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  • normanorma 3:54 pm on May 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Final – Bluetooth + iOS – Lion Dance 




    Lion Dance:

    I built this model several times using different weights of paper. At the end I had to tape the parts where it touches and trigger the gears, and then add a piece of foam to make the surface larger.


    Using the SimpleControl for MAC code, I used a bluetooth shield to talk to my MAC so it could control the Servo and LED  wirelessly.

  • normanorma 7:30 pm on April 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Final Prototype – 

    Teruteru Bōzu – Sunshine Monk –


    Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 3.37.02 PM

    Wireless Toys for Cats –

    Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 3.42.17 PM

    You’ve Got Mail! –

    Screen Shot 2013-04-25 at 3.51.39 PM


    Lion – “You’ve got an order!” 


  • 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.

  • normanorma 7:29 pm on March 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Midterm Sketch-up! 


    The following post will compile six sketch of possible projects to work on in our Wireless Toys class. From our instruction Yury’s guidelines: based on the environment, the automata should illicit an emotional response from a user/spectator. This should be an explicit emotion such as: joy,curiosity, compassion, wonderment, hate, love, inspiration.

     1. Crystal Caven 
    My first concept is inspired by Studio Ghibli, where Sophie moves into the depth of Plato’s Cave. There are glistering treasures and objects on the walls of the cave. As the camera moves along with the character, the objects shines and reflects lights to create such a magical spectrum. This sketch is meant to present a sense of wonderment. Through the creation of original object and design based on crystals, perhaps the color of the lights could be inflicted by the user, to give them a sense of wonder.



    My Sketch:  Crystal Lights Fixture – Colors changes based on interaction


     2. Dearly Deer 

    Much like the first idea, this is a deer character that would glister in lights when you approach it. I imagine this to be built out of plexiglass to have a transparent effect. It would also be inspired to be a potential light or furniture piece for my living room.


     3. Jellyfish/Jellycats

    I designed these characters during Bootcamp as a processing game. The objective of this game is to catch Jellycats with a red net. I imagine these to be mobile characters that could move around, but if you get too close, they get scared (they are quite shy), so they would move a feet away. There could be more then one at the same time. Imagine this being a cat toy!



    4. Flying Pig

    I imagine this design to be hung up on a hanging mobile that have a fixed track in order to create movement.



    5. Drawing Robot

    This is a drawing tool robot that would draw or scribble. The robot have wheels so it may move around the table.


    6. Luring Turtles/ or an Animal

    Using a carrot, or a lure, with a magnetic pull, once the animal detects this sensor, it would move faster. The food is a lure to motivate their movement to work faster!


  • normanorma 9:17 pm on March 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Free Writing 

    What I found surprising about the Embedded Arduino Paper Automata project is how these paper mechanism could work to make movements. From my own experience, the Paper Automata requires assembly for at least three and more hours. And if you want to modify it, it is really important to think about the concept and what we could use to create that movement. Together, it tells a story as a whole piece. Different illustrations may tell different stories, but the mechanical work is what makes it alive. The mechanical adjustments includes the speed, the direction, the interaction, and so on. All these simple gestures and movements is what makes the project so good or poorly put together.

    Also, when assembling together, it is good to take some time to create the base of the structure and how to hide the wirings. It is so nicely put together when all the wires are hidden (unless that’s the point to have it shown for specific purposes).

    What I found surprising easy was how the SAME mechanism could be changed and adjusted in order to tell a different story. Being a movie to pcom, I am excited to make the slightest thing working. I look forward to work on these skills to improve, so I could make better projects in the future.

    Upon approaching these weekly projects, I am inspired by how beautiful paper could be. There are many artwork and design piece that are made from these papers but it could be just so delicate and beautiful.




    For my project, I decided to make a flying rabbit. The illustrations in this book was not as attractive to me. The mechanism are however more complicated comparing to the Japanese books. The instructions were in black and white, and sometimes I would have to guess which part goes towards which. The flying rabbit works much like my previous project with the shy bear. The rabbit would move faster and slower through the range finder.

  • normanorma 8:25 pm on March 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Charlie the Cat and Sad Bear – Servo & Range Finder 




    The following post complies two weeks of my homework, Charlie the Cat and Sad Bear.

    The cat accelerates faster and slower.



    The rangefinder detects the range to influence the movement of the bear. The closer you are, the more still the bear is because he is frightened. When you are further, the bear starts to move faster. Somehow the construction of the bear makes him look really sad because he is always covering his face.


    Sad Bear - Servo + Range Finder




  • normanorma 2:42 am on March 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Norma Chan – Bio 

    What is your academic and professional background?

    University of Toronto jointly with Sheridan College 2008 – 2011
    Hon. B.A. Art & Art History Specialist, CCIT Major (Communication Cultures Information Technology)

    Pior coming to Parsons, I have been working on an online store on Etsy, plumule.etsy.com.

    What motivated you to take this class?

    I only have pcom experience through Bootcamp, and CCLab. I would like to take this course as an opportunity to learn this technical skills to be implemented with my continuous practice in Art & Design.

    What is your favorite childhood toy?

    I cannot recall my favorite childhood toys, except using pencils and coloring tools to draw my pet and best friend Gigi the pomeranian.

    What is your favorite thing to play with these days?

    My favorite thing to play with these days are lego, especially Toy Story collection. I am still missing a few sets, but one day I would like to display my favorite toy collections in my future home. I also collect Stitch dolls and toys (from Lilo and Stitch).


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