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.
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.
1. Stress relievers are usually pressed or squeezed so I modified my design to include such capabilities. It is now a tactile interface as opposed to being sound responsive. 2. From the feedback last week it was apparent that the doll appeared to be more of a 'voodoo' doll. So I drew inspiration from these sources and while thinking of the look and feel. 3. I felt it would be interesting if the LED's in the eyes exploded when the doll is pushed to the limit. This seemed like an unreasonable objective since it'll be difficult to change LED's once they are blown and might cause damage to the doll. 4. I felt it would be interesting if the arms and legs could be ripped off. I need to think more about this aspect. For now I think velcro and conductive fabric can make this possible. 5. I modified the design so that the neck is longer, so that it is possible to strangle the doll by hand.
What unexpected things happened when you created your design files?
In reviewing the concepts that I proposed a few days ago I felt
somewhat intimidated by the timeline presented us for submitting a
final product. Two weeks seems a bit daunting as a time limit. Further, I guess after reviewing the concepts I originally thought about, I didn't feel like they were objects I would be spectacularly interested in implementing as a part of my life. They seemed more like things that would serve primarily as good intellectual exercises rather than objects I envisioned as practical pieces for everyday living. This seems to be a recurring challenge in the brains of designers, whether it is necessary to confine one's designs to the useful rather than just the intellectually piquant.
In developing the Constellation Skirt concept it was surprisingly challenging to imagine a way in which one might embed clunky, hard technology into a soft garment. Further, what about washing? It certainly wouldn't be feasible to just dump the whole kit and kaboodle into the washing machine and call it a day. So I realized that I would need to spend some time thinking about how such a garment could be something people could actually use and abuse. I also struggled a little bit in thinking how I might conceal the technology portions that are indispensable and not able be "softened" or minimized further to the scale required by subtly used technology.
:: What unexpected things happened when you created your design files? ::
My design files were pretty well thought out last Tuesday, 14th. I knew I wanted to create a plush sea animal or creature that involved sound, buttons, movement, and a sensor. After presenting to the class, I decided to create the "Shy Turtle" who ducks into his shell when someone or something gets too close. Yury said it would be alright to focus on the technical side of my project by using a pre-made plush toy. I found a GUND stuffed turtle that I believe will work quite well for this project.
One major design hurdle will be figuring out how to connect the head to the body so that it pulls back into its body. I think I'll need to create a hard plastic neck and entrance to the body but overall, I think it will be doable. I enjoy sewing and craft making but I would really like to focus on the technical aspects of this project as they are still somewhat new and difficult for me.
When I started to sketch my ideas I realized that I will have to find ways to simplify the concept and the toy. More simple it will be- more effectively it will work. Then I started to look for the hardware solutions for it, this is actually what helped me to redefine my project.
What unexpected things happened when you created your design files?
I have almost 0 visual design experience. Literally, I have used
photoshop and illustrator a combined total of about 15 times. My eye
for design is really embarrassing, and it's something that i have been
trying to improve on since attending parsons. so this was not unexpected at all, but what WAS unexpected in this process was the final design of SOBEaR. S (which will probably end up changing again, anyway). Specifically, i knew that i wanted to have indicator lights showing the users current alcohol consumption status, but i didn't know where. while creating the 'blueprint' it dawned on me that visually it looked neat directly in the center of the bear.
when beginning the file, i had no idea what i wanted the bear to look like. but then after googling images of bears, i was able to find a bear who's posture and positioning was perfect. And it's adorable. I am now going to try to make SOBEaR look as much like this bear as possible.
Also, i was a little bit wishy-washy on this concept UNTIL i thought of the name. The moment I thought of the name, this became a PROJECT. at least in my mind, it was not legit until the name was thought of. I think perhaps, in all projects, the title might be the most important element, especially when trying to sell it (not necessarily literally, but in general).
When I started designing my puffin robot I realized that there is no innovation or real purpose to a little bird running around on the top of a table. So, I thought of something that I would be useful for me. I live in a basement apartment, with one window that gets light. So, when it is time to wake up, it could be 3 am or 3 pm and the light in the room would be the same. So, I figured it would be nice to have the sun shine in from the window and light up the room. This is where my new concept evolved from. I would like to make an alarm clock that opens the blinds so that you can wake up easier. I could not figure out how to incorporate a clock into the contraption on the blinds. And then I thought of having a plush alarm clock that you could hit in the head to snooze and hold its head to turn it off. The plush toy would be the controller for the blinds and would send out the signal to open and close them. Moving his arms up and down would allow the user to open and close the blinds manually. He would display the time through his teeth.
After creating my design files, I began to get a clear idea of the concept that I am trying to execute.
The physical form of the whole piece was first changed after doing basic sketches and realizing that I could easily make the project customizable by adding a removable faceplate for it. This inspired me to create 2 layouts, one for a faceplate and one for the main body of the project.
Laying out the controls was also very interesting. I was able to quickly figure out where things should logically go, as well as refine and change the way in which different elements would be interacted with. By thinking of the types of switches that would fit the design, I was also able to do some technical research for both physical items and costs which helped me to realize if my ideas were feasible.
Now that I have created a basic design for the product, I hope to be able to use this for some simple user testing and refine the layout, mainly of my buttons, before moving on to creating a fully realized product. I also need to test out several form factors that fit within the dimensions that I have laid out in my document and adjust them accordingly until they make sense as far as fitting the speakers in relation to the overall size of the product.