The Rainbox is a box which produces the sound of rain when a user is nearby.
This project is a simple Arduino setup that involves the use of a servo motor and a rainstick. The Arduino is connected to a flex sensor that is intended to be hidden under a pillow or a mattress. When a person lies down on the resting place, the servo turns 180 degrees, and the rainstick attached to it will also turn. This causes the rainstick to simulate the sound of rain for a few seconds until all the beads in the stick reach the bottom. The servo then turns back 180 degrees and the process repeats until the user leaves the resting spot or thirty minutes after the flex sensor was first activated. All of this is enclosed within a box, along with a blue LED light which emits a soft glow through a hole in the box.
The concept behind this project arose as a response to one of my long lasting personal issues – the inability to sleep in silence. Maybe it is a symptom of a generation that grew up on television, but the lack of any sensory input used to be very unsettling to me, and it would cause my mind to wander into uncomfortable and frightening places. The sound of rain and the glow of muted television often helped me in these. The rainbox was designed to substitute all of this.
All in all, I ended up creating a working prototype, but it is nowhere near a form that I would want to present in public. The box was intended to make the rainstick echo for a more rich sound, but it ended up just being bulky. Having the setup more exposed but pleasing to look at is a goal for this project. A tighter documentation would help a lot in presentation. The light is also something to experiment with, as people thought it would be more distracting than comforting.