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Breath Pong development

2009 February 9

For my networked Pong controller, I am attempting to create a device that senses inhalation and exhalation as methods of moving the Pong paddle left and right.  To do this, I am using a simple fan to generate an induction current.  The two conductors of the fan motor are connected to two Arduino analog inputs with 10k-ohm resistors bridging them to ground to create voltage dividers.  In this sense the motor acts exactly like any typical resistance-based sensor, like a flex sensor, except that the motor is not connected to any voltage source, as it generates its own current.

This works surprisingly well!  I just have to set a small threshold to ignore the small amount of noise generated if you touch the motor or an EM source is moved near it.  The next step is to figure out a reliable way to move the fan with your breath; I’m going to try a computer fan with a blowing/sucking tube (har!) attached to it.  It’s an unusual kind of action to try to sense.

Video here: http://vimeo.com/3152151

Images:

 

The DC test motor with plastic-cup fan blower

The DC test motor with plastic-cup fan blower

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