There were a number of challenges faced during the process of creating the wand. Firstly, none of our group members had much experience with 3D printing, and so properly sizing, modifying, and printing 3D files produced a few errors. One of our 3D printing attempts failed, and another had slightly mismatched wand parts due to small differences in the scaling of each wand part.
We also ran into difficulties learning how to use the second accelerometer we used, which was a combined accelerometer and gyroscope. In order to get the readings from the device, we had to download and modify a number of libraries.
At the beginning of our project, we planned to use RGB LEDs at the tip of the wand alongside the IR emitters. This proved difficult for two reasons: firstly, the wires from the RGB LED were too thick to fit through the narrow top section of the wand; and second, the RGB LED was fragile and prone to shorting out or breaking its pins. In the end, we opted to include standard colored LEDs on the breadboard to provide the user with feedback about which spell they successfully completed.
Another challenge we faced was correctly testing the IR emitters. At first, we thought both were somehow fried, since neither IR emitter was registered on our receivers at first. Then it was found that somehow the ground and signal pins on the IR emitters was reversed from standard LED configurations. Testing the emitters was also difficult without a connected IR receivers, but we were able to use a laptop webcam to catch the signals.
Ruby completed the electronic components of the wands, soldering, testing, and writing the code for both unique wand configurations.
Yvonna Skrinnik is a Senior at UW. She specialized in working with 3D printing for this project, as well as debugging code.