Tag Archives: arduino

Wearable Remote Control (3)

A wearable remote control.
Project developed for the Dynamic Interfaces Class, in collaboration with Apon Palanuwech and Ayodamola Okunseinde.

Though our last prototype with the wrist band worked, we wanted to make the one with the sock work. The shape seemed to fit better the function.12

We sew a foam to the sock, to prevent the plastic from collapsing like last time. We also tried to isolate the circuit as much as we could.


Even so, the results were different each time. It varied depending on wether we were using the Arduino Uno or the Fio, if it was connected to the computer through USB or Wi-Fly…


…and if we were touching or not the board. That led us to a problem discussed in the Capacitive Sensor tutorial: the board needs to be grounded. The page also explains a lot of problems we had, like the laptop acting as a sensor too when connected to the board.
After that, we gave up on the Fio/Wi-fly and decided to work with the regular Uno, for this prototype.
For the software part, we added calibration and “tap detection.” Now we finally have it controlling a video!


Wearable Remote Control (2)

A wearable remote control.
Project developed for the Dynamic Interfaces Class, in collaboration with Apon Palanuwech and Ayodamola Okunseinde.

Software Development
a) 1st Prototype

After building a relatively stable device to measure conductivity along 2 axys (see previous post), we started working on the software. Though our purpose was to build a simple remote control, we started to test with a sort of trackpad — big mistake, maybe?
For this prototype, we used processing and serial communication.
We first tried to assign an absolute position to the ball, based on the finger position on the trackpad. That proved to be impossible, because people’s charge on the pad changed a lot.
So we made the charge give the ball a direction, like in a joystick — the direction from the pad’s center is translated as a new direction to the ball.

b) 2nd Prototype
After that, we translated the processing sketch to javascript and changed the functions to control a video on the browser.

Hardware Development
a) 5th (?) Prototype

Meanwhile, we replicated the hardware circuit in a non-rigid device, to make it wearable. We sewed the conductive plastic on felt…


…and the on a sock:10

Though it looked great as a super-like thing, the plastic collapsed and became very low conductive:

Hardware Development
b) 6th Prototype

A much simpler and more stable solution was achieved when we simply put the plastic on an E.V.A. wrist band:

Wearable Remote Control (1)

A wearable remote control. Basic simple functions, like rewind, fast-forward, volume up and down, and play/pause.
The concept plays with the idea that we’re always losing our remote controls, then the best place to have them would be in our bodies.
Project developed for the Dynamic Interfaces Class, in collaboration with Apon Palanuwech and Ayodamola Okunseinde.

Hardware Development
a) 1st Prototype
The project started with a different product in mind. We wanted to build a keyboard embedded in our pants. Maybe using Engelbart’s Chorded Keyboard to reduce the number of keys needed.
We began by experimenting with conductive ink and paper.
01 02

That didn’t work out. Maybe because the ink is not that conductive, maybe because it was a complete mess.
But we also started to rethink the concept from an user’s perspective. What device would make sense as a wearable-remote? A five-finger keyboard probably wouldn’t. That’s how we got to the remote control.

b) 2nd Prototype
We started to experiment with a prototype that Ayo has previously developed. It uses aluminum foil and conductive fabric to create a sort of resistive sensor.


We made some tests using conductive fabric too, but it all seemed too unstable and low-conductive.

c) 3rd Prototype
We changed the material to conductive plastic and it worked better. This prototype uses the Arduino Capacitive Sensing Library, and the circuit is mounted pretty much like in the library’s tutorial. However, we put two wires, one in each side of the stripe. By doing so, we could measure an approximate distance from the finger to the wires.04 05

c) 4th Prototype
With the basic functionality solved, we added two more wires to get readings from the two axys (x and y). We also tried to solve some isolation and conductivity problems by using cardboard, cooper tape, conductive plastic and alligator clips.06

Next steps
Software development: serial communication, filter the data.

Wildcat Thaumatrope

Make a thaumatrope using Arduino and a DC motor.

a) I began by checking if the speed rotation was enough to make it possible:

b) Then I tested a 3-faced version. But it didn’t work.cat_00

c) I decided to test one that would animate the image, instead of just mixing it. It didn’t work out as I planned, though:

d) So I stick to the idea of mixing two images. I draw this cat in an iPad, transfer it to paper and then to the final boards.

Original post: http://makingtoys.net/2013/11/21/wildcat-thaumatrope/

Simão Says

Final video!
A Simon Says-like game, but with a knob instead of buttons. The user has to repeat the sequence of angles, pretty much like a locker.
Thanks Laura Salaberry, Renata Miwa and Alessandra Kalko!
Soundtrack: instrumental version of “Amor de Chocolate“, by Naldo.
Design process here.
Source code here.

