In the spirit of today’s midterm elections, what better time to to highlight this nifty little project? A group of Makers recently decided to turn an ordinary box into an interactive, web-enabled vote counter using an Arduino Uno (ATmega328).
The contraption is comprised of three individual tracks from a children’s marble run toy, each equipped with its own light sensor wired into the Arduino via some Sugru and a cocktail straw. To begin, an individual simply drops a marble into the cut-out mouth of the candidate he or she would like to cast a vote.
The team programmed the ATmega328 unit to check every half a second for a change in the light sensor’s value. When the dropped marble passes through, the Arduino records the change for that analog input connection and a vote is counted for the respective candidate.
Once it has gone by the sensor, the marble is fed into a common funnel where it is collected and reused.
In addition, the Makers also affixed three LED lights to the breadboard as a bit of a debugger to notify its users when a sensor had been tripped.
While it may not be used for the next presidential election, this project can certainly be a welcomed addition for your school’s next student counsel contest! Read more about the build here.