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A Blooming Time

A mechanical flower that will open when touched, you can tell the day from the petals, as well as the date, time, temperature and humidity.

Introduction
When I was young, I loved to play with plants, and one of my favourites is the mimosa plant, which will close when touched. However, in fantasy tales, flowers would open when they are touched, and I wanted to recreate this magical effect in my project.

With the 1 year anniversary of my boyfriend and I nearing, I wanted to dedicate to him a special present that I made myself, hence the birth of this flower. As both of us are forgetful people, I wanted the flower to remind us of special days, with the flower lighting up in a colour for each important day. On each day of the week, one of the petals will light up, reminding you of the day of the week in a unique and fun way. Not only is it a beautiful timepiece, when the flower is touched and “open”, it will also tell you the temperature, humidity, date etc., giving it a useful daily function.

Basic Programming
Since I had to wait for the materials I ordered to arrive, I first started with something I was familiar with; the basic programming of the electronics of the flower. Using the Grove Beginner Kit, it was very easy to pick up the Grove system as I have previously only used the Arduino Uno, which required a lot of jumper wires, resistors etc., whereas the Seeeduino and Grove modules you can just “plug in and play”, as its motto describes. This also saved a lot of time and effort, and with each module having its own wiki page, coding was a breeze. The only exception was that sometimes the libraries by Seeed were a bit inadequate, and I had to find other better libraries, such as for the OLED module.

In this project, I used an RTC module, a 96x128 OLED module, temperature & humidity sensor, a touch module as well as a servo module.

Mechanics and Design
I designed the mechanics and thought process on paper, drawing templates for which I would be using to help me solder and ensure that the petals of the flowers would be the same shape. I also enlisted the help of my colleague to help me design and 3D print a lotus-like shape which I would use as a template to solder the shape of the petals.”

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