Smart Bank

by sarahepage

Published on March 18, 2015

This bank records the amount of quarters inside of it as you add it. Then, it keeps a record of the money inside in a google spreadsheet for you!

Credits: Angela Huitian Chen, Ting Zhao, Shiny Hsin-Ning Lee & I completed this project during our Future Lab course at Parsons The New School for Design in the Spring of 2015.

How To Make It


Gather the following modules: 1. Flex Sensor Module 2. Arduino Module 3. Cloudbit Module 4. Wire Module (2) 5. USB Power Module 6. Synth Speaker Module 7. Counter Module


Plug in the USB Power Module into power


Attach the USB Power Module to the Flex Sensor Module using the Wire module. Take the other Wire Module and attach the other side of the Flex Sensor Module to the Arduino Module at A0.


Next, add the outputs. Attach the Cloudbit to the Arduino Module at d1, the Synth Speaker to d5, and the Counter to d9.


Copy the code below into an Arduino sketch (Download Arduino Software here: In order for the sound to work, you'll need to include a file called "pitches.h" that can be found here: That is what the #include "pitches.h" is referring to at the top of the code.


Upload the sketch to the Arduino Module and test everything to make sure that you're getting sound from the speaker and that the counter is counting when the flex sensor is bent.


Find (or make) a box with these (or similar) dimensions:
1 foot tall
6 inches wide (needs to be wide enough to fit the flex sensor)
3 inches deep


Cut a hole in the left side of the box, about 5 inches down from the top. The hole will need to be as wide as the wire connection, bend sensor and second wire connection (only the plastic pieces on the end with the connections needs to fit). I believe the hole will need to be about a half an inch tall, but measure using your sensors, making sure the fit is secure.


Fit the bend sensor into the hole so that the flex sensor is parallel to the bottom of the box. Now, cut a quarter-sized hole in the top of the box. The hole should be cut perpendicular to the direction the flex sensor is going and the hole should be centered over the flex sensor.


Next, with some thin cardboard, create a 4.5-inch-long tube that is the size and shape of the quarter-hole opening.


Fit the tube into the hole you cut in the top of the box and line it up so it ends just above the flex sensor. Tape or glue the tube into place.


Now, set up the CloudBit with instructions from here:


Log into and click "Create a Recipe." Next, Choose "Little Bits" as the Trigger Channel and "Input Received" as the Trigger. (You'll need to select your Cloudbit module here.)


Next, Choose "Google Drive" as the Action Channel and select "Create a Document" (Change the name your document so you remember it)


The content in the document should read: '{{DeviceName}}' input received {{TurnedOnAt}} {{PowerPercent}}% power via littleBits


Click "Create Recipe"


Next, log into your Google Drive and find the spreadsheet. In cell D1, type "Number of Coins in bank:" and in cell D2, type: "=COUNT(C:C)" and this will count the number of rows that have something in them in column C, meaning that each time a quarter is added to the box, another row will be added and the count will increase by one.


In cell D4, type: "TOTAL MONEY in Smart Bank:" and in cell D5, type: "=PRODUCT(D2,0.25)" and this will take the amount we just calculated in D2 and will multiply that by .25, giving us the total amount of money in the bank (assuming we only add quarters to the bank).

Related Projects

#InventAnything Make-a-Thon - littleBits and Bites

As part of #InventAnything, S. and I hosted our Make-a-thon.  We had 4 friends (and their parents) over to play with littleBi...

LIVE Wand Battle!

We LOVE drama so we made wands to use as props.


Light your butt up wirelessly with this CloudBit-Activated lightX1 Long LEDX1 CloudBitX1 USB PowerX1 Power bank (Has to at least h...