Embrace Turtle

by Tree New Bee

Preserve the Blue, Say No to Plastic: Safeguarding Our Oceans

Our idea was to create a trash can with a graphic display feature that effectively illustrates the harmful consequences of white pollution on sea turtles in the ocean. Our research revealed that sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and consume them, leading to detrimental health effects. To replicate this phenomenon, we designed a scene where a sea turtle dies when it eats a “jellyfish”. By utilizing this interactive experience, we aim to create a sense of guilt for users’ action and increase their awareness of the severity of plastic pollution on marine life and encourage them to adopt more environmentally conscious habits.

Our intended experience involves the users disposing of trash in the designated trash can. If the trash is effectively discarded in the can, it will transform into jellyfish; otherwise, it will be created manually. Subsequently, the turtles will swim unpredictably and could potentially die if they eat the garbage bag. At this stage, the users will be prompted to utter a specific keyword to progress to the next step. If the user presses the "try again" button, the trash will be returned to them. The users will then make a second attempt to dispose of the trash in the trash can. By utilising the joystick, the user can manipulate the trash's movement to evade the turtles and through voice input, users can successfully safeguard them by vocalising the designated keyword.

Technical Description

Technical Development

Embrace Turtle incorporates both Arduino and Unity for its functionality. Arduino is utilized to detect object falls by installing a distance sensor on the motherboard. In Unity, the program retrieves data from Arduino upon detecting the object fall, transforming the object into a jellyfish that gracefully descends into the ocean. Additionally, users can control a plastic bag within Unity using a joystick and employ speech-to-text technology with a microphone to prevent the turtle from coming into contact with the plastic bag.


The form of the prototype consists of a trash box, connected with a screen, a microphone, a joystick and a button, which allows users to interact with. We use the projector to showcase the main visualisation of our prototype. The microphone serves the purpose of instructing the user to speak specific keywords that can stop the turtle from swimming towards the plastic bag. The joystick is used to control the movement of the plastic bag, with the combination of using a microphone and a joystick, users can think of the keywords while controlling the bag escaping from the turtle. And the button is made for users to try again after the first attempt.


To develop the prototype's intricate details and functionality, we initially established a connection between the Arduino and an ultrasonic sensor. This sensor triggers a signal to be sent to Unity upon detecting an object's presence. Within Unity, a simulated scene of a sea turtle swimming in the ocean is rendered. Whenever Unity receives a signal from the Arduino, a virtual plastic bag materializes in the ocean. This replicates the user's actions, which could potentially impact the ocean's ecosystem. Once the turtle realised the plastic bag, the bag would transform into a jellyfish. The turtle endeavors to consume the plastic bag, leading to its gradual indigestibility and eventual demise. At this point, the user is prompted to press a button to retry the simulation.

During the second attempt, the speech-to-text functionality can be employed to convert the user's voice input into textual strings, which Unity can decipher with precision. If the user utters keywords such as "Stop" or "No," that can halt the turtle's forward progression, Unity registers the command, and the jellyfish is transformed back into a plastic bag. If the user can’t think of any keywords to stop the turtle from swimming towards the bag, they can also control the bag with the joystick to escape from the turtle, until they can think of a valid keyword that represents they are regret after doing such actions to the turtle to stop them from eating the bag. This action indicates that the user has successfully saved the turtle.