New final project idea: Advanced movement sensor

With COVID-19 having taken a huge toll on my time for developing my thesis. I am pivoting towards using the final Homemade Hardware project in my thesis instead.

-> On a side note I have actually ordered the parts for the electromagnetic sensor microphone, because I still want to build that for my Sound In Space class should I find the time. But due to the way it works with the indicators needing to be at a certain distance from each other, and the difficulty sourcing parts, I would rather only do projects now that support my thesis.

So I have ordered these two sensors from Mouser.com to test for sensing the people in the space that my light sculpture (thesis) will react to. The EAGLE files are available on SparkFun.com and what I will be doing is designing a board that is shaped like a Gingko leaf to hide the sensors.

SparkFun Human Presence Sensor Breakout – AK9753 (Qwiic) https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14349

SparkFun Grid-EYE Infrared Array Breakout – AMG8833 (Qwiic) https://www.sparkfun.com/products/14607

I am hoping the first sensor (AK9753) will be the best, since it is smaller and less complicated to program for. The second sensor (AMG8833) uses something much closer to computer vision. And while I am very proficient at programming this, it is another beast entirely. And it will look much bigger on the leaf.

The two sensors should both have a range up to 5-7 meters, which is good for my installation. But I read that the (AK9753) needs a lens to function optimally. Which will make it just as clunky as the (AMG8833). I will have to experiment.

My board design will aim to create an aesthetic where the components follow the lines on the leaf.

I want to make it with flexible pcb board at home, but I might just end up preparing the EAGLE file, since I am not sure if I will be able to access a printer (and acid) during COVID. I do have the flexible PCB in stock.

I want to create some of my leafs using this method, so I can hide sensors in plain sight. The flexible PCB can get quite a nice look, suitable for fine art. And they really do move like leafs.