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  • Soo 9:42 pm on March 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Mid-term Free Writing 

    1. One thing you found surprising about making your project.
    Before I actually made my paper automata, I spent many hours planning out. First, I deeply thought about concept, emotional response, and user’s action. Then, I studied our textbooks very carefully, and searched for automata I can apply to my project. I made a “Diarrhea Boy” based on Penguin and Peak-a-Bear automata from books. There is cut-out paper food. If the foods are close to the diarrhea boy, he has to “got to go”. I used servo and ultrasonic rangefinder to recognize user’s actions.

    2. One thing you really like about your project.
    My project was a success that the “Diarrhea Boy” carried humor. While making it at D12, people stopped by and laughed. I had much fun making it.

    3. One thing you think is unique or important about your project.
    I believe the most important essence of toy is fun, and that is why I love toy. My project is for everyone we all can laugh while play with it because we all understand this critical moment. 🙂

  • yaoukar 11:53 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm Free Writing 

    Title of project: Building Cubicles by Youmna and Daniela

    1- Daniela and I made a mini toy installation where users can interact with different mini doors from a cardboard building. When the user opens the door, a character would be represented and start to animate. Each character has a personality and tells a different story.

    Building the gears for these different characters was pretty hard.

    I started off by building one of the gear example from the Karakuri book because I wanted to make a character that has a tongue that wiggles. So I thought that making a gear that could push the tongue would be helpful.

    The paper was really thin and it broke very easily.

    After doing the first prototype, I decided to explore different materials such as cardboard and chipboard.

    Working with these materials was better for me but sometimes the chipboard was too sturdy and it didn’t allow for the movement to happen.

    So a mixture of light and heavy paper would have been ideal.

    2-I really like the aesthetics of our project. Making the characters was really fun. Using different materials ranging from cardboard to poster boards to strings was very challenging. Thinking about the characters personalities was also very fun. Thinking about what emotion every character would incite in people lives was also in interesting process. I like the fact that our piece is a  combination of  humor and irony.

    3-I think that the most unique thing about our piece is the fact that we created an environment for our characters through the structure of the building. We were inspired by the writer named Chris Ware and especially his piece called Building stories.



  • naterudolph 9:59 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm Project 

    I wanted the arm to only wave when it sensed a “wave” back and the code for that was significantly harder than I thought it would be. I needed to first average out the results when the board was turned on to allow for it to work in different environments, then “look” for a wave. That meant that the arm couldn’t move as soon as it sensed the hands shadow, but needed to wait until that hand passed. I also didn’t want the bot to wave back if you just held your hand over its face.

    I like that the movement of the arm is smooth, and the way it can distinguish between a wave and someone just interacting with the photocell.

    Something that’s unique to this project is the custom gear and lever system built by combining K’NEX and Instamorph. Crafting the gear took a good amount of testing to have enough incline to create a wave-like motion, but still function consistently and smoothly. One advantage of Instamorph was that I was able to mold the actual lever directly to the motor so the entire apparatus is significantly more stable than anything else I’ve done for this class.

  • JeannetteSubero 8:21 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm Free Writing 

    The most surprising thing about this ladybug was getting the Theo Jansen Mechanism to work. However I discovered a lot of technical things along the way. The first was working with paper materials. This first prototype I couldn’t get it laser cut, so I had to choose a material thick enough to work as a structure but also manageable enough to cut with an exacto knife and scissors. I chose butter board which turned out to work very well except for the small size I was working with, so when I got the axis in place and started testing, some of the pieces started to break and I had to reinforce them. Another problem that I found with the material was that I needed to enclose the components inside it, so that added weight that I didn’t really considered before. I had to reinforce a lot of parts.

    What I really like about it is what you can’t see, the insides! Which for the next iteration I plan to expose, cause it is the core of the movement. I have to figure out a way of enclosing the servo and make it work with the overall design.
    What I feel is unique about this project is the capability of movement from one point to another. And more importantly the fact that interacts with its surrounding. I have yet to test this. But I’m excited about the project!
  • danielagill 8:19 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Diary writing / Midterm / Building Cubicles by Daniela & Youmna 

    Building Cubicles by Daniela & Youmna

    One thing you found surprising about making your project?

