First-year student Yuko Kanai designed Pennie—an Arduino-powered IoT lamp that tracks your progress as you train for a half marathon, while also depositing money into a savings fund. “Keeping up a consistent running habit has always been a challenge for me, so I designed this device to create a visual reminder for my progress.  I know that I respond well to rewards, so I added an incentive as well,” she shared.

Here’s how it works: As the user meets benchmarks through Hal Higdon’s 12 week Intermediate Half Marathon Training Schedule, more coins light up, indicating that the user is not only making training progress, but also growing the savings pot.  At the end of the training program, the lamp is fully lit, and users can reward themselves with the money saved up while working towards their goal.

At the end of the training program, the lamp is fully lit, and users can reward themselves with the money saved up while working towards their goal.

Technologically, Pennie is linked to various If This Then That (IFTTT) Applets that link together apps and services.  Yuko wrote code that enables the Adafruit Feather Huzzah on her lamp to receive inputs from Applets that connect Strava, Qapital, Google Sheets, and Adafruit io services. 

Yuko constructed the project in the Visible Futures Lab, which sits adjacent to the PoD studio, working together with the VFL staff through each step—from writing the code, soldering, and testing. The housing was laser-cut and assembled from acrylic sheets.

Yuko also created an Instructable for her Pennie piggy bank—make your own here!

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