Puzzle box for kids while doing math - Help

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Forum topic by Texan_Carpenter posted 12-06-2016 12:23 PM 554 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 988 days

12-06-2016 12:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question box project

Hi everyone,

My kids are 5, and 6. They are at that time where they love showing off adding numbers. I have been thinking of making a box I don’t know around 10in maybe more or less. The top side would have wood buttons with the numbers sorta of like a calculator. I will make a sketch later on, but I wanted to run this by you guys. And see if I am overthinking this.

Anyways the main idea revolves about the kids doing math and answering questions. I am a programmer so I will use a arduino controller to generate random numbers from 1-100 and make a two number addition, kids will have to punch the answer. On the same face it will have a digital display.

Also there would be a red light to show a wrong answer, a green to show a good answer and a yellow to show a close answer.

The last cool part I think would be to add a secret drawer, when let’s say 10 answers are answered correctly or it can be changed too. And when that happens push out the secret drawer with a prize. I have seen several projects doing the secret drawers and it seems easy enough, but most of those have to be pushed manually.

Do you guys have any ideas on doing this electronically preferably low voltage so that the box can hold its own batteries. Dustin Penner on youtube makes a nice demonstration of how to make the secret drawer, which I think I would use his idea. Just need something electrically to push out the pin.

I took a screenshot of the latch mechanism in case you don’t feel like watching the whole video. The gold part is what holds the secret drawer as there is a small lip on the bottom of the drawer, then there is a pin and that pushes on the gold part and makes it release the drawer. If I can figure out what to use electronically it would be awesome.

I was also thinking of having a small piece of wood in front of that gold piece to prevent pushing the pin. Then when all answers are correct, have a stepper motor retract that piece of wood to allow the pin to be manually pushed.

-- Everything is dustier in the South!

2 replies so far

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689 posts in 1190 days

#1 posted 12-06-2016 01:25 PM

I don’t have any experience making boxes like this, but I was a low-voltage tech for a few years. The first thing that comes to mind looking for a latch/pin is old access control locks. I don’t know the type/name, but there are some that mount to doors similar to an electronic deadbolt, and 12/24V DC can be used to fire/retract the pin.

I hope that helps. It’s a cool idea, so make sure to post when you’ve completed your design!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Texan_Carpenter's profile


8 posts in 988 days

#2 posted 12-06-2016 04:32 PM

Hey Dustin thanks for the tip. I’ve looked at some solenoids 12/14vdc even 6vdc and they require lots of current. I want to only put batteries without having to plug it somewhere. I think using a small motor with a gear, and then maybe have two bolts to hold the drawer might do the trick. But I will probably experiment with a few options until I come up with the best design. I’ll start working on the rough sketch, and see how eveything will fit together. Cheers!

I meant to put the link where I got those ideas.

-- Everything is dustier in the South!

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