Ottawa Arduino Challange - lance sensor/kinetic lance.

I joined Ottawa Arduino Challange where you get a mystery sensor and then need to make something out of it. Besides figure out what to make of it I also need to make the project available on internet so people can see what I'm up to so I'm now writing this down.

The mystery sensor given is a proximity sensor called tcrt5000 and the datasheet indicates it's effective range is 0.2-15mm, practical testing indicates it's a little more depending on what the surface is.
When looking for what to do with it the first thing google took me to was all this robots that follow lines so that I quickly scratched any robot from my project list.
A friend (who like to stay off the net) suggested a kinetic knife. It's about a knife that has to come close but it can't touch. (The idea comes from the books/movies "Dune" where they have kinetic shields).
I have some other ideas but they need more time/material so I decided to go a version of this knife and at $$ store I found a toy that can be used for it.

The plan is
- loose the bubble juice
- use a arduino pro (the small board above the lance) to control it
- set the sensor in the tip
- add some LEDs in the lance part that flashes and shows when you get close or to close(hit)
- somehow add a 7seg led to use as counter
- put the electronics in the transparent part (so you can see it)
- put the battery in the handle (as counter balance)
- maybe put in some noise maker
Usage - it's a  game, you need to get close but can't hit. The closer you are the more points but hit and you loose points big time/get to zero.

So far I only figured out how to use the arduino uno as a oversised usb adapter to program the small arduino pro and got it to flash the built in LED different depending on distance that the proxy sensor give.

As I figure out more (like how to format this) I will update this page.

Update1: Have done some testing and coding and got just about all of it to work. Still need some tuning but I got a led showing points, it counts up when close and counts down when hit.
Got one bright RGB LED to indicate score/hit, plan on add more in parallel.

Version - 0.4 of the code


Done some more work, created a eagle schematic of what I plan to do and started assembly.

Assembly done, now it's just programming left

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