Assignments Archives

September 12, 2007

Week 1 - First Lab Assignment


1. Prepare Breadboard -- Ready to Go!



2. Basic LED Circuit



4. Components in Series -- Add a third ( no enough voltage)



5. Components in Paralell


6. Generating a Variable Voltage with a Potentiometer

September 19, 2007

Week 2 - Arduino Assignment

My first time working with arduino!
This week was easier that last week. Besides the fact that everything is really well explained in the website, sometimes electricity doesn’t flow the way we want and I hope I’ll learn (need to practice more) to " debug" it better.

Starting Point:

IT´s´not easy to understand which input/output pin is got better after
a while!


End Point


And the funny thing is that was exactly between this moment ( and the repetition of it) that I had the idea for the combination locker.
Amazing! I hope this method will work for the rest of the semester.


September 24, 2007

Week 2 -Combination Locker


The idea for this assignment was to make something simple. This doesn’t mean that simple is easy. What I learn with this project is that the idea u have in your head and the end result are entire different. (no time, no experience at all, getting crazy). _Lesson number 1: practice a lot!!

Create 3 light cubes that must be in the right position to light up

Learn how to use and create your own switches.

The direction was to explore more the physical interface rather that the code itself.
Each box was a different position of the switch that only connect with the right switch place on the board. The code is only analyzing if the 3 switches are on and if yes, the led´s inside the box will light up. ( see code below)

Creating the contacts. This was the hard part of the project, for sure. The plastic boxes were very fragile and the box did have enough weight to " force" the contacts to work. Also the " base" where the user put the cubes should be #. Should be with squares holes where the user put the boxes.
When I took the pictures the system was not working so well, The box in the middle wasn’t making the contact and also the others needed a finger help to work.

A combination locker is a kind of game, always. The combination locker we have at school is a game that I would prefer not play everyday --- is a bad interface.
I know that I have to follow 3 steps to open it but I do i know that the first number or second number was ok? Each input should have a feedback, something that tells me that --yes--input number 1, correct!!
I didn’t had time to finish this part but the idea was to give some visual feedback to the user if he put one box in the right position. First, he had a clue that he was doing the right thing (putting the boxes on the board) and second, if he puts one box in the right position, he had know that at least that one was ok. The idea was to create a blink effect feedback.

Now that I look for the result of the project, one project that could use this kind of interface is a game of words for kids. Each cube has a letter and when the cubes together for a word the lights of the boxes light up.
( maybe there is something similar on the market, for sure!!)

Schematic: ( have to scan the drawing)


// declare variables:
int switchPin1 = 2; // digital input pin for switch1
int switchPin2 = 3; // digital input pin for switch2
int switchPin3 = 4; // digital input pin for switch3
int oneLedPin = 6; // digital output pin for 1 LED
int twoLedPin = 7; // digital output pin for 2 LED
int threeLedPin = 8; // digital output pin for 3 LED
int switchState1 = 0; // the state of the switch1
int switchState2 = 0; // the state of the switch2
int switchState3 = 0; // the state of the switch3

void setup() {
// defining input and outputs
pinMode(switchPin1, INPUT); // set the switch1 pin to be an input
pinMode(switchPin2, INPUT); // set the switch2 pin to be an input
pinMode(switchPin3, INPUT); // set the switch3 pin to be an input
pinMode(oneLedPin, OUTPUT); // set the 1 LED pin to be an output
pinMode(twoLedPin, OUTPUT); // set the 2 LED pin to be an output
pinMode(threeLedPin, OUTPUT); // set the 3 LED pin to be an output

void loop() {
// read_get something
// read the switch input:
switchState1 = digitalRead(switchPin1);
// is always reading the state of the switch but analizing the pin 2
switchState2 = digitalRead(switchPin2);
// is always reading the state of the switch but analizing the pin 3
switchState3 = digitalRead(switchPin3);
// is always reading the state of the switch but analizing the pin 4
// condition for all switchs
if ((switchState3 == 1) && (switchState2 == 1) && (switchState3 == 1)) {
// write_ do something
// if the 3 switch is closed:
digitalWrite(oneLedPin, HIGH); // turn on the 1 LED
digitalWrite(twoLedPin, HIGH); // turn on the 2 LED
digitalWrite(threeLedPin, HIGH); // turn on the 3 LED
else {
// if the switch is open:_ state 0
digitalWrite(oneLedPin, LOW); // turn off the 1 LED
digitalWrite(twoLedPin, LOW); // turn off the 2 LED
digitalWrite(threeLedPin, LOW); // turn off the 3 LED