P.S.: “Simão” is the portuguese name for Simon. The name of the toy in Brazil is actually “Genius”.

Simão Says – Process

1. Idea
A Simon Says-like game, but with a knob instead of buttons. The user has to repeat the sequence of angles, pretty much like a locker.
See this post for previous proposals: https://gabrielmfadt.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/simon-says-style-game-proposals/

2. Precedent
The idea for the game actually came from a locker. I have one at Parsons and every Friday I have to pick up my pComp stuff and open it. That’s why it was my main inspiration for the project.

3. Development
3.a. Board Prototype
First, I assembled the circuit on the breadboard, to check all components, code, timing and game dynamics.

3.b. Enclosure Prototype
After searching for a box that would fit in my project, I decided to build one myself. I began by making a cardboard prototype to check the ideal dimensions.
One problem I had so far was where to put the knob and the LEDs. My first idea was to put them both facing the user. But that could not work well if the user is above it.
By playing with the cardboard prototype I realized that I could solve the problem and stick with my previous idea. I just had to change the box angle, so it could face the user:

3.c. Box Plan
Based on the cardboard prototype, I drew the final box plan using Adobe Illustrator:

3.d. Painting
I painted the wooden sheets using a surface preparation plaster and acrylic paint:
Note: no, neither the inclination nor the color were inspired by the solder stations we have at the pComp lab!

3.e. Box Cutting
I used a laser cutter to make the box pieces and drawings. I had a non-painted backup sheet and I used it to check if everything was ok first:

3.f. Wiring
I assembled all parts in the main face first — wiring, soldering and then checking with the Arduino board. Only after that I finished assembling the box, with superglue.


4. Conclusion
The hardest part was definitely thinking about the enclosure. I had no idea from where to start. I didn’t know any material possibilities, and a I struggle with that for a long time. I didn’t know for sure if I would use a found box or build my own enclosure.
Soldering and assembling was hard as well. I’ve never done this before, so I asked a lot of friends for help. I didn’t have all the tools I needed — tape, hot glue — and, in the end, I wasn’t satisfied with the result. I may have damaged my potentiometer along the process, too. Even so, I’m glad that the final toy works.

The code was the easiest part. Though I’ve had some challenges along the way, like setting a timer instead of using delay, it wasn’t that difficult.
Understanding the circuit was also pretty easy. I think that we have a good basis of code and basic circuits in this class.

Turns out that building the enclosure wasn’t as hard as I thought. I’m glad I pushed myself into that. It led me to learn more about building physical things, as well as some practical stuff, like using the laser cutter.
Besides, that was first time I went to a physical store to search for electronic supplies. So, another surprise was that I liked it and it was very helpful. I ended up finding a red/green LED that fitted perfect in my project. Before that, I didn’t even know that it existed.

5. A Final Note
Except for the group assignments, this was the first collaborative project I’ve made at Parsons. Since there was a lot of things that I had no idea about how to do, I had to stay in the school and ask a lot of people for help:
– thanks Brendan Byrne for the enclosure tips and for giving Simão a nose!
– thanks Daniel Mastretta for the laser cutter lessons.
– thanks Ayodamola Okunseinde and Gabor for the helping with the solder.

Simon Says Style Game – Proposals

1. Ideas Based on Found Enclosures

1.a. Artist Panel Box
Based on panels found in an Art Supply Store.
LEDs are hidden under the translucent paper. User can only see their colors.IMG_4335 IMG_4334 prototype_a

1.b. Pencil Organizer
Buttons attached around the cylinder. LEDs inside, upside-down. User can only see the inner light while holding it.
IMG_4345 IMG_4346 prototype_b

1.c. Tupperware
Arduino and LEDs attached to tupperware’s lid.
IMG_4343 prototype_c

2. “Blue Sky” Ideas

2.a. Pyramidal Simon
Made out of folded cardboard. Each face has an LED and a push button.prototype_d

2.b. Locker-like Simon
Inspired by the Simon Says dynamics, but not exactly the same. LEDs turn on in an angular sequence, just like in a locker. User has to repeat the same angular sequence.

2.c. Keyboard-like Simon
Self-explanatory. Slightly different from Simon’s original dynamics, though. Multiple buttons can be triggered at the same time.

Original post: http://makingtoys.net/2013/10/18/1-ideas-based-on-found-enclosures-1-a/