Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Nametag – iteration with arduino sensors!

I settled on iterating my nametag because it seemed the most flexible project to adapt what I’d learned! I really liked the arduino sensor projects, so I tried coming up with ideas that I could use sensors for. There were a few options, like having a nametag that lights up according to sensor input, but I eventually went with a fusion of the sensor project I did previously and the nametag.

My original nametag was pretty simple in design. For this project, I wanted to keep some of the simplicity of the laser-cut wood, but add a flair with the arduino sensors. I also made the design similar, keeping the font and giraffe! My arduino sensor project involved a microphone and a buzzer, so when the mic detected a loud noise, the buzzer would buzz. I thought I could adapt this to a nametag — envisioning a sort of name placard on a desk that would display my name when someone wanted my attention or comes into my office or whatnot. Originally I wanted to make my name float on some sort of balloon, with height controlled by an arduino, but that was a bit too ambitious. What ended up making more sense (and was something I could picture much better!) was a name tag that would flip up bits of wood or plastic to display my name.

I used servos from the pom-pom project and the microphone code from the sensor project to make this happen. Now the nametag collapses into a flat piece, and when needed it opens up to reveal my name and some little designs I like. I think this is an improvement over the original, in terms of creativity, but it definitely performs the nametag function worse (by not always having my name visible). I’d like to think of this as a prototype of sorts. Maybe the next model will have the nametag built into a desk, and when I’m sitting at the desk the nametag will be visible, but when I’m gone there’s nothing but a desk (as the nametag would fold flat in the same way). Overall, it was fun to unite the arduino and sensors with a nametag, but the bulkiness of the sensors limit its use as a functional nametag. It definitely still works as a nametag, but it is much more stationary and fragile than the first version. The code also bugs out a bit for unknown reasons, causing the name to be displayed very briefly (rendering it not very useful as a nametag…).