Assignment 8 – The United State Machine
I decided to reduce this entire assignment down to a bad pun.
This state machine lets you navigate between “States” – specifically, the northeastern United States – as you try to plan a road trip from Pennsylvania to Maine. States are connected to each other where their land masses touch (no chartering jets). The challenge of this game is to navigate between these states without being shown a map – you have to remember which states touch where, and which will form the shortest path in your head. The state diagram is, thus, just a map of the united states – but I’ve included my adjacency diagram marking the connections between states as well as said map in the photos below.
Since I didn’t have access to 10 switches, I experimented with using copper tape to make my own “switch panels” – grounded strips that can be raised high by using a 5V “state selection wand” (in this case, a wire literally plugged into the 5V pin of the Arduino.) This process is explained both in the pictures and in the end of the video.
The Arduino enforces proper movements and only lets you move from valid state to valid state – you can tell you’ve made a valid move when your “Steps Taken” counter increases by one (and the red Steps Taken light blinks the number of steps you’ve now taken.) Once you finally reach Maine, the green Win light turns on and the Steps Taken light repeatedly blinks the total number of steps you took (number of states you passed through, including duplicates) in your trip. Test your geography and see if you can’t plot a road trip through the smallest number of states from memory!
My Arduino Sketch:
My Copper Tape Switch Instructable:
Using Copper Tape To Create A Digital Selection Pad – More DIY How To Projects