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  • Jen Matsumoto 6:37 am on May 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Power the BIke v2.0 

    In this version of “Power the Bike,” I wanted to expand on my midterm. I made a new, more sturdy version of the bike out of wood and paper. Second I adapted the app for the simple controls given to my specific contraption. The bluetooth technology allows the user to control the speed and direction of the turning bike wheel and turn on and off the light. I originally wanted to incorporate a sensor or code that allowed the light to turn on and stay on after a certain amount of spins that the wheel makes, but I was unable to get the working. Instead, I kept the manual control of the light and speed of the wheel to the user.

    From the midterm to now, I also came across news coverage of inmates in Brazil generating power for street lights by pedaling stationary bikes in jail. Maybe this “toy” idea I had can become a reality in everyone’s home. Real current events like this, showing that with the right creativity and innovation, anything can happen.

  • Jen Matsumoto 7:41 pm on April 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Jennifer’s Final Ideas! 

    photo 1
    photo 2

    photo 3

  • Jen Matsumoto 5:38 am on April 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Midterm: The Power of a Bike 


  • 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.

  • Jen Matsumoto 3:53 am on March 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Paper Automata + Arduino Micro + Battery Pack 

    This is a video for the homework from March 7.  In this assignment, we worked to have the paper automata be free from computer power by using the Arduino Micro and battery pack.

  • Jen Matsumoto 7:56 pm on March 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm Ideas 

    These are my midterm ideas. They are a little rough and I think could use more time and thinking through the concept and workings of the gears.

    1. Exercise bike for power: Approach the bike and watch as the wheels moving also power a “light” that only appears when the bike is moving. (Like weight of bureaucracy)
    2. Street Dancers: Give the street dancers “money” and watch them perform.
    3. Music Box: Approach the music box and watch the dancer spin.
    4. Sewing Machine: Approach the sewing machine and see the needle move up and down and sew on its own.
    5. Crazy Clocks: Two clocks moving forward and backward so you never know what time it is.
  • Jen Matsumoto 9:19 pm on March 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    March 07: Embedded Arduino Automata Free Writing 

    What did you find suprisingly difficult in this embedded Arduino paper automata project?
    The most difficult part to this project was definitely the building of the paper gears and mechanisms. Since we have been doing this for a couple of weeks now, I have gauged that it takes at least 2-3 hours to build the paper automata well. The cutting is especially difficult because it needs to be very precise in order for everything to fit together. You would think that cutting, folding, and gluing does not matter much, but really the craft behind this really determines the success of the project. Another challenge is figuring out clever ways to embed all of the electronics so the automata looks presentable. It’s a struggle because I wanted everything to be enclosed, but needed the capabilities to take apart and trouble shoot for later.

    For me, the coding is always a struggle because I am not familiar with it. I don’t code a lot, or have that background so it’s always a challenge to work out the bugs. Most of the time I am just happy that it works, even if it is not perfect.

    What did you find surprisingly easy?
    Although it is basically the same as the Uno, I actually thought the wiring to the mirco and running off of battery power would be complicated. I expected there to be more issues with the uploading of the code based on the problems we had in class last week, but when I did it at home it actually worked easily. This particular paper model (The Duck Pond) )was made in a way that it was easy to connect the servo to the handle. In the past, it’s taken more time to problem solve how to attach the servo, but since I have that experience from previous weeks, it is getting much more clear to figure out.

    Did you get inspired with any derivative works from doing this project?
    In doing this project I think I did start thinking a little more about how I can make these paper automatas my own. So far, I have strictly been working with what was given from the books. This week, I thought about how to hide and embed the electronics and also how these mechanisms can be used in other ways and other artistic pieces. I like the element of surprise and am wondering how using these elements can change or activate motion when viewing something like a photo on the wall or a sculpture. I was also thinking about how I would be able to use multiple gears to create multiple different movements at one time. I see room to explore the paper automata techniques to make beautiful conceptual pieces.

  • Jen Matsumoto 9:49 am on March 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

    Paper Automatas: Chickens & Train 


    The first assignment we did was from the “Amazing Paper Pets” book.  I decided to make the chickens.  After folding and completing the paper pets, the next challenge was connecting the servo.  It was easier said than done because the servo needed to be fastened and secured to the small paper handle.  It was also difficult because the chickens did not move forward and backward, but only forward, so you had to be careful to make sure the servo wasn’t turning the opposite direction.

    The coding for this was very difficult for me. I was able to get the servo to move, but the communication through the serial monitor was tricky.  I was trying to find a way to be able to input values that affected the speed and direction of the servo but nothing I tried worked. I used the “byte” function that allowed me to assign values to different key inputs.


    DSC_5418 Folded_Gear_jenmatsumoto

    The next paper model came from the “Karakuri” book. I decided to make the train.  This took some time to build since there were many little pieces, but the mechanism was very simple.  There were two gears that moved the train around in a circle.  Unfortunately at some point in my homework, One of the paper gears folded over and then caused a “bump in the road” for the train.  The fold in the gear made the train get stuck as it was coming out of the tunnel. I have to help it and give it an extra push to have it continue working.


    The difficulty in the code came when I tried to average the values.  I think it still works rather smoothly considering this particular code isn’t averaging the values but instead just changes when reading between zero to one food, one to two feet and then three to four feet.

    I wished the gears didn’t get worn out because it would have been nice to see the continuous motion of the train without having to help it along the way each time.  Overall, this was a more interesting interaction since I could play with distance to control the speed of the servo rather than just using the serial monitor.






  • Jen Matsumoto 8:50 am on March 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    About me | Jennifer Matsumoto 

    Originally born and raised in Maui, Hawaii, I most recently lived in San Diego, California before moving to New York for D+T. I graduated in 2011 with a BA in Visual Arts with an emphasis in Visual Communications from University of San Diego. I wanted to pursue a masters after graduation at an art school. I never thought I would be comfortable moving to the east coast, but it’s been a very eye-opening experience for me.

    Although I mainly focused in graphic design, in college I also enjoyed studying printmaking and photography. I love interesting patterns, colors, and working with my hands. Since I came to D+T right after college, I never had a “real job” yet, just my freelancing as a graphic designer. Coming to D+T, I had no coding experience under my belt so everything I know, I learned here.

    I’m interested in this class because I saw an opportunity to bring together my love for making physical objects with electronics. I liked the idea of seeing how the digital and the physical can meet in real space and work together to create something beautiful.  I enjoy working with the paper crafts. I also took this class because I am a very novice coder an I wanted to challenge myself in my last semester to do something that I am not so comfortable with.

    As a child I loved playing with Barbies and Legos. I didn’t have a lot of “stuff” for my Barbies, so I was always trying to make miniature things for them.  I also enjoyed Legos because for me, it was like a giant puzzle I needed to figure out. I also liked that I was able to build things on my own. These days, I always find myself playing games on my phone, but I’d rather be playing games with people in person. I consider my “play” these days making things, like jewelry. I still enjoy putting things together, but now instead of legos, it’s always things like furniture or products.   Although, when I go home, I catch myself in the toy corner with the little ones!

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