Running Pumpkin

Halloween is my favorite holiday and hence I wanted to dedicate this midterm project to the season and make something fun and relevant!


I made a small pumpkin carriage for my fabrication class last week. Ideally, the carriage will be turned on as soon as the pumpkin is placed on top of the push button switch. However, the push button I used then wasn’t sensitive enough which resulted in a momentarily movement before it paused. This midterm project gave me the perfect opportunity to fix my carriage as well as including programming into my work.


I like to sketch out the schematics to better visualize how wiring works.

I decided to try outĀ ESP8266 NodeMCU for this project. It allows wifi connection which is ideal for creating a moving object. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to figure out how to set up the wifi connection for this week. I definitely will incorporate that into my final project.

I replaced the push button to a photocell which is used as a switch to turn the motors on.

Playing around with visual displays and sound (I used an excerpt from Alice in Wonderland soundtrack for testing).

Serial input into p5

Wiring the motors

Green tinted acrylic enclosure

Running codes before assembly

Assembling 1

Assembling 2


In order to start the car, the user will place the pumpkin on top of the photocell (positioned in the center of the enclosure). The car will stop when the pumpkin is removed.

I have encountered issues with p5 sometimes when I opened my serial port. Visuals and sound don’t always play properly. Hopefully, I will be able to play this soundtrack in my p5 sketch properly in class.

When things are running properly, the Jack-o-lantern’s face will be resized and re-positioned based on photocell reading.

I am pretty happy with the whimsical interactivity between the user and the pumpkin.

Playfulness has become a reappearing theme in projects I made here at ITP. I am intrigued by this newly developed interest and would like to further explore via my work.


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