Dyran, Jovanna, Kureysha, Johan


There is an alarming increase in teen depression that needs to be addressed. Although reasons may vary, many teens feel more pressures at school and home, worry about financial issues, and turn to alcohol and drugs for relief, which is a great concern. Even more so, at the adolescent stage of their lives, many teens are facing physical, emotional, psychological, and social changes, causing them to be stressed and confused. Everyone feels sad and blue sometimes, but if the feeling persists, it becomes a problem.

Many researchers have developed robots that help with human interaction and communication. Kaspar, a social robot developed by the University of Hertfordshire, aimed to help autistic children with their social interactions and communications. Similar, we are aiming to create a responsive robot that give affirmations and humor to the user. In doing so, our robot will be able help users communicate their emotions and help them feel better. Studies have shown that humor combats fear and other negative emotions, while repeated affirmations can lead to positive beliefs.

Karen, who was named after Plakton’s wife in Spongebob, is a mood boosting robot. Karen will aim to do the following: ask the user how they are feeling, have the user respond by pressing a button, and display a response based on what the user pressed. There project will include: a button to turn the robot on, an LCD screen to display all text messages, Neopixel LED strip to light up the robot, 4 different colored mini LED arcade button that will correspond to 4 of the basic psychology emotions: happy, sad, angry, and fear; an SD card to store jokes, compliments, riddles, and quotes according to each emotion; and several servo motors to move the robot’s arms. All electronics will be programmed by a Sparkfun RedBoard (Arduino Uno) with an Ethernet shield to store the SD card.


This project is aimed towards teen who are going through their adolescent stage.

Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LED Strip
Standard 20×4 Liquid Crystal Display
Sparkfun RedBoard (Arduino Uno)
Ethernet Shield for Arduino – W5500 Chipset
24mm Mini LED Arcade Button
Micro Servo

Physical Programming
Using an Arduino to code LCD, servo motor, RGB LED strip, and neoPixel buttons

Wiring LCD, servo, LED strip, and neoPixel buttons with breadboard

Digital Fabrication
Using a 3D printer and lasercutter to create Karen’s body


The pros of this project is that Karen is kid friendly, it boosts up people self esteem, and its a friend. The cons of this project is that its fragile, it won’t move around like a robot and there will be a lot of coding involved.  



July 12, 2017

Rapid Prototyping


To make this prototype we used a grove hit, Arduino board and Legos. We used Arduino Create to have a button the turns on the LCD screen and another button that will tell you a joke. We used legos to create the robot’s body.

July 13, 2017


  • Update wiki
  • Code knob to turn with servo
  • Research robots
  • Research how to respond to different emotions
  • Research LCD vs. touch screens 


  • We found this Robot in Instructables named Zizzy. We want to use Zizzy’s robot body and customize it in our own way. 

 Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 9.40.39 AM

Screen Shot 2017-07-18 at 9.29.36 AM



  • Rough sketch of what we want our robot to look like



July 13, 2017


  • Figure out how to use the keypad.
  • Create a diagram/sketch of the project. 
  • Do some research about social robots and aspects of the designs you want to incorporate in your robot. 
  • Update the web page making sure you have all the parts of the imagine & explore sheet


  • We figured how to use the keypad 
  • We created a sketch of the project 
  • We found more quotes and jokes that will be displayed on Karen
  • We created more parts of the Robot using the 3D printer 

July 18, 2017


  • Draw diagram including electrical parts
  • Figure out what we will be using 
  • Turn on LCD
  • Typing out Messages for the LCD screen
  • Store messages on Arduino and retrieve
  • Figure out the designs for Karen
  • Work on the Keypad


  • We have been working on our code for the LCD screen, its still currently not in working capability but we will continue to work on it.  


  • Today we completed the design of Karen’s head. All we need to do is print it out on the 3D printer and Laser cut a face for Karen that would hold the LCD screen. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-20 at 9.27.30 AM


  • We worked on Lighting up an Led strip with nice color patterns for Karen.


  • We also coded a keypad. We made a couple buttons light up LED’s and turn off LED’s.


July 19, 2017


  • Turn on 20×4 LCD screen 
  • Store messages
  • Design more body parts of Karen


  • Designed stand for keypad

unnamed-5                                                      unnamed-6


  • Wired and Soldered the LCD screen



  • Turned LCD screen on with Arduino
  • Coded the Keypad and LCD screen





July, 24, 2017


  • 3D print the head
  • connect the keypad to the LCD Screen 
  • Make  files for the moods
  • Print out the emoji stickers 


  • We are 3D printing the head of Karen 



  • We tried to print the emoji stickers  they were too tiny so we decided to just label the the keypad 



  • We decided to change the keypad to button  due to the fact that we only need 5 buttons and the keypad had extra buttons

July 24, 2017


  • Figure out how to cooperate movement in the robot.
  • Draw the final diagram
  • Create text files and organizing it.


  • Updated diagram


  • Update of Robot –  We have a problem which is the LCD does not fit inside the head of Karen so now we are now sanding Karens head.


July 25, 2017



July 26, 2017


  • Press fit the arms (Johan)
  • Design a way that the servo motor will get the arms to wave (Jovanna)
  • Code each button for the quotes (Kureysha)
  • Press fit the buttons onto Karen (Kureysha & Johan)
  • Press fit the LCD screen onto Karen (Johan)
  • Press fit the bottom of Karen (Johan)
  • Wire everything correctly (Jovanna)
  • Solder the buttons (Kureysha)
  • Make the holes for the buttons (Dyran)
  • Glue the Robot together (Dyran)


Got the LED Strip color to match with the button

Got our buttons

Got a servo motor to move the prototype arm


August 4, 2017


  • Solder buttons Code buttons  
  • Code buttons  
  • 3D printing Arms
  • Make Arms move 


Solder buttons and Coded buttons 

IMG_5767IMG_5768IMG_5769IMG_5770Screen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.22.30 AMScreen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.23.00 AMScreen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.23.23 AMScreen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.23.38 AMScreen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.24.17 AMScreen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.24.36 AMScreen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.25.36 AMScreen Shot 2017-08-07 at 9.25.51 AM

Made the arms move 

3D printing Arms


 August 15, 2017 


  • Get buttons into the body of Karen
  • Glue together Karen
  • Put all the wires into Karen
  • Connect all the code together
  • Make Arms
  • 3D print arm design




August 16, 2017 – August 17, 2017



  • We glued the LED strip to the Robot 
  • We glued the bottom of Karen to her upper  body 
  • We got the LCD screen to correlate with the buttons 
  • We figured the amount of quotes the redboard an hold 
  • We wired everything together 


Complete Project 




Q-What did you learn about making w/ technology ?

A-We learned that we can do anything with technology, the sky is the limit. It requires lots of time and patience to make an inspiring piece of technology. 

Q-What did you learn about yourselves?

A-I Jovanna Grullon learned to have more patience.

A-I Johan Salvador Arias learned that I can do more than I think I can, if I put a lot of effort into what I’m doing.

A-I Kureysha Abdi learned that there is a lot of thing  I don’t know how to do. 

Q-What did you learn about  collaboration?

A-We learned that everyone in our group offered different skill sets 

Q-What was your favorite lit moment in the project building?

A-When we had but everything together and it all worked.

Q-What challenges did you face? How did you overcome?

A-The design process to make Karen body was a problem because nobody in our group knew how to use a 3D printer. Johan leaned with the help of tutorials

Q- What was your coding journey 

A-It was kinda a struggle due to the fact that we have never coded before. 


!!Youtube Video!! 



Teen Depression

Robot to help Autism

Humor with Negativity

Affirmation and Positivity

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