Updates from April, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Chris Piuggi 10:07 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  


    Here is an update of what i’ve been doing.

    Planting Seeds


    Setting up Space


    Setting up Water Flow

    Above the system is pumping water, I even did a height test, and was able to pump water to the top of the skylight featured above.



  • thisisvictorkim 10:06 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    “Video Sampler” performance Prior Art *edit* 

    So my idea is inspired by my own attempts at recreating Lasseg Gjertsen’s pseudo drum machine videos.  While editing my own video I kept thinking to myself how much easier it would be if I just had a video sampler/drum machine instead of cutting up a video and plotting music on a timeline (Final Cut) that is not optimized for sequencing a beat.


    so beginning with what my performance is not, here is a VJ (video jockey) set from VJ Fader.  he is controlling visuals to accompany a DJ/artists performance.

    it is more akin to the MPC performances by Araab Muzik and Jeremy Ellis

  • scottpeterman 10:00 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Four different attempts at the cymbal (and by extension bass drum and trombone) 

    So while I’m in waiting mode on the tilt sensors, new pressure sensors, and glove fabrication, I made a decision: I want to do a marching band. Just brass, bass drum, snare drum and cymbal. Funny, effective, and I have the base tech for all of them.

    Towards that end, I began to experiment with some things I had in my toolkit with the intent of working out a good proximity systems.

    Last week in class I began to play with the gyroscope towards the end of making a bass drum. I got it working but the feedback from Thom and my musician friend Ed was that it really should be based on proximity of the two hands, not just the speed of the hand. To top it off, my gyroscope now seems to be broken.

    I also had the Sharp short range proximity sensor and the MaxSonics LV-EZ ultrasonic range finder. GREAT tutorial on both here:
    Bildr proximity tutorial

    Unfortunately these both had a problem – they are useless at short range! The LV-EZ just holds at a value of 11 within two centimeters, and the Sharp switches at the value of 500 and counts down again to hold at a value ranging from 0-150 based on the reflectivity of the surface that is held against it.

    For a moment tried to do it with just a photoresistor, but it is just not accurate enough. Below is some example code I was using with Sharp sensor to do a cymbal with velocity varying on length of hit that doesn’t work due to the short range issue…

    int sensor1;
    int sensor2;
    void setup(){  
    void loop(){
      int sensor=analogRead(A0);
      int velocity=map(sensor2,400,200,60,127);
    void MIDI_TX(unsigned char MESSAGE, unsigned char PITCH, unsigned char VELOCITY) 
  • Thom Hines 9:46 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Easy CMS just got easier! (Buy now!) 

    After a lot of prototypes and experiments, I managed to hack my code and TinyMCE to the point where I can now edit in the most WYSIWYG environment ever made for web content management. It still has a lot of work left to do, but the biggest hurdle I saw going into this new version of the project was the text editor interface, and I had some major breakthroughs over the weekend.

    From here, I have to get the admin interface more concretely nailed down, incorporate some sort of image uploader and media manager, and finally work on a system of installing the app so that most of the work on integrating the CMS into specific pages is handled automatically on the server.

    I’ll be posting a staging ground for other people to test soon, and if anybody has a static or simple site that they would like to manage with this, let me know and I’ll be sure to pass my source along to you in the next 1-2 weeks.

    Log in here:

    Play with it here:

    • scottpeterman 10:10 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t wait to get my hands on it.

      • Thom Hines 3:52 pm on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        You’ll be among the first! I should have the whole package contained by next week. Thanks for your support, Scott!

    • Alvaro Soto 10:11 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      More than suggestions,, i have like questions because I think this is very interesting and perhaps something totally new and successful, I can name several people that I know that would rather on work on a platform like this than complicated databases like WordPress.
      I dont even think that the target for this kind of applications are “moms” or ppl with very phew knowledge of technology and the Internet. to me, this follows trends like twitter and maybe Facebook where content is fast and direct. I can see writers, and group projects using this type of platforms

      • Thom Hines 3:56 pm on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Alvaro. I’ll definitely ask you more about any people willing to try it out next week. Moms and writers are both excellent people to focus on, and one person yesterday suggested students. It’s something I hadn’t really thought about, but picking smaller segments of the online population might help me find ways of focusing this project in ways I hadn’t thought of, and it really makes me think of a dozen other flavors this CMS can take on.

