2014-12-02 (Tu) Color/Touch Sensory Panel

At Thanksgiving my aunt told me about her idea for a simple panel of lights which change color when a panel is touched. The purpose is the touch sensory and visual sensory that children with Down's Syndrome and Autism crave. Her and my uncle are creating a center where such children can come with their parents and she asked if I would know how to make a device that changes color when touched. It also has to be VERY durable.

Eventually adding sound would also be nice but for now I will focus on the lights.

It's a little hard to visualize now but I will try to describe it. The square unit will be 16" (400mm) on each side and 3" (75mm) deep. It will kind of look like a small bedroom window. It will be divided into four quadrants. Each of these quadrants will have a switch and color changing lights. It will have clean edges so the units can be stacked together to create larger arrays.

Enough background.

A radial arm saw had the blade tilted to 45°. A wooden block was clamped 16" (400mm) from where the saw blade crossed the table. 10 pieces were cut from two 2x4s. When placed in a square the edges did not join cleanly because the angle was not accurate. A metal triangle was placed against the blade and repositioned to ensure a more accurate angle. The first attempt to position the blade merely used the angle indicator built into the saw's handle.

Tilted saw and wooden block

Ten blocks

Sloppy corners

Each block of wood had one end cut with the new adjustment. Another block was clamped 15" (375mm) from where the saw blade crossed the table. All ten pieces were cut again so both ends were cut with the new adjustment. This time the block fit together cleanly.

 45° triangle to position saw blade

Cutting each piece to length and the new angle
Identical blocks
Neat corners

To do:
  • Write To Do list
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