Interactive Picture Frame: Project Documentation

Objective: Document the project, report the problems encountered and how we solved them.

Materials: Photo, Glass, Arduino Uno, Adafruit “Music Maker” MP3 Shield for Arduino, HC-SR04 Ultrasonic Distance Measuring Senso Module for Arduino, Male DC Power Plug to 9v Battery Button Connector Cable, Duracell Coppertop 9v Battery, Speakers(?) and frame (3d printed), Micro SD card and SD card reader.

Methods: Project was basically split in two parts:

1- Design and 3d printing the frame: It was necessary to adapt our project to the limitations of the 3d printer (MakerBot Replicator2) that we have access in school, and print the frame in 4 parts to be glued together.

2- Figuring out hardware and software necessary to complete the project.


* MakerBot Replicator2 Buil Volume: 24.6 L X 15.2 W X 15.5 H CM or
[9.7 X 6.0 X 6.1 IN]

* Photo: we initially intended to used a 8’x10′ photo but due to the 3d printer build volume limitations, we will have to print a  5’x7′ photo.

* Glass: also have to resize the glass accordingly to the size of the frame we were able to print in school.  It will be 0.05 inches thick and 2′  larger than the photo.

* MP3 shield sits on top of the Arduino Uno motherboard and we soldered all the other connections we needed to the shield. Would be better if we had just solder sets of headers on the shield. Here are the Adafruit page for the mp3 shield.

* Mp3 shield reads a Micro SD card. We upload tracks of birds sounds on a Micro SD card with an adaptor and a SD card reader.

* Initially we used a breadboard to connect the HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor with the shield. We used this tutorial to connect the sensor. Later, in order to fit the sensor on the frame, we wired directly to the shield.

* We connected a 9V battery in series with a ON/OFF button (a SPST – 2 terminals switch: 16A 125V) following this tutorial.

* We used the player_simple sketch from the Adafruit VS1053 library to play the sound of birds and the NewPingExample sketch from the NewPing library to sensor objects approaching the frame.

Discussion: Combining the two sketches was tricky. Our main problem was solved by commenting out a file that plays in the background on the player_simple sketch since we just need one single file to be played.
It would be better to have the frame printed in one single piece. We got an estimate from the and it would cost something around $800

Results: Arduino is able to sensor the presence of a viewer and when someone is 15′ from the frame, it plays sounds of birds. We didn’t have time to work with stereo sound to simulate the sound of birds flying away. But this is something that could be done in the future.

We have the 4 parts of the frame printed. We still need to glue the parts together, resize de glass and fit all the hardware inside of it.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply