Arduino Controlled Avatar for Grandma's Elliptical

Tell us the story of your project.: 

I wanted to make a useful Christmas present for my mother-in-law.  For exercise she likes to use her Gubli under the desk elliptical machine.  I wanted to simulate her walking around a track as she exercised.  I purchased a magnetic switch from Adafruit and asked my husband to design a 3D printed bracket to hold it to the exercise machine. I then programmed an Arduino to read the inputs from the magnetic switch and move a stepper motor and light a NeoPixel ring.  I only had the Beta version ready by Christmas but just finshed the final version housing all of the electronics in a wooden box that is glued to the top of the exercise machine.  It works great!

 

How-to: 

After I purchased the magnetic control switch from Adafruit ($3.95)  I asked my husband to design a bracket. 

We designed a box that fit on top of the elliptical machine and could hold the electronics. 

 

After programming the Arduino and doing all of the soldering for the NeoPixel ring and the magnetic switches I glued the Arduino and stepper motor driver inside the wooden box.  

I then affixed the NeoPixel ring to the front of the box.  

The stepper motor with attached Avatar was glued to the top of the box and the entire box was glued to the ellipitical machine.

 

The Arduino is programed to detect the number of steps taken and then to rotate the stepper motor which causes the Avatar of my mother-in-law to move in a circle, like she is on a track.  The NeopPixel ring lights a new light for every 50 steps and makes a rainbow show and then clears after 1,000 steps.  According to my mother-in-law she likes the addition to her ellipitical and it makes stepping fun. The components are powered by the dc power jack that is accessible through the box. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difficulty: 
Duration: 
Share a "Show & Tell" video.: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tteS7pmrzIs
Collaborators: 
ehogan
Number of Forks: 
0
Choose at least one category.: 
Tools: 
Name: 
Table Saw
Quantity: 
1
Name: 
Drill press
Quantity: 
1
Name: 
Dremel
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1
Name: 
Hot Glue Gun
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1
Name: 
Band Saw
Quantity: 
1
Name: 
3D printer
Quantity: 
1
Name: 
Soldering Iron
Quantity: 
1
Materials: 
Name: 
Wood, paint, pvc board
Quantity or amount: 
1
Boards & Kits: 
Name: 
Arduino Uno
Quantity: 
1
Name: 
Stepper Motor and driver
Quantity: 
1
Name: 
24 NeoPixel Ring (Adafruit)
Quantity: 
1
Name: 
Magnetic control switch (Adafrauit)
Quantity: 
1
Team Members: 
Team member name: 
ehogan
What role did this person play on the project?: 
Project Lead
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Teaser: 
An Avatar of Grandma sits on top of her exercise machine and travels around a track as she pedals. The neopixel ring adds lights to count the number of steps. The steps are counted by a magnetic controlled switch held by 3D printed attachments.
Aha! moment: 
We couldn't find a battery that would power the stepper motor for a long enough time so we ended up using the dc power jack and it seems to be just as convenient for my mother-in-law.
Uh-oh! moment: 
When I first soldered the wires to the NeoPixel ring I soldered to the front of the ring causing a short circuit. I ended up redoing the solders to the back of the ring with more success.
Show & Tell video as default: 
Creation Date: 
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 09:34

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