Final Project Pitch - Marauder's Map

Post date: Aug 11, 2010 2:4:21 AM

Okay, so I was in the new Harry Potter theme park in Florida about a month ago and noticed how realistic everything was, how many items they included from the books and movies - although I noticed their marauder's map was surprisingly not interactive. I had expected it to track the footsteps of people walking around the store, but it just looped an animation on a computer screen. One idea I have for a final project would be the following:

Create a bunch of pressure sensors in a manner similar (not necessarily identical) to that outlined in this short tutorial:

Hook these up to Arduino* and send the data to Processing.

Before any of the data in Processing will be used, the sketch will wait for the user to say into the microphone "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" using the java library here:

once this is done, the locations of the steps will be interpreted in processing relative to the previous location as well as the status of adjacent sensors in order to determine the direction of the footsteps.

the footstep images will then be rotated accordingly and printed to the screen at the best approximate location, over a background image of a piece of parchment with a map drawn reminiscent of the one from the movie (not exactly the same though as my sensors would probably not even fill a small room, let alone an entire magical british boarding school)

this would be looped until the sketch detects the words "mischief managed" through the microphone, at which point it would return to its initial state.

As far as the speech recognition goes, I would test the library itself extensively to ensure accuracy, making note of any phrases it might confuse the desired ones for so that they could be accepted as well in the final project, or (heaven forbid) if the library is altogether not accurate enough, the program would obviously still work fine without the on and off commands, it would just be much less cool.

*One problem I can foresee with hooking up multiple sensors to the arduino is the lack of a crapton of inputs on the arduino, and I would certainly prefer having more than 10 or 20 sensors, because without more the project would either be less accurate or cover less space than I would like. So if anyone knows of a way around this (I have one or two ideas in mind but I'm not sure if they're feasible / reliable) definitely let me know.

Also feel free to point out any glaring oversights I may have made in coming up with this, it was more or less a spur of the moment idea. All in all, I think it would be really fun and probably not too difficult, not to mention just being a cool thing to have and say you made (as well as appeasing my nostalgic love for the harry potter series).