Week 14 – Softs

This week was a crazy push to get everything working [mostly] reliably before Soft Opening, and we did it!

We got all of our 3D printed shells, which has helped significantly with a proper hardware setup and loading the hardware into the balls.


We also programmed four relatively simple activities:

  1. Air-Time Competition
    • This is a relatively simple accelorometer test for a single ball. The ball lights up when it is in free-fall, and sends information about how long it was airborne to the server.
  2. Virus Game
    • This is the virus game exactly as we previously envisioned. One ball starts as the “infected” ball, and it can infect other balls it gets close enough to.
  3. Simon
    • Another proximity based activity, balls change color based on how many are gathered together.
  4. Lawn Bowling
    • Similar to the game of lawn bowling or bocce ball, one balls acts as a target while the player rolls another one towards it. The ball that is rolled changes color based on how close it is to the other ball when it stops moving.

During Softs, we were finally able to let people play with the balls and show off this variety of activities.  They all seemed intrigued by the idea and the potential for scaling it up.

Using the WiFi chip as a proximity sensor is still a bit unreliable since it does not emit/detect signal in every direction equally. However, we have been able to resolve most other issues. New, more expensive batteries helped the balls keep running for hours, and soldering on the final pieces will negate any lose wiring.

We are looking for ways to tweak those last few problems before finals, and potentially expand on our games and our number of balls.