        Fast and direct are indeed key, and if you see any other ways of removing barriers, let me know! Twitter is a really good model in a lot of ways. Thanks!

    • Victor Kim 10:14 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Can you make an artist’s portfolio template such as a more customizable, but still easy to use version of Dripbook?


      • Thom Hines 3:57 pm on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        As I said to Alvaro above, I am now picturing a lot of different implementations, and a portfolio system seems like it would be perfect. We know too many people who need a portfolio not to try to tackle that problem. Thanks!

    • Chris Piuggi 1:19 pm on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      recently came across this again ~~ awesome CSS interface for your reference.


      • Thom Hines 3:58 pm on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Nice! I saw that link the other day when you shared it for Boot Camp. It would be interesting to be able to change columns and structure on the fly… I’ll have to figure out how to work that in. Thanks, man.

  • Yury Gitman 9:30 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Your comments please. Ten mins late. 

    I’m running 10 mins late. Spend the first 10 mins of class commenting on 1-2 other last project posts. See you soon.

  • breegeek 9:21 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Popular meters 

    This week, I received my Didget and forced my boyfriend to be the guinea pig. He played the DS game for all of three minutes, and asked if he could just use the meter and make me play the game (he left the bulky white meter at home, however, and took his snazzy sleek Ultra Mini with him instead). The DS game is pretty elaborate, but is a point-and-click adventure, so I imagine it has an end point. From what I can tell, I believe that Bayer envisioned this product being ported for a dozen or so different games to appeal to a range of kids, but the new DS systems no longer have the legacy slot for the meter. I guess that’s my opening.

    I am working on the initial logic in Processing for my little GluPets, but also continuing research into glucometers and how they output data. Perhaps someone can help me hack one of these guys?

    The Bayer Contour meter doesn’t seem to have a great deal of functionality beyond simple metering. I don’t see anything about the meter having USB connect-ability, for example.

    However, the Contour USB version has not only a more robust display, but has a built-in USB plug so that one could then download their information onto the computer. The software has charting and other data vis capabilities, but obviously, not made for kids.

    (More …)

    • andywallace 10:06 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I wouldn’t necessarily worry too much about getting the readings. You could make a very viable prototype just using simulated readings. Somebody else (Scott I think) suggested just using RFID tags to represent the different readings a user could have (high, low, medium) etc.

      Having it use real readings would make it difficult to demonstrate anyway since you’d pretty much have to kill your boyfriend to show the creature when it’s really sad or unhappy.

    • Oylum 10:09 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Your research is getting detailed and you are finding new stuff each time, which is really great. But I think you should start prototyping your project from now on. Sometimes the assumptions fail so bad when you prototype it and it will definitely happen to you. You cannot make sure which direction to go, how to continue this project unless you have something working even if it’s not working perfectly. I suggest you do some implementation prototypes and blend it with look and feel for the next step.

  • hilalkoyuncu 8:47 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Moving on with physical prototype 

    Here are a “few” images of my prototype.  My code is working 80%. I am hoping to do a few adjustments to the code and playtest it during class. His name is “hipster toy” but you have probably never heard of it.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    (More …)

    • breegeek 9:34 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      definitely looks hipster tastic. You could have him wearing bulky headphones and use those to house speakers…

    • scottpeterman 10:03 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey this looks great! Love the little blue jeans, very cool.

    • Behnaz Babazadeh 10:12 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Love the stache, its definitely hip with the hipsters. His expression is a bit strange but maybe thats what your going for … maybe less black around the eyes and instead put a eyeglasses frame on him, the thick black ones 🙂

  • Alvaro Soto 8:34 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    A lot is going on//Modulos Update 

    After Prototyping both circuits and look and feel for Modulos (finally it has a name), I started re-thinking what the project was about, finding the soul of my main idea and what differentiates my project from cubelets, Braun electron or Olars. I always been very interested in my role as a product designer in a program where interaction in screen based applications is the main area of research. For my thesis id like to work on techniques and development of materials and manufacture processes for product development. Thinking on technology as a way to enhance aesthetics, performance etc.

    Modulus to me is the starting poing of this research where fabrication is as important as the technology. Id like to document the process starting from wood scraps and the use of laser cutter technology. so to explain in an elevator pitch what Modolus is:

    Modulos is a modular optical color mixer  that uses electronics (inputs and actuators) embedded in wooden blocks.