Week 2 - Observation Assignment

Morning Observation:
From home to school, I decided to observe how people use technological devices in everyday life. I realized that more than a communication device/interface, the cell phone as other main purpose in modern days: replacing watches. I saw a bunch of people using it to see time in very fast movements, maybe 5 sec, the time to take it out of the pocket or bag, open it up, looking at it and closing it. There was a girl near my house that was doing that when I was passing by her that reminded me a cowboy, pulling his gun as fast as possible.
In the subway, besides cell phones (I still don’t understand quite well if there is network or not but a few people seem to have access to it or otherwise they are crazy, faking conversations) the most seen device we see people using is the MP3 player, not to say the Ipod or other brand since today all brands are normalizing their look - but people that use mp3 players, nowadays, are recognized by the white earphones. In this particular morning, I didn’t saw any physical manifestation of the input they were receiving - music - or even I saw any of them with the device in their hands. They were calm and static - maybe it’s was because they were more introspective or maybe because they were still in sleep mode. But I love when I see people feeling the groove and the rhythm of sound and dancing or singing on the subway ---in those moments I just smile and feel happier, for some reason, but it wasn’t the day.
But one thing interesting happened. From queens plaza to the 8th street station, a young guy sat near me (or maybe I sat near him..eheeh..yes that right). He was listening to music (same color earphones) and playing with a PS3. I thought, hummm, this is interesting!! He was sat, a bit curved, holding the device with both hands and he was moving his fingers and pushing buttons slowly, from time to time. I didn’t have the chance to look to the screen to see what was he playing but certainly it was not requiring a strong action. Maybe because of the game or maybe, again, it’s was very early. What was very interesting it’s was the fact that he was all the time changing his position, the way he was sitting. I don’t know how long he was on that train but he was not comfortable at all.
In this video that is not happening but at least u have an idea of the set up:

Elevator at School:
I choose this device because for me it’s a synonym of anxiety, at least for me and for a lot of students, for sure. I like the way that anxiety is express in physical acts as:

Missing pict´s:

People interacting with a huge metal box

Physical Orientation of the Person:

Interaction: ( A.User / B. Device)
A. Press button (up or down – arrow buttons)
B. Light show up
A. Looks up (moves head up)
B. Devices tell the current position
A. Wait
A. Wait
B. Devices tell the current position
A. Wait
A. Press button again
A. Wait
B. Door open -- Sound
A. Walk in
A. Press button – choose floor
A. Press second button
A. Wait
B. Delay
B. Door close -- Sound
B. Sound and visual feedback – moving upper
B. Sound and visual feedback – moving upper
B. Sound and visual feedback – moving upper
B. Sound and visual feedback – moving upper
B. Another sound – stronger
B. Door open
A. Walk out -- finally

September 26, 2007

Week 3 - Lab Assigment - Analog In

Lab exercise --analog inputs --using potenciometer:

Lab exercise --analog inputs --using FSR 1

Lab exercise --analog inputs --using FSR 2 -- creating delay btw both pair of led´s

Assignment: Luv-o-meter

I love the idea of creating a luv meter but ideas are not passing by my head in this moment so I decided to face this assignment as an exercise.
The idea I have is to create a kind of wearable - a pair of gloves - that a couple can wear. In each glove there is a heart (made of led´s) and a force sensor resistor.
When the couple grabs their hands the heart will light up!

The idea doesn’t work as a luv-meter, it’s just a physical representation of the gesture of being together.
For the purpose of this exercise and because I’m using a FSR I want to work and explore the possibilities of this kind of variable resistor. So if they grab hands stronger they will light up the led´s in a certain way.


This doesn’t mean that I want measure love with force or pressure. That is not my concept of it’s just an exercise.
Another thing that I figure it out, when exploring the possibilities of the FSR, in the breadboard, is that, this is not the right sensor to use in this particular situation.
The FSR is very sensitive and this one that I borrow from a 2-year student (thanks, eric) is big. I saw one smaller on the Sensor workshop page, maybe this work better for this purpose. But I think it will work better if it is attached to a fixed position and not a glove -- our hand is always moving around!!

