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  • Oylum 5:12 pm on May 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    “Here and There: Plush Robots” 

    “Here and There: Plush Robots” is a set of two plush toys that communicate over long distances to create emotional haptic feedback. It is ideally designed for a child and a distant relative who want emotional contact with the child through a physical interface specially designed for them. The system works as follows: whenever a person hugs the toy, the second toy lights up and vibrates simultaneously. In real-time, “Here and There: Plush Robots” provides a reminder of physical presence: it does not attempt to replace a real person, but still creates an emotional connection of value to both participants. It utilizes wireless network technologies and the Internet to achieve this long-distance communication.

    Final paper

    Related posts about the design process can be reached here.

    The final presentation can be seen here.

  • Oylum 10:08 pm on May 5, 2011 Permalink | Reply  


    Here is the presentation.

  • Oylum 9:43 pm on April 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Wireless Progress 

    Finally, our plush robot and his bunny companion got rid of the wires. They can talk to each other wireless now. Actually, bunny talks to the robot.

    The second robot is on his way, when I realized that it’s another round of tedious sewing, I decided to use a sewing machine. Hopefully, it’s gonna be ready by Thursday.

    These are nice pictures with my xBee’s in action, my LED trials and additional sewing.

  • Oylum 2:30 am on April 22, 2011 Permalink | Reply  


    My nephew is a cute little NAUGHTY boy, he is by no means NASTY!

    Stupid ESL mistakes…

  • Oylum 9:38 pm on April 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  


    Here’s my look and feel prototype:

    Here’s my presentation:


  • Oylum 12:18 am on April 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Sewing, sewing… 

    I decided to work on the look and feel and started making my robot plush toy. However, without a sewing machine, it took me forever to sew it. It still does not have eyes or any signs on live on it, but it’s getting there.

    (More …)

  • Oylum 9:36 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    My Schedule 

    Monday 4/18
    Implementation working
    (Working wireless, sending 1 way signal to the internet)
    Start the paper, get prior art research laid down

    Thursday 4/21
    Look and feel prototype, close to final version

    Monday 4/25
    User testing look and feel
    Write about user testing and first prototypes

    Thursday 4/28
    User testing, iterating the look and feel
    Write the test results of the user tests

    Monday 5/2
    Making sure at least 1way communication is achieved

    Thursday 5/5
    Final test and tweaks

    Monday 5/9
    Hopefully done!

    Monday 5/13
    Paper done!

    • Lee 10:14 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Seems like an aggressive but smart schedule. Leaving a lot of time for testing which is awesome, but maybe block out some time around the 28th for iterating or creating an improved version.

    • hilalkoyuncu 10:14 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It seems like you have it all worked out but it would be nice to use different stimulations to communicate love/ attention. You might want to think about may be coming up with at least one more way to implement the same effect and user test it.
      Depending on the feedback you will be able to get on/continue on the right track.
      Good luck!

    • byelihandworks 3:00 pm on May 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      There are lots and lots of blocks in this wonderful new book. As others have reviewed, this is for those who like the heavier side of knits. I know that some of the blocks I will never make, however I can’t wait to start on others. I know that I will own every book that Nicky Epstein publishes. This is great for inspiration and reference. If you want to make something beautiful and different, elegant yet sometimes funky, this is the book. Not for the shy or beginner, although most blocks are not difficult. I would say to use the “look inside” feature and if you see what you like, there is more to come.

  • Oylum 7:47 pm on April 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Wired Look&Feel 

    This is the first look&feel prototype with wires. The bunny has an LED on the head and a vibration motor inside. On the other side, I have my plushy socks with a force resistor inside. When I hug my socks, the bunny’s head light up and it vibrates.

    As the first tester, I think it achieves to give the feeling of presence with the vibration. It feels like there’s a sign of life in there. The next step is to get this wireless. Fingers crossed!

    • Victor Kim 10:15 pm on April 14, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I know it’s just a prototype but I like the idea of one of the objects being a sock. one of the things I instantly associate with childhood attachment to your parents is their clothes and all the different aspects of it, touch, smell, etc, for example having memories playback in your mind when you smell something that is exactly like the aftershave your dad used to use or the perfume your mom used to use.

  • Oylum 4:36 pm on April 7, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Prior Art 

    I found some prior work related to over distance emotional impact or haptic outputs.
    My keywords are: Haptic feedback, telepresence toys, virtual/physical existence.
    Most of them have more science oriented approach, you can tell it even from their interfaces. Here are some examples:

    Augmented reality puts the squeeze into virtual hugs:

    Virtual hugs
    It uses Second Life to communicate. It matches your words in Second Life with emotions and convey that emotion to your partner. In the video, there are 2 characters in Second Life, hugging each other, talking, getting excited atc. The look and feel is horrible! So technical, so engineer style. Would you wanna walk around wearing this? And the guy, he’s like Clark Kent – The Engineer!

