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.