" I tested force and resistance characteristic with 10ohm, 1Kohm and 100Kohm resistors. First, I put from low number of resistor (10ohm) to high number of resistor (100Kohm). If I used 10ohm, a decrease in resistance was slow and needed more force. On the contrary, If I used 100Kohm, a decrease in resistance was fast and required less force."

Let’s try this!!

1. Heart -- 10 led´s ( 5 output´s == one input for 2 led´s in series)
2. Gloves -- the idea is to use conductive thread to connect led´s, maybe later explore this feature
3. Get more control of the FSR -- how attach the sensor to the glove?

October 7, 2007

Week 4 - Lab Assigment - Analog Out/ Servo Motors

Starting to use Servo Motors. I decided to mix the previous lab with this one: having a FSR (force sensor resistor) as analog in that controls the anlog output to a LED and a servo motor.


October 8, 2007

Midterm Project / First Ideas

We started with the idea of exploring expressive interfaces. How can interfaces express better the action that they support? Why we use some many buttons in our everyday life and all of them allow us to make completely different actions? Cell phones, keyboard, microwaves, " drinks booth", fans, watches, and elevators? Why do we press a button in an elevator if what the metal box will take us up or down? Why don't we have a vertical " slide" that express the up/ down movement?

We started with questions. Started thinking about the current interfaces we deal in our everyday life and we end up in the elevator. This doesn’t mean that we are going to redesign the elevator but it put us thinking about the expressiveness of interfaces.
What i more efficient? an expressive interface that is more related to the action we pretend to happen or a simple button that executes that action faster ? Also another issue that we talked about is the question of usability/ acessibility of this kind of expressive interface ( in the case of the elevator)

Midterm Project / Final Idea

Based on the comments during class last wednesday, we decided to change a little bit our way to approach the problem of the elevator.
First, we were really concern in finding a problem in our everyday life and try to solve it. We liked the idea that came out in the class about trying to think about doing something for the time we spend waiting for the elevator and one of the first ideas that came to my mind was people doing something useful ( creating energy, for example) during that short period of time. But sometimes when we are waiting for something to came, in this case, the elevator in the school, maybe doing something that is entertaining people could be solution.

We started thinking about waiting spaces and what we could do to turn that experience in something more enjoyable. We though about waiting in the subway, waiting in a cue in the supermarket or in a concert and waiting as an unpleasant experience.

Based in this arguments, we decided to place waiting as an unpleasant experience as the problem to solve and create an interactive system/ installation for the waiting area near the elevator on the ITP floor that allows people to play with images using the feet as an interface, while waiting for the elevator.

October 10, 2007

MidTerm Project - First Prototype

We start making the footprints with cardboard. We want to test different sensors, so we decided to use force sensors and photocells for our analog in.



For output, William worked and developed a program for Motion Tracking and background removal from a web cam. We are still thinking about the kind of visual environment we want to produce.

Today we went to the actual space and tested how we can use a image projection in this space. We also thought about using a screen because we maybe have problems with the projection because the space as outside light but we were happy with the results of the tests and decided that project on the floor is the best option and result is very interesting. Some pictures:






MidTerm Project - Space Schematic


Movement Study


Movement Study in Space


October 17, 2007

Week 5 - Serial Communication

For this week I try to do a serial communication btw Arduino and Processing. Put them in love, somehow.
I'm using 2 potentiometers as an input to change the size and color of ellipses in Processing.

The idea was to create something more abstract and I like the effect on this last experience, where I was playing with alpha values and the random size of the balls.


How started
Final Version

October 29, 2007

MidTerm Project - Another step forward - Final idea

Continuing to discuss and think about the project, we decided to go back in some decisions and think more about our project, trying to give more context to the concept and problem.
In the brainstorming, Will came with the idea of blocking the image of the projector and this way we could project the image on the door of the elevator. This was a turning point in our project that allowed us to think to redefine our project.

Having the video projection placed on the elevator door itself in real-time, we decided to create a pre visualization of how crowded the elevator could potentially be. We also decided to create a hand crank that invites the viewer to move the graphical presentation of their future scenario up and down accordingly, creating a visual representation of the action of the elevator itself.

First we started by creating a cardboard prototype of the blocker. Sunghun created a system using a proximity sensor that senses when the door of the elevator opens and then, using a servo motor, makes the blocker moves down in order to block the light of the projector


I worked in the prototype of the crank. We made a small/scale model and decided to use a multi-turn potentiometer to make the crank move physically and also to make the image moves up and down. Will was working in the programming of the image analysis and also getting the data from the potentiometer.

