Build and Test Earthquake Proof Buildings with BOSON and micro:bit

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During BETT 2023, DFRobot presented a variety of BOSON projects, including the earthquake challenge, which utilized BOSON modules and a micro:bit to investigate earthquakes.


This project aims to help you understand earthquakes better by showing you how to build a shake table that can simulate them at various frequencies. With the help of a micro:bit and Mind+, you can measure and visualize the intensity of the earthquake. This project enables you to construct structures that can withstand earthquakes and test their seismic resistance.


1.Earthquake Simulation

This project involves building a model that can simulate the ground motion experienced during an earthquake. The motor's speed can be adjusted using a rotation sensor to generate movement at different frequencies, allowing you to investigate the impact of short and high-frequency earthquakes on buildings of various heights, making it an exciting experiment to conduct.

2.Earthquake Measurement

A natural earthquake creates motion on three axes, but in our shake table setup, the motion occurs in only one direction. Consequently, you can utilize a micro:bit to measure the acceleration on the X-axis, which provides an accurate representation of the earthquake's strength. To obtain this data, mount the micro:bit at the top of the building, connect it to your computer, and use Mind+ to collect and visualize the data curve for the shake.

3.Earthquake Resistance

There are numerous techniques for creating earthquake-resistant buildings, with the Tuned Mass Damper being the most commonly used for tall structures (as demonstrated in Taipei 101). In this project, screw nuts are used as weights and suspended from the top to simulate this method. The height and length may need adjustment to achieve better results. You can also add additional structures such as frames and braces to test the building's strength further.

Make the Shake Table
1 BOSON Earthquake Challenge Pack
1 Box & Cardboard
16 Straws
20 Pipe Cleaners
7 Bottle Caps
4 Bubber Bans
1 Push Pin
icon dimension-template(letter-size).zip 411KB Download(1)
Connect Hardware
Make the Building Structure
Measure the Earthquake Intensity
1 micro:bit
icon Earthquake-Challenge.zip 174KB Download(1)

By attaching the micro:bit to the top of the building, we can graph the acceleration data using Mind+ (mindplus.cc).

To get started, download the sample program and open it in Mind+. Click on the green flag to run the program, and input the desired duration for data collection when prompted. Press the SPACE bar, and a grid will automatically appear. Press button A to draw your first set of data.


Compare Earthquake-Proof Resistance

When you compare two data sets side by side, it becomes evident how well the earthquake-proof structure performs. Press button A to draw the first data set. Add your earthquake proof structure and press button B to draw the second data set once the first set is complete.


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