I have some ambitious final project ideas, and some more realistic ones. Let’s start with one of the more realistic ones.
An RC Car that is controlled by voice/sound (as well as a controller). RC cars are commonly made by hobbyists and I have found guides online that simplify the process. After making one work, I would attach a mic either to it or find a way to keep the mic on me and transmit the sound to it, and use that to control its movements. I also want to attach a gopro or cheaper camera to it and make it so that it can stream the footage to a phone or laptop.
My biggest goal, which I highly doubt I’d accomplish within the time of this class, is to automate every aspect of my room. That would include lights, window shades, door closing, temperature control, and anything else. I would want each to be voice controlled and button controlled, and the buttons would be mounted to the wall within reach from my table, and maybe one set by the bed. Laziness is the driving force behind hard work and creativity.
I would say the above is quite ambitious, but each of the parts involved could be a decent project to work on for the final project. I would want to focus on the RC car because I could use it for getting interesting footage and (funny enough) for closing the door in my room every time someone opens it and leaves it open (so I would have it be powered by AC in that case, and use larger motors than the ones in the tutorials and lower gear ratios to provide enough torque to push a door). Ideally I would voice control (or button control, or both) it to push the door closed and return to its original position. Likewise, I would also want to voice control the car for filming purposes, though it would be limited to very low shots. Another thing I could do with the RC car is go from room to room at home and, with a speaker on it and a mic on me, communicate with family members. If I can control the angle of the camera on the car, it would be a fun way to communicate.
The toughest project idea is that of building a drone. I’ve been reading up on it and it is a very lengthy process, though definitely not impossible, and for as little as $100 (around $300 for gopro and gimbal-capable ones). There would be a steep learning curve involved but it would be a lot of fun and definitely worth it. I’m very into filming so I would like to make a drone that can be both battery operated or plugged into an outlet via long extension cables (when used for filming indoors). Voice control would be nice for this too, though it would be very difficult (controlling drones with controllers is difficult enough) especially if its made without collision detection sensors.
I have ideas for the home improvement stuff, like using a single drape and one motor on either end to pull it open and closed. I also thought of setting up RGB lighting in different areas of my room, including the closet, behind computer monitors, below the bed, and in areas that are simply too dark from normal lighting. I envision making either a remote or some type of button setup to control all of them, individually and uniformly (and maybe even via an app? Probably beyond my programming abilities), and of course make it all voice controlled. The ideas are endless, which I like as I will always have something to work on, even after finishing the class.
Inspirations (yes reading guides and tutorials inspire me a lot; seeing how everything falls in place makes it fun and really seem like I can make the magic happen myself):
https://www.hackster.io/rafitc/android-arduino-rc-car-e633d7 RC car tutorial
https://www.instructables.com/id/Autonomous-Control-of-RC-Car-Using-Arduino/ this one takes existing RC cars and uses Arduino to control them.
http://dronenodes.com/how-to-build-a-drone/ complete drone-building guide. Just reading through this entire guide has me feeling like this is completely within the realms of possibility. I feel so enlightened.
More drone guides: