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  • Writer's picture1/4" Jack Of All Trades

Physical Computing Week 1 - Space Ship Interface

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Following the first few lab exercises, I decided to create a mining laser/laser weapon interface. The interface features a push button to activate the laser, making it idiot proof and ensuring it cannot be accidentally left on for extended durations and blow up. The onboard temperature sensor monitors the internal heat of the laser fabrication element and relays the sensor information to the console in the form of raw data and friendly warnings about the temperature and correct handling of the weapon. A set of colour coded LEDs flash with varying speeds to indicate the urgency of the temperature report and appropriately draw the users attention to it in situations where they are unable to check the console reliably. This functionality is also extended to when the laser is not active, to ensure that nobody uses it if it has not cooled yet and avoid disaster. I also added disco mode functionality when the weapon is nice and cool to help pass lonely evenings on alien planets.

There are definitely some improvements I would make once I am better acquainted with Arduinos and building my own circuits (thus far I have only ever followed instructions on DIY eurorack kits):

  • A kill switch if the weapon gets too hot.

  • Audio sample playback for voice messages (and disco mode)

  • Audio synthesis for the laser sound (to change as it got warmer)

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