    (More …)

    • Willie 10:12 pm on September 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      What an awesome way to explain this-now I know everiytnhg!

  • Oylum 8:54 pm on April 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    New Project Idea 

    I changed my project recently, I’m not doing the cigarette box. Instead, I decided to design an interface for a child to communicate with somebody he loves over distance. It will be in the form of a plush toy.

    I have an advanced level ideation of the final design, however, I might not get all the functions working at the end of this time period. I don’t see it as a problem for now, because the minimum will be achieving the goals of the project, hopefully.

    Here are the prototypes:


    (More …)

    • Oylum 11:19 pm on April 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Feedback from class:

      1. Research more about precedents and find prior art. Beck Stern-Squid is one of them for example.

      2. For the technical part, you might consider using Arduino with ethernet shield and xBee wireless network. Digiconnect is another option but it is harder to get it working.

      3. Start working on look and feel. work on glowing head, how you want the translucent be like, how the LEDs will look like on the plushy octopus.

      4. Think about asynchronous communication. Time is an important factor to create emotional effects.

      5. Research more about pulse and vibration sensors. Prototype the feeling you want to get using these sensor.

  • Oylum 10:21 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Prototypes Triangle 

    Not that much explanatory without the previous posts huh? Anyway…

  • Oylum 9:16 pm on March 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Cigarette Box – Domain Mapping 2 

    I am still researching prior art and conceptual background. At the same time, I worked on possible actions that will be triggered by the box and the Facebook interface. I am really not sure about the implementation, I want this box to be portable and connected to internet on the go. However, I am not sure how to maintain internet connection all the time.

    I am checking out this website for prior art and precedents: http://tangible.media.mit.edu/projects.php

    (More …)

  • Oylum 9:41 pm on March 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Research and Prototypes 

    I choose the Habit Box idea, still trying to decide whether it should be expanded to habits or limited to smoking.  I created a role paper prototype to conceptualize the idea better, focusing on the smoking idea. Then, I spent some time on researching about the real action, to quit smoking, tried to understand the drives behind it and the role of society to empower it.  I realized that, all of the information on the web about quitting focuses on deciding on a day to quit smoking, like stopping it in an exact date. It is not a gradual process. You have to decide and implement at that moment, without looking back. Right now, my project is about trying to motivate people to smoke less, not to help them to quit immediately. At that point, i decided to change my direction, instead of putting the cigarettes, I thought it’s be better to put nicotine bands, gums, playful stuff  to distract  the person whenever the urge to smoke hits. However, I am still not sure of what to do, I might use the feedback from class today.

    (More …)

    • Oylum 10:10 pm on March 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      The thing i find the easiest in prototyping process:
      Prototyping is never easy to me. I think a lot before getting started on something, it just does not come out by itself. Especially, when I’m not fully confident about my project idea, i spent most of the time conceptualizing it.

      The thing i find the hardest in prototyping process:
      Look&feel prototypes are killing me as I don’t have the needed crafting skills. For this project, I actually didn’t build a look and feel prototype as I dived into the research and conceptualizing the idea. However, I made a 3D model of it in the computer.

  • Oylum 8:06 pm on March 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Ideas, ideas… 

    Ideas for the mini-thesis. The question is: Which one should I go for?

    1. Habit locker

    The idea came from one of my previuos projects this semester, the cigarette box that tries to encourage you smoke less. I decided to expand the idea to habits we want to stay away.

    Design question: Is social media powerful enough to effect personal agency? Can it be achieved through a personal physical device?

    (More …)

  • Oylum 8:21 pm on March 21, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    My poor little visualization 

    Detailed documentation will come soon.

    I used Pachube to collect data but the API killed me when I tried to pull data. I couldn’t used the EEML library they offer for Processing, there might be a problem about API version and library. Anyway, I pulled the data to a txt file and visualized that info.

    (More …)

    • makingtoys 1:26 pm on March 23, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It blows my mind how much work you did for this assignment. Your documentation here needs a little help. Consider it a first draft. Please make another pass at it.

      For example, the Pachube work you did alone is amazing. Please provide links to your nodes, or where your nodes were, and/or [well cropped] screen grabs of what it looks like. [Please edit current screen grabs.] Include a photo(s) of your “look and feel” planter prototype. Place 3 of your best (and representative) images Before the “read more” tag. Each image can have 2-4 sentences.
      Your work is amazing. Make sure it’s documented correctly, this creates great value for you. Please update this post..


  • Oylum 10:10 pm on March 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Soak ’em Up 

    With this tool, no one will dare to annoy you by buzzing your doorbell for long…or no one will ever visit you again!


