Day 227: Introducing #cycular

With the finish line in sight, obviously everything is feeling like it’s going a bit Pete Tong. There is a lot to smile about – however it feels slightly overshadowed by the awkward little details that are currently in the way of finishing.

Cycular

So let’s start off with the good news. Firstly, I’ve found a name for my product! After thinking of names such as #Deescovery, #TayCycle and #Deerection (a portmanteau of Dundee and direction, do I need to explain why I didn’t choose it?), I chose #cycular, a combination of Circular and Cycle. The reason for this choice of name is the mix of the Green Circular route, upon which my signposts lay, and ‘cycle’, for obvious reasons.

There are a couple of reasons for which I like this name. Firstly, it’s not actually a word, making it quite unique to this product. It’s not a word with clear connotations, and it’s not some rubbishy Latin word for my product – something that I’d usually do towards the end of a project. The other reason I quite like it is because I was attempting to create a name that inhibits feelings of spreading awareness for cycling. I was looking at words like ‘eureka’ and ‘aha’ but that all seemed a bit too corny and derivative. However, a name like ‘Cycular’ is quite memorable and playful. The problem that people are having is that they are not aware of the cycling routes in Dundee. ‘Green Circular’ doesn’t really roll off the tongue, and is just a bit plain. Therefore, the idea of imbuing awareness into the name comes in a different form – not by literally implying memorability, but instead essentially changing the name of the cycling route upon which the signpost lies.

I’ve also progressed with the code, with it at the stage of being able to select each print with the potentiometer. Once the button is coded in, then it will essentially work perfectly! Then it’s details such as inserting more refined copy, and even creating my own graphics to put in the forms to liven them up a bit. There is only one hitch with the code so far, and that is the servo motor.

Raspberry Pi doesn’t like analog outputs because it doesn’t have PWM pins like an Arduino. This can be solved with an MCP3008 Analog to Digital Converter, which is currently running the potentiometer. The problem, however, is that there is no clear guide online on how to run the servo. Martin Skelly, a Product Design tutor told me to prototype it simply as a fading LED works (which I have the code for). This seems a bit too good to be true, and I will therefore have to test it – however, there could be a slightly tricky solution.

I’ve prepared for the very real possibility of adding a supplementary Arduino into the main unit. This would mean bonding a potentiometer onto the top of the one operating the Raspberry Pi, which could be a bit of a pain. I already have the code to do this, the only challenge being the physical space and security inside the device. This is certainly an extremely unwanted problem with only a week to go, however it all remains to be seen whether I will have to go with this roundabout way of building that interaction. Silly me for presuming that the simplest bit of the coding would actually be the most unfeasible…

Other things coming together is 3D printing. With pretty much all the parts completed, it’s all about sanding, priming and painting. I’ve even managed to 3D print my logo out, which will be primed and ready to sit securely onto my sign head

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