Wacky Automation Devices

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I wanted to submit a wacky automation system to inspire more participation in this month's Project14.

The idea I had goes back decades....to when a co-worker gave me a little plastic panic button that would pop up a little flag when the button was pushed. The flag said "Be Calm".

Here is a picture of what that panic button looked like:


It was a popular novelty with a cute little surprise. I was thinking I could keep the surprise fresh by making the response programmable, and not only display some cute text, but also play some iconic audio track.

All panic buttons seem to be red, but I like the alliteration of a purple panic button and I just happen to have some purple plastic for my 3D printer.

Purple is a unique colour - I don't think there is any such thing as monochromatic purple. Despite the ultraviolet spectrum which could be monochromatic, I think the purple we see is always a mix of red and blue light. If you mix any other 2 primary colours you get something close to a monochromatic colour. Almost all the other colours with names can be monochromatic.

Purple is way off the monochromatic spectrum and a purple panic is right off the wall.

I really enjoy finding a new use for technology I have developed previously - it is a testament to the applicability of the original design and it leverages all that work. This project uses a PSoC4 circuit board I developed as a spin-off from the Henrietta Project, so you can see some of its capabilities there.

I also used parts of this project in the Purple People Eater, although this project was almost complete before that one kicked off - but even more use out of the basic design - I love it.

Despite the wacky automation "Rube Goldberg" theme, I wanted the device to also have some real usefulness, so when it is not in panic mode, it is programmed to display the time based on GPS satellite data.

The first video covers a little bit of the build and first power up:

The second video is a demonstration of the purple panic button in action:

The concept is for the panic button to cause some slightly unexpected response both by displaying some clever comment and playing some catchy sound bite.

The demo above shows some of the quips and sound bites I've found so far to give an idea of how it works, but I would like to get the clever e14 membership involved in suggesting more material. Any wiseacre, smart ass, one-liner quip or sound bite or ditty that might surprise and delight purple panic-ers can be listed in the comments below.

This member participation in the project might be the most interesting aspect of the project - not that I'm calling anyone a smart ass.....