I’ve been feeling the itch to make something new for the past few months and have been researching the Arduino and Raspberry Pi and wondering how I could work them into a project. The answer was then thrust on my by life – after moving house a few times and taking my Fortune Teller with me it was looking a bit worse for wear and was getting in the way. Part of it’s large size was due to it needing to be large enough to house both the crank mechanism and the hopper for the prints. Maybe there was a way I could combine my desires to do some coding and small scale electronics alongside rebuilding the Fortune Teller?
I settled on using an Arduino as the heart of the project as it’s starter pack came with all the extra components needed like motors, servos, wires and a bread board. The coding language for the Arduino seemed relatively straight forward and after a few test runs I felt confident enough to make a proper start on the coding and building.
Once a token is dropped in the top, the user presses their palm onto the red hand. The Arduino receives this input and sets a motor attached to the underside of the hand to pulse incrementally whilst LEDs around the hand flash. Next a small speaker plays a short tonal composition before finally a servo positioned at the bottom of a ramp filled with rolled prints activates. The servo moves an arm up and down at a very specific speed allowing one print to drop down the ramp and out of the dispenser.
The new Fortune Teller is battery operated and a lot more portable than it’s previous incarnation so I am now able to take it to more print sales and exhibitions!