    We decided to build a set of mini cubicles all embedded into one single structure, a building. We wanted to have different characters living in there. The piece is like a small scale installation in which the public interacts with it in two ways: In an analog form (the public manually opens various doors in order to see the characters) and the second interactions comes from sensors. Once they open the doors, the characters react to the person’s presence and they start to do something.

    During the building of one of the characters, I researched about different ways for making the gears and cams and the whole structure to move the way I envisioned it and surprisingly it was extremely hard. Surprisingly because even I have been practicing with different gears and cams and structures with the other paper toys, when I started playing with other materials such as chipboard I encountered naturally new challenges. I had to built three structures before I got one working the way I wanted it to work and still it is not completely functioning as good as I want it to function.

    One thing you really like about your project?

    I really like our aesthetics choice. I am very happy with the way our characters turned out and the look and feel that the materials we used give. We wanted for the piece to look animated, comic like, funny and unique. I think by using chipboard and combining it with thread and different textures we achieved the sketchy look we were looking for.

    One thing you think is unique or important about your project?

    I think the fact that we put both our automates (the characters) in a a building, having them live somewhere makes it unique. We really wanted for them to be shown in their cubicles and I am glad we did achieve that.

  • Chy 8:19 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  


    1)  There will always be difficulty in animating object but it always surprise me.

    2) unknown factors

    3) i try to approach the project like from A – B then B – C type. I think because if I were  to jump to the final design, the project will be limited. By doing this step by step, made then explore would give better understand of what it could be not what it must be.

  • SLee 8:18 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Emotional Paper Automata Toy – Response 

    The one thing that surprised me the most about this project was to realize how much I had learned from making those paper automata in the past several weeks. Designing mechanisms has always been my weak point, something that I felt uncomfortable about. In this project, though I had to figure out a mechanism for my own tissue box toy. I dreaded it at first, but after looking through what I had made with paper and looking through the variety of gear, cam and crank mechanism in the books, I was able to come up with my own mechanism. So I was pleasantly surprised by my newly acquired ability. Although the things I can do at this point are still very very basic, I am happy that I was able to somewhat overcome my fear for mechanisms.

    The most important aspect of my project is probably the time the toy takes to react to its surrounding. I don’t have the sensors attached to it yet, but my plan is to have the shy “tissue fairy” hide as soon as it senses that somebody is trying to take a tissue out of the box. I want this reaction to be as convincing as possible. I was really inspired by a project called “Pygmies” by Pors and Rao, where they have small cute characters “Pygmies” slowly emerge when there aren’t anything around and then quickly hide behind an object when there is a presence of another human being. The reaction time of these pygmies are very quick and the movement is comical and convincing. I want to set up the sensor that the tissue fairy gives a similar feel to the users.

  • naims641 8:18 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    I was surprised at how challenging this project was to make. I spent all weekend working on it until it was near completion. Then on monday I continued to work toward making the finishing tweaks and realized that it was not working so I spent the next two days working on it all day and night long, past sunrise, I even ended up missing two of my other classes because I was working on the project instead. It was really challenging to get the gears to work with the poles that are pushed up, because they instead would try and move around in a circle with the gear rather than be pushed the direction I wanted, so I had to create a new edge for the gears to smooth them out so there is less friction, as well as create a deeper hole for the poles to stick through to insure they go the right direction, and create another boundary to stop the poles from sliding and lastly used a string to pull the poles in one direction so that they do not move with the motion of the gears. There was a lot more debugging than I anticipated and at times I thought it would never work and wanted to abandon the project and try something else. In the end I was not able to use the hand that I initially created, which was made out of plastic tubes, because it was too rigid for my platform, nor was I able to use the second hand I created, which I made out of museum board, but I ended up with a third hand made out of card stock so that it was light enough to be moved by the moving sticks. In the end though I am happy that I got it to work and think that the mechanism is really cool. That is what initially drew me to doing this project in the first place, I wanted to pursue a design that involved making a mechanism that transforms one type of motion into another, rather than just sticking a motor to something and making it spin, and I was successful in doing that. I think what is most important is really the time I spent making endless tiny tweaks to my mechanism to get it working to the best of my ability. I learned some ways that I could have improved it that I would not have thought of, and I solved issues that I never anticipated occurring.

