At Coolest Projects 2018, we showcased the Wia platform with a facial recognition Ferris wheel!
At Coolest Projects 2018, we showcased the Wia platform with a facial recognition Ferris wheel – if you’re smiling, the wheel turns, and if you’re not smiling, it stops. Today we’re going to talk about how we built this project, and maybe you’ll be inspired to build something like it!
What we used
- Lego Ferris wheel kit
- Arduino MKR 1000
- L293D motor driver
- High torque DC motor
- Raspberry Pi Zero W
- Raspberry Pi Camera Module (we used this one)
The Lego Ferris wheel
Driving the motor
We used a high torque DC motor to turn the wheel, and the L293D motor driver to drive the motor. Click here to read in depth about how we set this up, along with a basic code snippet for making the motor turn. We’ll build upon this code later in this article, when we add in MQTT functionality to listen for Commands.
Attaching the motor to the wheel
The next step was to hook up the DC motor to the Ferris wheel mechanism and make it turn. This proved to be quite challenging, and required some dismantling of the lower part of the structure to make space for the components. We found that the motor’s shaft fit almost perfectly into one of the Lego pieces, all we had to do was mount the motor in the correct place and make sure it wouldn’t move around. So, we built a little Lego enclosure for the motor out of spare pieces, leaving space at the back for connecting the wires to the motor’s terminals.