Photo Credits: Sophie Stallegger

Boardmap First Prototype

After an intense month of hardware and software development, the first prototype for the Boardmap is ready! This is the time where all the hardware components have been put together for the first time in a laser cut wooden box.

The current prototype is based on C.H.I.P. as the main game controller. C.H.I.P. contains WiFi, Bluetooth, power management chip and runs a light-weight linux Debian based operating system. It is running on a 3000mAh battery, and has two buttons 🙂

As periphery, it contains a capacitive touch sensor, GPS, accelerometer and Playlight.

Playlight is composed of a hexagon led matrix (prepared of 72 pixel per meter LED stripes) and a Teensy3.2 controller that handles low level pixel addressing and I2C communication. Hexagonal structure seems to be very beautiful and fitting to the form. 72 pixel per meter LED strips fit perfect as hexagonal arrays, but they are a bit more difficult to find.. 144 leds per meter also work, but they require mapping for the hexagon structure. Persistance of vision hints are very difficult to realize, as handheld shift requires high density LEDs and accelerometer synchronization to be able to be seen properly. This would be the next step in prototyping for Playlight.

Video Credit: Sophie Stallegger

The form structure is a 7cm radius hexagon, laser cut from 4mm thick plywood plates, and then glued together. The designs were custom made for the hardware components and then cut by laser cutter. An important issue was the size and weight of the battery (being the most in both properties). This challenge requires detailed power consumption analysis, so that a smaller battery option can be chosen.

Another design issue is positioning of hardware elements within the hexagonal box. GPS needs to look up, CHIP needs to be facing sides for charging and audio jacks to be outputted, and battery needs to be in a position that fits and does not mess up with weight balance. The current structure is the smallest and thinnest way for these elements.