    Source Code for the Receiver

    #include <NewSoftSerial.h>
    NewSoftSerial mySerial(2,3);
    doorbell basic DINGY!!
    by Rob Faludi faluudi.com
    #define VERSION "1.00a0"
    boolean dumpWater = false;
    int water = 7;
    long previousMillis = 0;
    long interval = 5000;
    int BUTTON = 5;
    int counter=0;
    void setup(){
      pinMode(water, OUTPUT);
      pinMode(BUTTON, INPUT);
    void loop(){
      //look for a capital D over the serial port and ring the bell if found
      unsigned long currentMillis = millis();
      if(currentMillis - previousMillis > interval&&dumpWater==true) {
        digitalWrite(water, LOW);
        digitalWrite(13, LOW);
          previousMillis = currentMillis;
          digitalWrite(water, HIGH);
          digitalWrite(13, HIGH);
      if (mySerial.available() > 0){
        if (mySerial.read() == 'W') {
            //ring bell briefly
            previousMillis = currentMillis;
            digitalWrite(water, HIGH);
            digitalWrite(13, HIGH);
        if (digitalRead(BUTTON) == HIGH){
         delay(10); //prevents overwhelming the serial port

    Source Code for the Sender Button

    #include <NewSoftSerial.h>
    doorbell basic BUTTON!!
    by Rob Faludi faluudi.com
    NewSoftSerial mySerial(2,3);
    #define VERSION "1.00a0"
    boolean dumpWater=false;
    int BUTTON = 5;
    int resetButton = 8;
    int bell = 7;
    void setup(){
      pinMode(BUTTON, INPUT);
      pinMode(resetButton, INPUT);
      pinMode(bell, OUTPUT);
    void loop(){
      //send a capital D over the serial port if the button is pressed
      if(digitalRead(resetButton)==HIGH && dumpWater==true){
      if (digitalRead(BUTTON) == HIGH){
           delay(10); //prevents overwhelming the serial port
      if (mySerial.available() > 0&&dumpWater==false){
        if (mySerial.read() == 'R') {
            //ring bell briefly
            //previousMillis = currentMillis;
            digitalWrite(bell, HIGH);
            //digitalWrite(13, HIGH);
            digitalWrite(bell, LOW);

    by Leif, Chris, Oylum

  • Oylum 1:22 am on February 18, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Toy Fair Impressions 

    Toy fair was amazing, I wish I could have spent all day there! It was so colorful and lively, I got lost among all those tiny plushy creatures.

    I have 3 top toys or maybe I can say categories:

    1. Laughing plush animals

    They are laughing and rolling over crazily when they see someone. They really cheer you up, you just wanna laugh with them.

    2. Owl Night lamp – Smart night lamps
    I saw 2 types of smart night lamps for children, which are designed to teach time through color output. Actually, I was so glad to see them because I had a project last semester with the same concept (even better – huh!). Anyway, I really like smart toys that have specific purposes.

    3. Science kits – Solar robots or toys that teaches science

    I am really interested in toys for educational purposes. These solar robot kind of toys are powered by wind or solar power and they are made of Lego. It has the power to teach physics to kids as well as mechanics, math even aesthetics.


  • Oylum 10:00 pm on February 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Cigarette Box 

    The idea was to make a cigarette box for a person who wants to quit smoking. It contains the cigars in it so it detects each time you open the box to get a cigarette. Ideally, it would output how many times the box is opened, when it’s last opened (how many minutes passed since), a sad character if you open it too often, a happy character if you open it seldom. And it would play different sounds for different steps. One sound for 5th time, another more harsh one for 10th, harsher for 15 and a dying sound for 20.

    However, the code that I am using to output the the number of counter messes up all other sound codes. It happens so randomly that I couldn’t fix. Also, the smiley faces appear like blinking, I can’t clear the LCD screen after each shape because I need the counter and message to stay there.

    Now how it works: There’s a light sensor inside that detects if the box is opened or not. The LCD screen outputs the number of times the box is opened with a touchy message. It beeps each time you open the box, it beeps like an alert when you hit 5, 10, 15 times. There’s a smiley face in the beginning that welcomes, it turns into a sad face whenever you open the box and it turns into a laugh face when you do not open the box for a while. Right now, it’s 20 sec.

    Soldering the LCD and getting it work

    Outputting my own message on the screen

    Getting the message but not getting the graphic in the same screen


    No! It’s not acceptable!

    Final look with flawed code

    At least I have the text and smiley in the same screen. Even if it’s ghost like sometimes.

    I was going to output a different message and sound each time the box is opened but couldn’t make it happen because the code that I’m using to output the integer into char is messing up the rest of my code 😦

    Here is the code.

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