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  • gracegotlost 3:12 am on November 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    simonSays Free Writing _ Tingshan Gou 

    1.What did you find difficult about building your project?

    a. Find the threshold value which defines the status of ON and OFF for photo resistor. The perfect value should be like this: the photo resistor works once I touch it but when I jump between these photo resistors it won’t accidentally trigger any resistors in between.

    b. How to make it interesting for two players. I used to make the rules like this: one player creates and the other one follows. But I found this might be boring for the first player since s/he only needs to remember a sequence. So I improved the rules like this: each player has to both follow and create at one time. This makes both of them highly participate by focusing on what each other creates and remembering former sequence. It would be more challenging and fun.

    c. Distance between each photo resistor. I tried several times to adjust the distance between each sensor, because either closer or further would decrease the experience when people play it.

    d. Improve experience. Currently there are only four photo resistors, which means when one player stands at one side and the other stands at the other side, one of them will cover LED when s/he touches the sensor. So there has to be a way to make it more convenient for people to play.

    e. How to make an enclosure. I want it to look really cool but I’m still figuring it out:(

    2.What did you find easy about building your project?

    a. The coding part is not so hard compared to the debugging process.

    b. Building circuit is easy once you have the whole view in your mind.

    3. What surprises you found while building your project?

    a. I felt really surprised and happy that people like to play the two players mode, at least they didn’t think it’s boring.

    b. I’m surprised that laser cutting is really interesting. I kept asking myself why I didn’t go there earlier.

  • Siwen Li 4:22 am on November 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    SimonSays Free Writing 

    What did you find difficult about building you project?
    Never touched coding before coming to DT, I definitely find the logics of this projects challenging—Simon says and then user react then Simon says again and go on.

    And that’s not all. Because just when I though I’d completed the coding and everything works perfectly, and tried to get the game enclosed, I got so frustrated by the new button pad I bought, which I did included in my proposal. I simply want to apply my idea of combing LEDs and button together, but the circuitry is too complex for me to comprehend. Nothing gets more depressing than a formerly perfectly working game failed after transplanting onto the new PCB.

    But thanks to Max and some online tutorials, finally everything back to functioning well.

    What did you find easy about your project?
    Laser cutting turned out easier than I thought, since it was my first using the machine. And I’d definitely love to keep cutting!

    What surprise found you while building your project?
    I think underestimating the difficulty of using the fancy button pad ended up surprised me really hard. I didn’t have enough time to figure the circuitry out and put everything together before the show day.

  • 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.



  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Soo 11:32 pm on March 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Free Writing 

    1. What did you find surprising difficult in the this Embedded Arduino Paper Automata project?
    First, the difficult and challenge in this Automata project was putting everything (paper automata, Arduino, and servo) together as an object on a board. My second project, Robot has to be move(travel) with a servo together. It was challenge to put the servo into the Robot, because the servo is heavier than the actual paper automata. Secound, my first goat project and my third project, the Weight of Bureaucracy, turn only one way. If it turns another way, the wheels broke. Therefore, I had to be very careful calculating servo number in coding because the middle number is not always 90.

    2. What did you find surprisingly easy?
    Working on coding in class was a huge help for assignments. Because I am beginner in coding, I was nervous about breaking when I test out my automates but, Arduino cook book and the class lessons made easier to make them happen.

    3. Did you get inspired with any derivative works for doing this project?
    Classmates works inspired me. Adiel’s automata works were impressed, and he pushed the book automata to new level. Also, I think these initial basic lessons and prototypes will give me stronge foundation to make something great in the future.

  • naterudolph 10:48 pm on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    FishFreedom Thesis Draft 

    A few thesis statement drafts:

    FishFreedom is a device that gives pet fish mobility.

    FishFreedom is a device that gives pet fish the ability to move their own environment.

    FishFreedom is a response to the shackled nature of a traditional aquarium, giving pet fish the ability to control the movements of their environment.

    FishFreedom is a device modeled after the “Hampster Ball” that gives fish the ability to traverse across a room.

    FishFreedom is a mobile platform that allows a pet fish to control his movements across a room.

    Using a webcam with color tracking software to provide navigation, two servo motors drive a vehicle that houses the fish tank and power supply. The webcam provides a constant feed of where the fish is located in the tank and drives the fish in the appropriate direction, giving the fish the ability to decide the direction and speed of the vehicle’s movements.


    Big finding 1: Capturing the exact angle and movements of the fish’s position in the tank really isn’t as important as having smooth motion. Just seeing it move back and forward was such a magical kind of movement, enough that I didn’t even remember that I had wanted it to be precisely accurate.
    Big finding 2: Getting the servo motors to work synchronously was much more difficult than I had assumed it would be. Through a series of several rebuilds of the car I’ve tried to realign the wheels and secure them with hot glue, but I still have had trouble getting them to match each others momentum. As far as I can tell it must be a mechanical issue, because I feed both motors the exact same code and yet one wheel always seems to be dominate and cause a turn when I try to do a straight line. Lately I’ve been trying to correct this via the code, and I think I’ve finally found a sweet spot that gives me a moderately straight line over the span of a few feet.


