Levitation Audio Visualizer Constraints

  1. Time: It almost doesn’t need to be said, but the primary driving constraint on this project is the time remaining to have an operational product demo at the design expo in April.
  2. Cost: As with any non-defense/government project, cost will play a huge role in the components that I select to use. I am currently in search of cheap clear plastic tubes, which turn out to be more difficult to find that one may imagine. Anything I buy, I have to buy 7 of (for each frequency band), so an expensive part results in a very expensive total cost.
  3. Scope: Although I have additional ambitions for both the functionality and quality of craftsmanship, I will need to carefully evaluate what is feasible to accomplish within my given time constraint. I am currently thinking that I will not include the IR functionality that I talked about in my design review, in favor of better implementing the audio levitation component.
  4. Resource Availability: In order to meet cost and time constraints, I will try to up-cycle and use some parts that I already have available. This will drive both mechanical and electrical design, and may introduce additional challenges. In particular, I want to use this project to develop a method to rapidly iterated and fabricate PCBs at home. In the event that I had a longer time frame and larger budget, it would be much easier to purchase a couple of revisions from an actual PCB manufacturer.
  5. Dynamic Synchronization: When possible, it is extremely helpful to mitigate identified risks by prototyping key functionalities before embarking too far into the design cycle. In my project, it will be incredible difficult to figure out if ping pong balls can be dynamically moved at a fast enough speed to track the changing audio frequencies. Although I will try to better understand this component sooner rather than later, I will not be able to really find out until I have already implemented the electronics and programming for fan control and audio filtering, and integrated it into a single prototype column configuration. By this time I will be fairly far into the design cycle.
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