Angie N. Tran's Portfolio

Mini Projects

Mini-projects are my playground of exploring social innovation ideas (most of them are in emerging markets), as well as my creative outlet.  


Physical Computing Final Project, SVA Interaction Design MFA
Tools: Arduino, p5, React
Arielle Royston 

The TeaPod is a tool for tea drinkers that both measures the ideal tea brewing temperature and the ideal steeping time for your tea, and it does this all in an elegant and exciting way.  


How to Use & Functionality

The TeaPod allows you to select your tea type, and then alerts you when water reaches the ideal steeping temperature for that tea, and then once the water is hot enough, the user places his or her tea in the cup, and can then begin a timer that times the tea steeping. The steps are documented in our instruction manual below.


Screens popped on the top right corner are what happens on the browser simultaneously. 



Temperature Sensor DS 18B20
Neopixel Ring 24
Wire & Resistors
Laser cut box


Arduino Set-up

We completed the first steps of the process during our midterm. This involved setting up the temperature sensor and push buttons. We installed the Dallas Temperature library, which takes care of calculations, and the One Wire library, so that the sensor could calculate the temperature and display it within the arduino portal. Then, we set up target ranges so that the sensor would read that the temperature was in the target range when it reached a certain degree. We then re-arranged the push buttons to send a message to the LCD display and the Neopixel ring, rather than lighting up an LED.

Setting up the LCD display was challenging because we needed to first ensure the potentiometer was set-up with it, and then solder each of the 12 pins to the breadboard. As for the code, this was quite easy to set up using various tutorials.


The LCD would display the target temperature and the actual temperature while the water was heating up. We also set up the Neopixel ring to work in conjunction with the LCD; the Neopixel would turn the color of the tea selected (or green LEDs represented green tea; blue LEDs represented black tea; and red LEDs represented Oolong).

When the tea would reach its desired temperature, we created code to repeat a dancing LED pattern to visually call out to the user the tea was ready. TheLCD display code would change to read “push timer button”, which would kick off the timer.

Setting up the timer was one of the most challenging parts of the project. We used the millis function to introduce timing. 



Angie Ngoc Tran