2018-11-02 (F) Weekly Summary

This week's summary is a little peculiar in a couple of ways. The first way is that there is only one project being talked about. I don't think this is a first, but it is far from the norm. Secondly, the posts do not happen in chronological order. As I have hinted before, the Magnet Fish project was part of a yearly hackathon, so the first post about it covered its completion, rather than its beginning. This way readers get a sense of the goal, followed by the path taken to get there. I don't think I'll repeat that method.

The project was mostly successful. Our team did not win any prizes this year aside from having more fun than every other team. Kids loved crowding around our giant toy, as shown in the video, and learning how to wield a sponge-handled fishing rod and catching magnet fish off a rotating wood platform.

Angeliki's video of Kim teaching a child to catch a fish

A long time ago, this project started with no idea of how to make little fish, so lots of experimenting was done. The model below was a bit more "nightmare," with angry eyes and sharp-looking teeth. The weight and hinge were nice features, and the hinge design stayed through to the end. This was made from a cheap set of plastic kitchen funnels.

"Nightmare" the fish

The next design iteration was a winner. Instead of a metal hinge through the hinge parts, this used a couple of inexpensive mixing bowls held to a wooden dowel with twist ties. The eyeballs were a nice touch, drawn by my roommate.

Fish operation

The shape of the fish head played into how far the mouth would open. Trimming off the back of the fish head proved to be the best bet.

Fish head profile

Before we knew we would be replicating the operation of the original game, we wanted to put a motor on each fish so it could be operated independently and remotely. This would have meant each fish would be laden with a battery, controller, radio, motor, gearing, and potentially all carried in a watertight container. Hopefully, that is enough to understand why the fish were not that advanced.

Running motor to test usability for this project

Making the modifications to the fish, even just a handful, was time-consuming work and required a lot of dedication before the hackathon. Different methods were tried to make the fish construction go smoothly, fast, and still look nice.

Angeliki making a fish from a plastic bowl

The rest of the summary posts have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5

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