Advice and assistance on a project


I'm an educator and a maker. I have a class that I teach CAD basics and general making. We were approached by a colleague who asked us to build him something and he would foot the bill. He wants a life-size operation game. I've seen what others have done, but my students wanted to make it more interesting. Instead of the silly red light up buzzer nose, they thought it would be awesome to have a small display with a fake heartbeat and if you touch the sides the display will flatline. I figured we would need an arduino and code it, but I've only played with a mini for an LED clock. Is this possible? What do we need to get? Do you have any advice?

Thank you

Is this possible?

Anything's possible. With the right kind of display, a pseudo-random heart-beat-like moving output would be relatively simple. A flat-line would be really easy.

I figured we would need an arduino and code it

A reasonable assumption. I almost said "Well, duh!", but I refrained.

What do we need to get?

  1. An Arduino.
  2. Some OLED type display, of suitable size.
  3. The related library.
  4. Some programming skills.

Do you have any advice?

Well, yes, as a matter of fact. But, I'll wait for your response. But, think about Nike and their slogan.


I asked because my knowledge of arduino is very limited. I'll have no problem wiring, soldering, and building, but the programming is where I'll need help. My programming skills are basic, but I can learn.

I had trouble locating a decent sized OLED display, will a TFT LCD get the job done?

I'm guessing the aurduino uno will get the job done.

I've got time before this needs to be built, I mostly need an idea of what parts he'll need to order.

The idea my students came up with is that the display will have the heart monitor line, the beep sound, and then input from touching the sides would trigger a flat line with a tone. After a flatline, it would reset to the heartbeat.

Arduino Nano is the most useful version.

You might consider LED matrix displays:

Larger and brighter than OLEDs.

Does your school have a programming class? If classes or project groups collaborated then the lesson -to- do that could be brilliant for the school as well as for the students.

Arduino code is C/C++ with a kind of custom front door. If you can code C, you can code Arduino.

I have no doubt that you can get all the help you need here regardless.