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Pedaling Music

Enabling Engineering

The Need

The William E. Carter School is a school for students with intensive disabilities. They employ restorators, bike-like exercise devices, to help students develop dexterity and control. The school wants a restorator to be modified so that it provides an incentive to continue pedaling, ideally in the form of music the students enjoy. This would help engage students in restorator exercises and improve their dexterity and mobility.

The Solution

A rotary encoder attached to the restorator’s axis will measure the rotation of the pedals. An Arduino reading the encoder signal will make audio control decisions, and use a Bluetooth module to send an HID code (keypress) to the paired device. The device’s operating system knows how to interpret an audio control key (pause, play, etc.), and thus should pause or play music without any special software being installed on it. In this way, the firmware can be implemented with minimal work and no customization of the playing device need occur.