Context: First, a report that a young boy was lacerated by a bear in a forest near us and a suggestion that we build a bear detector. A week before, JY learned how to solder and program an arduino to make an LED blink like one of the firefly species. A day before, she got 2 servo motors to shake a noisy shiny piece of mylar. We took these starting points from the lab into the forest: NFCCDL: North Fork Citico Creek Digital Lab.
Marketability: In the forest, product took a practical side, shifting from an alert of mere presence of a bear to a lightweight, compact attachment to a camp tent to alert the camper.
Capability: Need to see all around so need to figure out how to station the system on the peak of tent to expand the perceptive field. There is no need to know direction, only presence.
Interaction with nature: design an output that would scare a bear.
Detect the presence of a bear near the tent.
Wake up camper inside tent.
Simultaneously, start up a set of blinking lights in shape of eyes separated by a distance to signify a large size that could scare a bear.
Input: 4 Motion detectors, range of 20 ‘ and 90 degree cone of detection.
Control system: Arduino, breadboard, battery pack
Output: LEDs, buzzer
Make a 3D attachment site for sensing system: a magnolia bud that smells like oregano.
Make platform for control system: a flat piece of oak bark
Get output to appropriate locations: long lead for buzzer to inside tent, 2 leads to scary LED eyes sewn onto a fabric with face-like decorations to hide wiring.
Programming a scary message to a bear: flash out SOS in morse code on LEDs and wake up camper with a buzzer using same program.
Attachment to tent: used set of strong magnets
Incident: unaware of a bear attractant still remaining within the tent
Bear approaches and is detected.
Camper is alerted and bear is scared off by illumination system.
Simplify attachment to tent.
Test whether bears are scared by flashing lights that look like eyes of something bigger than themselves.