    Modulos is designed to show the product design process of an object with computing electronics from start to end as a way to experiment and research on material properties, physical interactions and production methods.

    All the circuits and code are working

    (More …)

    • breegeek 9:37 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, it’s an ambitious project and it’s already so far along!

    • Oylum 10:04 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The documentation is really good. We can definitely see your design process here. You have the circuit and code working which is nice, but things will change when you take the parts out and put them on their own containers. I think you should prototype the implementation on paper cubes, just to see what happens when you take apart that circuit. You can replace the paper cubes with the actual wood ones whenever they are ready and whenever you’re sure your circuits are working perfectly.

      I really like this project and admire the way it develops.

    • scottpeterman 10:07 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I really like the name alvaro and looks like you’re making some great prototypes. Already, just from your photos, you can really see that the blocks are going to have a sense of heft, of actual, “block”-y weight. I wouldn’t worry too much about differentiating yourself from the prior art you cite, your project is unique in its very handmade/piece-of-craft nature, though those are great inspiration (and I want to play with all of them)

    • andywallace 10:13 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Not to reiterate what everybody else said, but this project is really interesting and looks like it’s shaping up to be something really cool and sleek.

      One thing, though, is that your elevator pitch is kind of confusing, at least for me. It has a lot going on, and I wasn’t clear if the project was the final object or the process and its documentation. Just something to think about when explaining what the project is.

    • Thom Hines 10:15 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This has always been one of my favorite projects in the class, especially since we have been focusing so much on toys this semester. Bridging the analog and digital gap is tricky, especially in a novel way, and the real winners in the area manage to make you forget that you are dealing with either.

      It’s hard to get a very specific sense of your implementation from just the sketches alone, although you have done plenty of work on them and perhaps they are perfect to help you guide your thoughts. It is great to see you trying out various forms in your drawings, and you should push it, but I hope you don’t lose track of your target audience. Simplicity in design can be a major strength when the underlying principles may be harder to grasp.

      That said, I totally think you are right about the materials being a key part of your project. These things are completely tactile, and so even if a user had no idea what these blocks could do, they should be a pleasure to touch and hold on their own.

      As for role and differentiating yourself from the precendents you showed, I would think about how you could make it more intuitive to work with, where there is essentially no ‘wrong’ way to do it. Find ways of introducing relationships between ALL the blocks, so that any two blocks can make something happen. If this is for kids, it should be fun right out the gate.

      Also, I ran across this a while back, and I just thought about it in relation to your project. http://www.technologyreview.com/video/?vid=365

      Good luck, man!

  • thisisvictorkim 5:20 am on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    this might be interesting…

    “IOIO (pronounced: yo-yo) is a product which lets you connect electronic circuits to an Android device and control them from an Android application.”

  • andywallace 2:19 am on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Gyroscopes! Infrared LEDS! Sounds! Balls! YOUR WILDEST DREAMS! 

    I dealt with a few things this weekend, so I’ll just start at the top.

    Wireless Gyroscope

    It looked like this, but with more tape.

    (More …)

    • Yury 2:45 am on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You are doing great work. Lots of distance covered on research, prototyping, experimentation.

    • Alvaro Soto 10:00 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Andy, Ill post again when I have information about the foam coat that I told you in class, you can make some perforations at the end of the process, keep both half spheres separate and join them at the end with styrofoam glue.

    • lpercifield 10:06 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      When I created a hollow ball last semester by casting a form in silicon. It worked pretty well but took a little time to cure. For the power switch you might look into a hall effect sensor that will turn the thing on and off with a magnet.

    • Alvaro Soto 10:51 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      This is the artist Chris talked about

    • andywallace 10:55 pm on April 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Some quick responses from presenting:

      -people seem to like the the sound changed ball.
      -Victor suggests using a cube for it, which think is a very good idea.

      -Balls that affect the sound the other balls make in general seem popular.

      -If I’m going to have the sounds switch, I’ll need to make other sound synths, which could be tough. I like the chime sounds I’m using now, and I’m not a sound person, so I worked pretty hard at them, but a few variants shouldn’t be too bad. An 8-bit collection could be fun, same goes for a set of brass sounds.

    • Alvaro 12:05 am on April 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Andy these are the two resins you could use to coat the styrofoam:

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