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squirmelia

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squirmelia

Fishing for Dinosaurs

I went fishing for dinosaurs this evening.

I caught one and then an LED on my fishing net cycled through rainbow colours to let me know it was a dinosaur I caught.

A dinosaur has been sighted:
Dinosaur and tentacles

Here's my fishing net:
Fishing net

Oh no, I've caught a devilfish by mistake:
Devilfish

Ah, now I've caught a dinosaur! The LED is cycling through different colours.
Fishing for dinosaurs

Fishing net can also be used as a torch:
Fishing net torch

(Please note, that if you want to try fishing for dinosaurs at home, you will, of course, require a time machine and a device to shrink dinosaurs with. I am going to presume you have these things already though and that your dinosaurs have already been shrunk.)

How I wired up my fishing net:

Into my fishing net, I sewed an Adafruit Flora (an Arduino compatible wearable electronic platform) and attached a battery pack. Using conductive thread, I attached a NeoPixel LED and a colour sensor.

Then came the tricky part: detecting dinosaurs. I had originally thought about fishing for all kinds of things, from postboxes to wishing fish to mermaids to dragons to skyscrapers, but in the end settled on dinosaurs and using a colour detector.

I then had to do a lot of thinking about colours! It turns out that telling your fishing net what colour you want it to detect is not as easy as it first seems, so I read some interesting things about colours (such as XKCD's colour survey results). I wanted to put in the red, green and blue values for many variations of a colour, but the Flora did not have enough memory for that. I was over thinking it, and in the end went with a much simpler solution I found on Lesson 15: Super Cool Arduino Color Sensor Project - Basically, comparing which colour was greatest out of the red, green and blue, then changing the largest to be 255, the smallest to be 0, and halving the middle number.

When I catch something in my fishing net, the colour sensor then checks the red, green and blue values, and then compares them to the values I have given it. (The colour of dinosaurs!) If the colour matches to the colour I have given it, then the LED cycles prettily through different colours. Then I know I've caught a dinosaur.

(Cross-posted to SFZero: Something Fishy).
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That is awesome. Nice little project!

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