    AirSwimmers: (Similar in that I’m trying to mimic the movements of fish. Different because I’m using an actual fish.) For a future iteration I’d like to build in a system that could actually emulate the swaying motion of fish’s fins.

    HamsterBall: The main precedent because I went into the project wanting to make essentially the same thing only with a fish.

    Project413: A hamster ball with a hacked motor system that allows wireless control of a mobile sphere.

  • mikesusol 10:46 pm on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    WagerBall Thesis Draft 

    Thesis Sentence draft 01: This project will be a mashup of a traditional mechanical tabletop game that explores the boundaries of wagering and transactional socialization by utilizing real-time digital feedback.

    Thesis Sentence draft 02: Wagerball is a tabletop soccer penalty kick game (in the tradition of foosball) that uses various digital sensors to track, log and report gameplay status and scores.

    Thesis Paragraph draft 01: This project will use a Soccer penalty kick scenario to invite player interactions. Allowing players to “commit” to a “bet” via a third party application and using digital feedback directly related to the outcomes will create an opportunity to observe the social patterns of wagering with digital funds vs. real world cash. Will players feel compelled to bet more money at a higher frequency once they have the ability to complete a transaction online using digital currency, coins or other rewards or will they choose to use discretion as if they were playing with real money? This is a question I hope to answer after watching players interact with my project.

    List 3 “big findings” that came out of the evolution of your prototypes: 1) The mechanical elements need to be scaled properly to ensure fairness in the play experience, specifically for the goal keeper. 2) Asking the defender to change the arm positions of the goal keeper prior to the penalty kick adds an element of chance. 3) Adding a “shot clock” increases the pressure on the shooter and simulates the stress of a real penalty kick situation.

    List 3 differences between your work and that of prior art: 1) My project combines mechanical gameplay with digital sensing whereas most tabletop games encourage purely physical play. 2) My project connects chance, skill and digital wagering. 3) My project can be configured and presented as a DIY project.


    5 Questions I would Ask the Perfect Guest Critic:

    1. How could I improve the form factor of my project?

    2. Do you think I should allow the defender to move the goalies arms up and down in real time?

    3. Do you know anything about wagering and gambling laws and regulations in the United States and abroad?

    4. How could you see this being played? By what age group and in what environment?

    5. Do you like the simple retro sounds and gameplay mechanics or should I strive for more realism (e.g. chanting crowds, music)

    I would love to get feedback on the playability of my game and my exploration of wagering dynamics.

  • christopherkoelsch 10:40 pm on April 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    A Voyeuristic Journey that weaves a narrative around… 

    “A Voyeuristic Journey that weaves a narrative around the form of a house.”  The user becomes a/the voyeur  by peering inside windows of a house wrapped with allusions to an historical happening/crime.  By sequentially peering/entering the front door, the voyeur tries to catch a glimpse of its moving inhabitant all the while having her protest about being watched.  The narrative is flipped at the conclusion as the user/voyeur becomes the victim.  Which windows/path the voyeur will need to follow be indicated  by exterior lighting.

    1.  Do you feel this project takes you anywhere in terms of a narrative/how is the structure of the narrative?

    2. What is the experience you feel from this project?

    3.  Do you feel the facade is superfluous/”been done”/too indulgent?

    4. What do you feel about the interactivity’s effectiveness?

    5. **What do you think of the construction?

  • adamsabh 10:29 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply  


    Here is a link to my inspiration:

    Known Challenges/Unknown Challenges

    My midterm started with a rough patch. The pulse sensor I received wasn’t of the best caliber. I believed the problem was that the sensor was sending bad signals to the processing sketch. After discussing the problem with Yuri one evening after class I was given an extra pulse sensor to see if that was what was going wrong. The signals I was getting became stronger and the resemblance of a heart beat started to become clearer. However, it took me quite a while to troubleshoot the remaining disturbance in the signal.

    I knew that getting the clearest signal would be tough, but I didn’t think for it to be a piece of equipment that was skewing my data. My steps went from simplifying wiring, to splitting up the equipment’s wiring to separate breadboards, to replacing all pieces with backup parts, to replacement of arduino, to a complete reiteration of coding.

    My project means to be an ambient LED display reader of ones heartbeat while listening to various music genres. Although the audio…. to be continued

    Easter Egg Experiences? Came upon a jewel of information

    Not all equipment should be taken for granted. I expect the equipment to be working at the highest level when in reality I paid a minor sum for it, and in return received the quality I paid for.

  • naterudolph 10:29 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Nate Rudolph's Midterm Journal Entry 1 

    I set out to create some sort of exercise tool with the pulse sensor. I’m still waiting on an accelerometer to begin piecing the project together, but I’ve begun the code and wiring diagrams to start sketching out how it will work.

