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During the COVID-19 pandemic Melbourne has been under some of the strictest lockdowns in the world, which has essentially meant that I’ve had lots of spare time to learn something new. So I’ve decided to turn my hand to some hobby electronics to see what sorts of things I can create.
I had spent some time looking at different sensors from the electronics shop I had ordered some things from and came across a gesture sensor! I thought it would be pretty cool to see what I could use it for and so I ordered one.
I’m also learning lots about LEDs and the LED Matrix, so I thought it would be good to combine the two and create a set of moving eyes that could be used on a prop, as a puppet, or just something to make on a rainy afternoon. Once you understand the commands and how it all ties in, the options really are endless and only limited by your imagination.
I wanted a few other controls too, so I decided to throw a potentiometer and a push button in the mix too to see what I could create and I used some LEDs to shine when the gesture sensor sensed a gesture.
So let’s jump in!
For this project, you’ll need:

Arduino Uno (or other microcontroller like a Nano)
2 x 8x8 LED Dot Matrix Modules (you can use more or less, depending on how many eyes you want - bearing in mind they will all display exactly the same)
Adafruit APDS9960 Gesture Sensor
Push Button
LEDs (I chose one each in red, green, yellow and blue) (Optional)
4.7k Resistor
M-M jumper cables
M-F jumper cables
Solderless Breadboard”

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