November 24, 2007
Reading for November 27th, are now posted. Enjoy!

October 2, 2007
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May 24, 2008
This site has been archived and is no longer editable. Stay tuned for the next version, coming in the fall!

The Mail is Here! A cute little mail notifier

Project Members: 
Jess Kline


I used the materials and code from lab 6 as well as legos to make a mail notifier. A force sensor is located at the bottom of my mail box and a dc motor is placed in the back of a mini mail truck and attached to a propellor. When mail is dropped into the box, the propellor turns causing the mail truck to move in all sorts of directions and make a lot of noise. This alerts those in the household that the mail has arrived.


  • Lab 6 materials: breadboard, arduino board, fsr with long soldered wires, dc motor with long soldered wires, diode, transistor, 2 resistors, batteries and battery container, 5 regular wires, 2 mini wires
  • Mail truck and mail man: Legos! (Specific lego pieces include 4 wheels, 1 propeller, 1 lego man, 1 piece of mail, many red white and blue pieces, and scotch tape).


* one pot fades one motor
* modified version of AnalogInput
* by DojoDave <>
* Modified again by dave

int potPin = 0; // select the input pin for the potentiometer
int motorPin = 9; // select the pin for the Motor
int val = 0; // variable to store the value coming from the sensor
void setup() {
void loop() {
val = analogRead(potPin); // read the value from the sensor, between 0 - 1024
analogWrite(motorPin, val/4); // analogWrite can be between 0-255


General setup
General setup


Mail truck
Mail truck




Comments from TAs

Nice project, and one that would actually be useful. A robust implementation of this idea would raise a number of interesting challenges: getting the mail sensor to work reliably, creating a wireless link between the mailbox and the notifier, and finding the right form of output/vibration/etc. to make the notifier noticeable, fun, and not too distracting. I definitely like the use of LEGOs!

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