Here some images of the first set up of the installation:



We had a lot of implementation issues that had to be resolved and in the first attempt to set up the installation we observe that:

It's was important the localization of the projector and that it had to be set up vertical. Also the video image had to be clipped because the projection area is bigger that the elevator door

Another question was where to put the crank because we didn't wanted to be in front of the image that is projected on the door of the elevator.

Setting up the installation for the first time, made us be aware of some of the problems that we were facing and also we found out that it takes time to set up everything even if in this test we didn't hang the projector in the ceiling and used a web camera .

The next step was starting to build the crank and putting the system working together and of course setting the final installation. Here is some pictures of the final set up that took us almost two days to finish:






MidTerm Project - Presentation

For more information about this project and the final result please click here:

Week 7 - DC motors lab

How to control a DC motor’s direction using an H-bridge ?

The potentiometer controls the speed of the motor and the switch controls the direction of the motor.



I didn't understand why the motor stopped after a while and when I reduced the speed of the motor with the pot - I had to turn the dc power off and on to put it working again

November 12, 2007

Final project - Idea

Mapping; Social Interactions

Create a device that enriches the experience of visiting a museum at the same time that allows social interactions by connecting visitors with similar experiences.

When visiting a museum our emotions are constantly changing. We like some artworks that we see, we don’t like others and our body responds differently according to the stimulus received/given from an artwork.
What if we could map the emotional responses of our body in relation with what we are experiencing?
Later on we can have access to that information and visualize how our emotions changed during the visit to the museum and see, for example, how our body reacted to a specific artwork that we really liked.

What if, having a device that captures our emotions and maps them, we could create a way of linking people that share similar experiences?
By being linked (visually) both visitors have something in common and that could be a good starting point for a good conversation.


A) Imagine that I am visiting New York alone and decided to go to a museum. Since I don’t know anyone in town I would like to meet people but it would be so much better if I meet people with similar interests (“taste”). So I have this device that I am wearing (like a bracelet that is offered by the museum when I buy the ticket ) that is mapping my emotion through the exhibition. When I cross with someone that is wearing the same device and our emotions/experience matches, both devices become visually connected (that is the first idea but I can think of a different way to show this connection). We become conscious that we have something in common and that could be a good starting point for a conversation. And we know that we have something in common but we don’t know what. And by talking we could discovered which artworks we liked and discuss about the experience and the exhibition itself. (The device triggers reflection on the exhibition)

B) I want to map my emotion through the exhibition but I don’t want to be connected to other people ?
The idea is that the device gives you the possibility of turning on or off the connect mode.
Imagining that the device is a bracelet, the way the bracelet closes in the wrist defines in which mode you want to go. Using snaps as switches and having two different configurations, the visitor could choose in which mode we want to be.

Museums, Galleries

Final project - Work Plan

1. Create the system for get emotional arousal from visitors
2. Think about how to link visitors with artworks ( rfid;short radio frequency; semacode)
3. Resolve the problem for store information
4. Connect that data into processing and visualize it (ICM final project)
5. Work on the connection btw users (
6. Work on the design of the device

Final Project - Museums

Today I went to Moma to see an exhibition and also to make some field study. It's was bit crowd and maybe because it was a Sunday most of the visitors were in groups: friends, family.
One of the problems that I see in this project is how to know which artwork the visitor is seeing in order to create a relation btw artwork - emotional state. My first though was in using RFID : every artwork is identified by a RFID tag and the in the device wear by the visitor there is a RFID reader. This solution has a problem: the range of RFID is to small and the visitor has to "read" the tag on which artwork.

In the visit to the museum, I noticed one interesting thing that I didn't remember before: most of the people( not all) reads the legend card that identifies every artwork. I don't know if I can interpret this as a sign that the visitor wants more information about the piece.
If in every legend card/board there is a rfid tag or an infra red that connects with the visitor devices, then the problem have a solution. I also start enjoying the idea of having the visitor manifesting his desire of being tracked by a certain artwork and not with all. The physical gesture can also be interesting in terms of interaction.

Some Photos and videos:



December 16, 2007

Final Project - Museum Talk

Museum Talk is the project I develop for my final project for Physical Computing class and Intro to Computational Media.
Here is the link for the website of the project ( not completed)

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