Created on 21 Nov 2016

Modular speakers that can be connected to each other for better volume

When buying speakers, people often have to make a tough choice. One choice is to opt for small portable speakers that are convenient to carry, but do not have the range of volume to play for groups of more than two to three people. The other choice is to get larger speakers that are great for groups and events, but often too expensive and bulky to really be practical for one person to buy. Our solution, Cubytes, is a bundle of small modular speakers that communicate with one another. The user can toggle between one and many units depending on the scale of audio they wish for the speakers to produce. This way, an individual user can buy just one affordable, portable unit for their personal use. However, if the user requires more volume, then multiple units can be connected. The speakers can then be adjusted to play the same audio at the same time to effectively multiply the sound output. We plan to build the speaker units and have them communicate with one another using a combination of Arduino, Bluetooth, and LEDs. The speakers’ states can be controlled remotely using an app, and can be set to mimic the audio of another unit within a set Bluetooth radius.


Vaidehi Srinivas


Aarohi Palkar


Erica Tsai

Part Cost Quantity Total Arduino Uno R3 Microcontroller A000066: Computers & Access $16.06 3 $48.18
Arduino Microcontroller
McMaster-Carr $15.62 4 $62.48
Acrylic Sheets (Need 2 black and 2 white 12" x 24")
503 Service Unavailable Error $7.19 1 $7.19
Solderless Jumper Wires Vktech 10pcs 4x6cm Double Side Prototype PCB Universal Pri $3.33 1 $3.33
PCB Boards (Pack of 10)
503 Service Unavailable Error $18.95 1 $18.95
22 Gauge Wire for connecting stuff
503 Service Unavailable Error $12.68 2 $25.36
Arduino Speakers (Set of 2)
microtivity IL111 5mm Diffused Red LED w/ Resistors (Pack of 30) - Led $5.25 1 $5.25
Red LEDs and Resistors (Pack of 30) Duracell MN1604 9 Volt, 4 Pack: Health & Personal Care $7.95 1 $7.95
9V Batteries Pack of 4
503 Service Unavailable Error $8.88 3 $26.64
RGB Color Sensor for Arduino
503 Service Unavailable Error $8.35 3 $25.05
Battery Box with On/Off Switch for Arduino
503 Service Unavailable Error $9.99 3 $29.97
Arduino Bluetooth Transceiver
Project Totals: 23 $260.35
Track 1 Base Budget: $300.00
Preferred Vendor Budget Bonus: $0.00
Remaining Budget: $39.65
Aarohi Palkar 17 Jan 2017, 4 p.m. EST
Here's our first update from yesterday! As all of us have very little experience with Arduino and its parts, our first goal was to attempt to connect out bluetooth modules to the Arduino board and attempt to switch on and off an LED from our mobile phone. Watch video:
Aarohi Palkar 17 Jan 2017, 4:01 p.m. EST
Later on the 16th, we connected the Arduino speaker to our breadboard using tutorials online. We then found a sample hard-coded song we could use to test our speaker as well as form the base for sound production. Watch video:
Aarohi Palkar 17 Jan 2017, 4:06 p.m. EST
Then, we connected the RGB sensor to the breadboard. Initially, the sensor refused to work and we believed it might be due to a loose connection. After a short trip to solder the sensor to its pins, we tested the color sensor, and it could now output the RGB values of the colors it sensed. Since in our final project we need to sense the emission of red light and not just red in general, we then switched off the white LED emission from the sensor. Watch video:
Aarohi Palkar 17 Jan 2017, 4:19 p.m. EST
The last milestone we hoped to cross yesterday was renaming the slave bluetooth modules on each of our arduino boards. Unfortunately, after about an hour of coding, though our serial monitor registered that our bluetooth name had been changed, the changes weren't reflected on the phone. We decided to handle this problem later.
Aarohi Palkar 17 Jan 2017, 4:24 p.m. EST
Today, we're focusing on making the parts work together. Our first goal was to make the LED on the breadboard respond to another lit LED being brought close to the RGB sensor. Watch video:
Aarohi Palkar 17 Jan 2017, 4:29 p.m. EST
Next, we linked the speaker to the LED. When a lit LED is brought close to the RGB sensor, the LED on the breadboard turns on, and the speaker emits a certain pitch. WHen the LED is removed, the LED on the breadboard turns off and the speaker emits a different pitch. Watch video:
Vaidehi Srinivas 18 Jan 2017, 9:01 p.m. EST
After getting our arduino side code to an almost final state, we are ready to lock in our wiring. Now we are in the lab soldering our pcbs.
Vaidehi Srinivas 19 Jan 2017, 6:44 p.m. EST
We're putting the final touches on our project. We're 95% done with soldering, and we're ready to build the casing. We're super excited to present tomorrow!
Vaidehi Srinivas 20 Jan 2017, 12:26 a.m. EST
We finished laser cutting our casings and we are just putting them together. Now that our code and electronics are in final form we are on the home stretch!