  • normanorma 8:16 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm – Lion Dance 


    For my midterm project, I would like to create the transitional chinese dragon. What really surprised me is that although I might have thought I have all the parts and files ready, printed out, it may not be assembled as easily. It really takes time to build these figurines and to test out and get familiar with the mechanism. The gears that I used were too flimsy, so I switched it around three times, and still could not get it to work. I started with card stock, and then with thinner paper, and then adding more card stock to the gears. Still, it is not assembled properly and it is unable to work smoothly. For my next approach, I would like to test out thin paper. For the second time, I would be more keen on the methods and materials to assemble this toy.

    What I like most about this project (and the class) is the designing part and making things that move and to animate a character.

    During the Chinese New Year, it is customary for Chinese Association to perform Lion Dance to communities in a “cai ching” (採青) ritual, where it literally means “plucking the greens”, to red envelopes. It is believed that this quest would bring good luck and fortune to businesses. For my automata, when the Lion gets in contact with an item (e.g. green cabbage, red envelopes), its eyes would grow red and move faster.


    Upon the approach of this project, I begin by looking at different mechanisms and especially the course textbooks. One main aspect to consider on this project is the “look and feel” and the functionality of the automata. 

    I found a picture as inspiration.


    I then start to assemble the drawings onto the template.


    Printed, and ready to go!

    I have printed this template with inkjet onto large scale paper. You may also separate the parts onto regular print size A4 paper as well. Once it is printed, I have spray glued it onto card stock paper to give it more strength and durability. I then cut out all the parts and start to put it together.

    Not as easy…

    It is difficult to glue small parts together especially when it is on card stock paper. The card stock paper gave a bit of depth onto the paper itself, so for some parts, the measurements are around 0.2mm – 2mm off… Small, but it makes a big difference when your paper mechanical parts are only 1 cm itself.

    I then switched all the mechanical parts with regular print paper, which became too fragile. It did not work well because once the mechanical parts are turning, the parts would found and cripple. Once the mechanics become stuck, the part of lion’s body would not move smoothly, instead it would be stuck.

    In Class Critique 

    Some ideas suggested to my Lion paper automata is that it could be implanted with Twitter too. Since the transition of the Chinese Lion Dance is for performers to dance around streets to streets to collect red pockets (to spread good luck to the giver), and to collect something green as good luck, for every ” $ ” a person tweets, it would activate the lion to dance.

    The design also reminded of sushi, more specifically, the dragon roll.

  • Siri 8:16 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    04/01 Midterm: Free Writing 

    My midterm project is now called Bowman. He will bow down at anyone in front of him. He has no face and is completely naked in white. This reason is that people can draw on him and create their own versions of Bowman. Who do you want to make them bow to?

    1. One thing you found surprising about making your project.
    It is easier than I originally thought to design, but quite hard to produce by hand. I probably have to improve my craft skills.

    2. One thing you really like about your project.
    It is engaging and interactive–bowing down at anyone in front of it.

    3. One thing you think is unique or important about your project.
    Instead of just looking at it moving, the user actually becomes a part of the action.

  • sarahewever 8:15 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm Automata Reflection 

    What is one thing you found surprising about making your project?

    I was really surprised at how much I retained from building the book examples. With little trouble I was able to sketch my design in illustrator and know where to put tabs and how to format the various pieces of my automata.

    What is one thing you really like about your project?

    I like my idea more after I modified my idea slightly to be more personal. Before my project idea was to connect to twitter and have a bird fly whenever someone tweets to you or you have a message. But I wanted it to be more personal than that. I was inspired by a project called “Like-a-hug” * where a user is wearing an inflatable vest and whenever someone likes something the vest inflates and gives them a hug. I wanted to create something similar so I made a desk cactus for my mom (I was thinking about Mother’s day) and whenever myself or any of my siblings tweet to the cactus the cactus dances to let her know we are thinking of her. I wish to continue exploring ways to communicate/let others know of our presence without using words or images.

