For this week’s assignment we were asked to create a Disobedient Electronic. We started the process by deciding on a subject to treat. After doing some research we decided to work with data related to mental health awareness, the original idea was to use the ESP23 wifi capability to pull data from an online source. We started browsing from some statistics and we found the amount of deaths by suicide in the US which was very alarming for us.
According to the American Foundation for suicide prevention, on average, there are 129 suicides per day. In order to be able to work with this data we started treating it as suicides per day, and then we converted that number in the time that statistically passes between two deaths by suicide.
We eventually decided to work with the Arduino MKR ZERO and its RTC (Real Time Clock) capability in order to capture the time passed and create a change of a state each 11 minutes in order to represent that data. In general the intention was to create a disobedient electronic that would stop its functionality for an entire minute, every 11 minutes in order to illustrate the fact that every 11 minutes there is a death by suicide in the US.
The design decision was to create a disobedient lamp that would breathe but it will suddenly turn off every 11 minutes for a minute, and then it would start breathing again. In order to achieve that we used Arduino for coding the functionality with the modulo formula. We used a NeoPixel ring controlled my the RTC library using the minutes to check when it was time to set the brightness to 0 or when it was time to “breathe” so the LEDs would light up and fade simulating the breath pattern.
The final result is a disobedient lamp that turns off every 11 minutes. The physical design is a simple white tube with a wooden base and a mesh in the top, the intention was to make it look like something that could potentially be used in a bedroom, to study or to to work, however it is not possible because the lamp would be turning off every 11 minutes which defeats its own purpose.