Over at IDEO Labs, there is a strong tradition of summer pranks. This year, the interns took it upon themselves to be the masterminds behind a little harmless fun. After some deliberation, they decided on a musical staircase. Inspired by our CEO Nate's work on the Illumitune, this is what they came up with:
The concept behind the musical staircase is fairly simple - use infrared sensors to detect a persons steps at they ascend/descend the staircase. The IR sensors relay the information to an Arduino Mega 2560 which interprets the signals and plays a corresponding sound. Of course, things never seem to go quite as smoothly as anticipated and it took a bit of configuration and work to get the project up and running. The main issue was getting the IR sensors to function reliably, and they ultimately had to upgrade to a slightly more expensive sensor.
In the end, it turned out very well! If you are interested in building you own, check out the project page on the IDEO Labs website. Great work IDEO interns!