    These components will be fit inside a ball with the LEDs in a line following one axis. The goal of the object is for the user to orient the ball according to a set LED by tilting to make that LED face upward. The rate at which the LEDs change will be determined by the pulse sensor that it attached to the side of the ball.

    My original concept was to implement this into a large weighted medicine ball, but as I sketched out a storyboard, I thought it would allow for a longer and more interesting interaction by having two hand held balls that interact with each other as the user progresses through the exercise.

  • mikesusol 10:28 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Mike Susol’s Midterm Journal Entry 1 

    While developing my mid-term project (name TBD) I was met with a few challenges. The first challenge was to come up with an idea that fit within my coding skill-set and budget. Since this pause of the project is exploratory, there was a certain leap of faith on my part so I could order my electronics from Sparkfun and source materials from other vendors. My goal is to design a stuffed robot “toy” that uses feedback from an embedded pulse sensor to control embedded LEDs in the shape of a heart. The concept is that the “robot” (through a series of pulse control tests) wants to be convinced that you are human. It was difficult to configure the size of the robot without all of the parts in my possession. Working from the dimensions provided online I could reverse engineer the first prototype. Once I get all of the actual parts, I’m sure that I’ll be making modifications as needed. The choice to order my fabric from Spoonflower early was a huge help and the quality of the printed fabric was a pleasant surprise.

  • christopherkoelsch 10:28 pm on March 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    “Appointment With Death” – Journal Entry #1 

    Known challenges are the building of the physical structure itself.  I was a bit apprehensive as to the time that will have to be devoted to the wood-gluing and parts assembly itself.  I didn’t want this project to be about the physical look entirely of the building.   Concerned with the circuitry (and what I’m here to learn), I wanted to spend more time on code, wiring, etc.  Yet the physical ediface of the building is pretty cool.

    I’m also thinking about the outcome of the project.  If the user doesn’t have the stimulus needed, the project stands still.  It is possible that any user’s heart rate will not increase — and thus the “crescendo” of the project will not arrive.  Certain stimuli may have to be brought in to test the project to increase heartrate amongst users.

    I’m concerned with the code — as are most people.  I wanted to use an mp3 shield but way waylaid due to its cost (the project consists of a soundtrack — so during presentation I may just present with a soundtrack).

    However, I feel satisfied with the solidity of the idea and it fits in with my aesthetic w/ set design/goth/ ideas.  I also built the project with the mini-thesis of Charles Dickens in my mind:  running around Dickens’ head juxtaposed with a Dickensian house idea.

  • Yury Gitman 3:30 pm on April 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Myriam – What unexpected things happened when you created your design Files? 

    While creating my design file for the "hugging bear, I realized how complex my simple project was. 

    The rough idea on paper was becoming more and more concrete: I had to plan the size of the bear, the materials, what motors and how they were connected. I wanted my bear to have a conductive fabric on its belly to trigger the motors in the arms.
    But when I was thinking about all these facts, I figured out that I thought the idea of the bear was fun, but just fun. I didn't want to make it because I felt my concept wasn't strong enough and I didn't have enough time to make it as I wanted to in the short time frame we had to make this project.
    My bear needed several prototypes and user testings to have a good and human feeling of "hugg".
    Most of all, I wanted to make a project that people would actually use. And I was looking for better ways to use capacitance sensing.
    During this process, I got to a contemporary dancing performance. The two dancers danced without sound, and they used a microphone in their mouth to enhance their own sound while performing. I went to see them after the show and talked to them about other ways to play with their own sound as music.
    I am going to meet them in the next days to figured out new ways for performing with sensors in their costumes and how we can play with their theme. And see how their dancing will evolve as well with the integrated sensors.
  • Yury Gitman 3:23 pm on April 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Detailed Sketch & Unexpected Logisitcs 

    Usually I try to think about what all will be necessary to build a model or product as I sketch them out.  There have been a few changes to my Nester the Baby Lockness Monster. 

    1. The motor I hacked for this project seems a little to big and bulky.  The distance the motor travels from the hacked motor is too short in comparison to how much space it occupies. The toys fins would not travel very far assuming how large the toy would become because of this point.

    2. The mechanics of the toy are much more complicated that I had expected.  Moving 4 stuff animal appendages with one motor requires a certain amount of engineering that I am unprepared to do in a 3 week period.  Anything that I would create would suffer several issues like 1. being to fragile 2. moving parts 3. fabrication

    3. The color sensor I wanted to use [ to make my toy swim when recognizing the color blue] adds way too much complication to the toy.  Also I don't think this add very much to the toy or concept to make it a worth while endeavor.

    4. I realize that sewing the shape of this toy is going to be complicated.  Making a pattern for the toy will be very important.  I would consider a 3d SolidWorks printed file given more time.  I think the best thing here would be to fashion a clay model and then use material cut outs to make a template of the toy pattern and then cut this onto felt material for the final skin.

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