    *Like-A-Hug (http://allthingsd.com/20121007/better-than-a-poke-heres-like-a-hug-the-vest-that-lets-your-facebook-pals-reach-out-and-touch-you/)

    What is one thing you think is unique or important about your project?

    I think my automata itself is simple but I think the meaning behind it is what makes it unique. Also I took the idea of a cactus – which can sometimes appear sharp and unwelcoming – and attempted to design it in a way that was friendly and loving.

  • carlamarinvial 8:15 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm thoughts 

    rap that cowThe one thing that I found surprising, not in the most positive way, was the difficulty to adapt a movement to what I actually wanted to do. My idea was that the cow would conceal its utters with its arms, and then flash you once you approached. However, my lack of time to keep trying for this mechanism to be accurate resulted in a movement I am not convinced still.

    I guess one thing I really like about my project is the general idea. I do think its a cool concept having a cow flash at you, but I believe this could be much improved. I originally though of making it a kind of cabaret cow, which I still think would make the concept have a stronger context and hence, a more direct message. Right now, since the movement is inaccurate and the cow is just a simple cow, it is difficult for anybody to see what I meant with it.

    I think that one thing that makes my project unique is the fact that I am using a simple mechanism and trying to create a story with it. Even though the mechanism does not work as I visualized it, I still believe my project could be capable of telling a story upon a direct and simple crank.

  • liztolson 8:15 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm Journal Entry 

    Baby Dino Bernard

    After presenting last week I thought more about what stereotypes are common with children and toys. Then I did some research on child nurturing. I then revamped my idea and thought about a doll for little boys to nurture. I came up with the idea of making a baby dinosaur for little boys to take care of. When you leave the dino alone for a long period of time he becomes fussy.

    I’m glad I went with making a fabric object. I am more confident in how it looks. I want to work more with the movement of the arms. The more I work with the dino, the more ideas I get for it.

    A thing that is unique about my project would be that it is meant to teach children about caring.

  • Jen Matsumoto 8:15 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm Journal 

    One thing I found surprising about making my project was creating my own gears. Until now we have been working with pre-made gears, so they all aligned very perfectly. However, when I tried to make my own, it was a challenge to get it “just right” so everything moved right together. Right now, I am using paper for my gears, but I think I would like to switch it to wood or something a little more sturdy. After a few turns, things get slightly misaligned making the motion not as smooth.

    I really like the look of my project. I think there is a character about it that formed that I didn’t intend on having.  It is not perfect and I think it adds to the overall style. I also like that after making it, I was not tired of it, but rather really interested to play with it more. I think it is just the start of many other possibilities that can be made.

    Something that is important about my project is the concept.  Although it’s not very difficult it’s a play on how things are meant to work in reality.  Clearly a bike is not supposed to be powering a lamp or light source, but this little “toy” does. Throughout the process of making, I wanted to keep in mind that it is actually something silly and not realistic, but when looking at it, it’s very enjoyable!

    Overall, this was a good challenge for me. As a novice coder, this project allowed me to challenge myself based on what we learned so far in this class, but also working with new things we never did before. I am pleased with how it came out because first of all, it works, and secondly, there are there other things that can come from this.

  • ZX 3:08 pm on March 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply  




    surprising: The one about Moiré Pattern is difficult.

    what I really like: The aesthetics. The process of making feels so good.

    what’s unique: The aesthetics.

  • ZX 2:35 pm on March 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    So I googled "Chinese paper toy"…… 

    Chairman Mao Free Paper Toy

  • naterudolph 12:11 am on March 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply  


    Just stumbled across this really neat site called Readiymate that totally applies to the stuff we’re doing here in class.

    The kits seem ridiculously overpriced in my opinion, but it’s worth checking out for inspiration.

  • ZX 5:31 am on March 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    A Reference 

    I really can’t hold myself from recommending this page:

    http://www.robives.com/mechs (Designing Paper Animation)


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