Stress Lighting Controller

For my final,  I wanted my lighting controller to be controlled by human emotion. The more intense you get, the more intense the light gets (serendipitous, since it is midterms).

To do this, I used a stress ball and attached it to an MPX5010 pressure sensor. Using a stress ball would be a clear way to map the experience to a tangible human interaction the user is familiar with: when you see a stress ball, you know exactly what to do with it.

This sensor was an MPX5010


I tested the MPX5010 with this bulb syringe and was getting a pretty clear reading.

Fabrication included inserting the tubing into the stress ball, which is filled with sand. It produces a less accurate reading than the bulb syringe, but it maps better to the emotional experience I’d like the user to have. The challenge came with the mapping. When I switched to the stress ball, the data I was getting was not as accurate.

You can see on the Serial Plotter how uneven the sensor read with the stress ball was. I needed it to be more parabolic.

I learned that I needed to incorporate Arduino’s example calibration code, that the mapping was smoother. I had a lot of help setting up the 10 second period where the user would calibrate the sensor.

Testing out my midterm stress levels

I ended up adding a switch to make this process clearer to the user:


Here is my Arduino code:

In action!

You can find the enclosure laser cutter files here.

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