance detector that will be mounted on the top of the goggles while most (if not all) of the wiring is safely inside. To do this, I connected a Ardunio Lilypad, another microcontroller made by Ardunio, to an Uno and removed the Uno’s IC chip. This allows me to upload code to the Lilypad without the need of any special connector. After that, I used a breadboard, two LEDs, two resistors, and a SainSmart HC-SR04 Distance Senor to create the Distance Detector. So far, the Blue LED will light up until some object gets 20 cm in front of the sensor. When this happens, it triggers all the conditions to be met for the Blue LED to turn off and the Red LED to light up. The greatest issue I had with this modification came up when I attempted to use a motor instead of LEDs. After three days of trying to make it work, I found that the Lilypad couldn’t output enough current to power the motor. I then tried using transistors and diodes to resolve this, but in the end, I decided that LEDs might be the way to go. I plan on changing the distance at which the LED’s switch to something around 200 cm, as to warn me if there is a person or wall in front.
Text Files of Code: