There are times when we may need to communicate information in a non-visual format; for example, a green light on a traffic signal means it is safe to cross the street. However, many pedestrian crosswalks also emit an audible tone for the visually impaired to indicate it is safe to enter the crosswalk. There is usually one tone for a north/south crosswalk and a different tone for an east/west crosswalk. In other situations, it might be difficult to read numbers from a dial or a meter; for example, in a professional laundry the thermometers might be clouded with steam. Often it is not important to know the exact value, but only an approximation or a change in the value. In these cases, a device that makes a high-pitched sound for a high value and a low-pitched sound for a low value would be useful. This allows you to get a feeling for the data you are taking without actually reading and recording a number. The audio response can tell you how things are changing almost as well as plotting a graph. In this project, your challenge is to design an audio data assistant.
In this project, you will design and build a robotic device to give an auditory indicator of the force being exerted on a Vernier Dual-Range Force Sensor. You must build some type of structure that will allow the operator to apply a force to the hook on the Force Sensor without the operator touching the hook directly. Your device must be able to distinguish between a push (compression force) and a pull (tension force) using sound. The frequency range of your tone (high/low sound scale) should be directly proportional to the strength range of the Force Sensor (0–10 N).
You are strongly encouraged to use the Engineering Design Method and your creative imagination when tackling this challenge. The Engineering Design Method will save you time and frustration, and help you develop a successful working robotic device.
Sensors and Equipment
This project features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.