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This project is an remix of my Coke Machine Can Level detector, ( with new sensors, and the addition of spoken sound!
After I made my first level detector, I added a piezo buzzer to give audible feedback for the visually impaired. It worked, but was kind of, meh What did each particular sound mean? It needed explaining so wasnt too practical as a solution. I left it and went off to do other things.
Recently, I made some Portal Turrets that used the DFPlayer Mini MP3 player (or MP3-TF-16P). That project worked out pretty well, and when getting a beverage out of my Coke machine one day, it dawned on me: I could use the DFPlayer chip with a speaker and finally get the solution I originally wanted to help the visually impaired! It would do what it originally did, but would now SPEAK the level in the machine as well!
I also wanted to use the VL53LOX sensors to change things up. I knew that they used the I2C bus, and they all used the same address, so it was an additional challenge to use 2 of them, along with the LCD screen on the same bus.
So now, this version provides the same graphical display when approaching the machine, but when you get a little closer, it will also tell you how many cans are left! I set it up this way with a relatively short speaking distance to avoid nuisance trips when Im working around the machine.
In my mind, this is a cheap platform to provide audible information from various sensors. There is lots more room in the box and on the Nano for other sensory inputs. Now its just a matter of coming up with other applications!”

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