Force Petal mind game

With the paint still a little tacky, we applied the stickers to our creation and after a week of rather enjoyable hacking it was ready.

Our air cannon had taken shape, and become the Force Petal – a game with two Force Trainers hacked to display the brain ‘attention’ and ‘meditation’ levels of its players. When a player filled their bubbling brain tubes with brain goo, our little micro-controller triggered a valve and 100psi of compressed air whooshed through the air cannon, spraying flower petals over the loser and the crowd.

The Force Petal’s inaugural game took place as a bonus round of the Australian Science Communicators AGM / quiz night, the game being a decider for the wooden spoon. After 10 strenuous rounds of science questions, the Hackerspace Adelaide team (aptly called ‘The Hacks’) managed to dodge the bottom two, and so it was two strangers who fell victim to the Force Petal’s mighty wrath.

After a sensible ZERO complete system tests, and a little false start (as pix and I both forgot to connect the USB cable to the laptop), we were rather excited when ‘team A’ filled their brain tubes and the petals went flying.

It was a success. The audience seemed to love it, zoz was happy because we got to fire an air cannon inside, and Ri Aus were ecstatic that we didn’t break anything.

Special thanks to Pix for his many hours of coding, zoz for the instructions and enthusiasm for destruction and Cobi for finding the funding and keeping us all organised and on time.

Parts list:

2 x Force Trainers (9v hacked to common power rail + serial out hack)
1 x Arduino Mega (useful for its multiple serial ports)
2 x MOSFETS (to actuate the valves)
2 x 12v AC watering valves (they work with short bursts of 12v DC)
1 x recycled computer power supply
1 x borrowed 120psi air compressor (for an air brush)
6 male hook up cables
6 female hook up cables
4 alligator clips
1 x breadboard
6m of flexi hose
6m of 150psi rated PVC pipe
PVC glue
Black spray paint

Instructions & github code links coming soon… we’ll add them to this post.

Sponsor love to: DFEEST, Inspiring Australia and Ri Aus.

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