:: The Shy Turtle ::
:: The Shy Turtle ::
:: 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.
(I'm not sure yet what I'll use for the plastic neck and entrance for the body.)
For this homework assignment, I played around with buttons, speakers, and sensors. I tried using the Max-Sonar sensor but I feel that I get more accurate results from the IR sensor. I have three buttons that each play a specific melody to their own speaker. The IR sensor detects the distance of the user and adjusts the speed of the melody accordingly. If the user is very close to the sensor, the melody is played very slowly. If there is nothing in front of the sensor, the melody is runs through rapidly.
One of my ideas is to create a music box. I would place the board at the bottom of the box and run wires up to the speaker and sensor near the "ballerina." Depending on how close the user is to the sensor, the box will play different tunes.
Homework - March 31st
Physical Prototype (right): This prototype demonstrates the sequence of tides - going from low to high tide. Using PWMs the LEDs fade on slowly for "low tide," somewhat faster for "mid-tide," and very quickly three times for "high tide."
Illustrated "Final" Prototype (below): Construction includes plexi glass, fabric / paper and LEDs.
Target User Descriptions:
User 1: Terry, a thirty-one year old elementary school teacher, has been teaching second grade for the past seven years. She has eclectic tastes and likes her classroom décor to fit in with her personality. Her favorite subjects to teach are art and science. She came across the Sea Lite in a small boutique while visiting New York City. Because the Sea Lite touches on science – sea life and tidal changes – and has a unique aesthetic, it’s a must have for Terry.
User 2: Timmy, a five-year-old inquisitive youngster, loves to play outdoors and ask questions of his parents. Timmy loves fire-trucks and the ocean. For his birthday, his grandparents decided to splurge on an interesting light for Timmy’s room – the Sea Lite. Timmy loves to turn the knob and imagine he is underwater dancing with the fish, while watch the lights dance about his head.
User 3: Claire is a first year biology major at UC Santa Cruz. Her love of nature has always been a central part of her life. While visiting a small boutique with friends in San Francisco, she came across the Sea Lite. Claire is slightly homesick for her friends and family back home in San Luis Obispo. In an attempt to make her dorm room more “homey” she decided to splurge on the Sea Lite because it reminds her of visiting the beach with her dad.
- The shape of the Sea Lite in the drawings add a lot to the overall aesthetic of the light.
- Users liked the slower, tranquil fading of the LEDs – not the “high tide” blinking of the LEDs – they are somewhat obnoxious.
- The strings / dangling fabric from the Sea Light don’t add a lot to the over construct of the light. The shape of the Sea Light is far more interesting and the strings could end up being somewhat distracting.
- The paper was a nice way to defuse the lights – fabric may fade the light too much.
- It might be a good idea to have one constant LED always on (maybe a white one?)
- This an interesting idea but it would be much better if the physical Sea Lite was more of a chandelier – not portable, like something found at Spencer’s Gifts
- The physical Sea Light should be done in glass or plexi glass
PROTOTYPE 1: This prototype is an organic looking light that I hope replicates the aesthetic of the ocean. The user will turn the LEDs on and off using a switch. The passage of time in this prototype will be seen by the display of lights and the patterns they make.
The organic looking quality could be achieved by using different types of fabric in the construction of the shell. Varying the exterior of the shell will give a different effect depending on where the light is shining though.
PROTOTYPE 2: This prototype is more organic looking and could either sit on a table or be hung from the ceiling. I feel that my second prototype better fits my intentions of an organic looking light. This prototype uses a turn knob which could be better suited for the user in having control over the passage of time - turn the knob to the right and the lights go faster, turn them to the left and they slow down. I was also interested in the possibility of recording the ocean and having the waves grow louder as the lights blink faster.
This prototype looks similar to a jelly-fish. The "legs" would be made out of different colored string and ribbon. I see this prototype being built using fabric as well.
As far as the implementation is concerned, it really depends on where this piece will be placed. If hung from the ceiling, the LEDs would be contained within the capsule by something like a toilet-paper roll - they would need to be completely self contained. If placed on a desk or dresser, the LEDs would be placed under the capsule and will not need to be completely self contained. As far as the implementation is concerned, the second prototype would be easier to accomplish.
Here's my code:
Here's my video:
List and describe 2-3 things you found interesting for chapter 7-9. Or describe what a UPC code is and how it works.
I've often wondered what the weird Roman numberals are at the end of a movie during the credits, i.e. MCMLIII. Chapter 7 it explained that this is simple the year in which the picture was made. Now I know :).
I found Chapter 8 to be rather confusing. I remember discussing the powers of ten concept in the seventh grade but it definitely made more sense then. My teacher used the example of time (based on 60) and our currency (based on 100) to explain the concept. When the author started talking about cartoon hands it was definitely more difficult to grasp the concept. Chapter 9 goes into depth about explaining the UPC. The UPC (Universal Product Code) is a visual display of binary digits used to identify products. It is made up of 30 vertical black bars (and white gaps) varying in width. The black bars and white gaps vary in width and that space is represented by a series of bits. In total, the UPC has 95 bits. The bits can be grouped and read more easily - the first three numbers are the "left hand guard" followed by a series of "left side digits" (6 groups of 7), followed by the "center guard", and then the "right side digits" (again, 6 groups of 7), and finished off with the "right hand guard."
(Press pause to see each slide individually)
One of my favorite timepieces is a painting by Giacomo Balla. Balla, who was part of the Futurists Group, became preoccupied with depicting light, movement and speed in 1909. I love how the dog, human, and leash are visible (unlike some of the Cubists work) and yet full of motion and life.
(click on the image to read more about Balla)
From 1476 until 1486, Erhard Ratdolt worked closely with Bernhard Maler and Peter Loeslein to create the first totally printd book. In 1476, "Calendarium" was completed. As sceientists began to understand natural phenomena, fear and superstition were no longer such a huge part of people's lives - eclipses began to be recognized as predictable fact as opposed to black magic. This page (above), calculates the solar cycles - the two top circles were printed on heavy paper, cut out, and mounted over a larger woodcut with tape and a string. If I were presented with this piece I can't say I would understand how to use it but scientifically, I think it's briliant and graphically, I think it's beautiful.
(Information taken from Meggs' History of Graphic Design - by Philip Meggs and Alston Purvis)
"Holzer's manipulation of "almost" familiar phrases displaces the clear presence of a personal voice - the words seem impersonal, underscoring the essential emptiness of the media and the strange isolation of people from one another in this society of mass-culture cliches."
I love this piece because it uses somewhat modern technology (very modern for that time) to express an idea to the masses. I also love this piece for it's placement - I was just in Times Square last weekend and it's so interesting to see how technology has greatly altered that space.
(information and quote taken from, Art Since 1940, Strategies of Being - by Jonathan Fineberg)
The Ollo toys (upper left) intrigued me because they could be built to move (using motors or the programming technology) or similarly to legos, they could be built as static structures. The overall aethetic of the toy was also interesting to me. They had a rough, robotic look but they still seemed cute.
The Swinxs game (upper right) is "an incredible new game console that can talk, explain games, recognize players and even referee." The woman at the booth spent some time explaining the toy to me and allowed me to watch the video presentation and ask a lot of questions. This is such an interesting, fun console that I wish I had grown up with!
The Wild Planet game (upper left) is such a cute game for small children. When I first got to the booth, the woman behind the desk wouldn't let me inside to see the toys (for confidentiality reasons) but because my friend works for Wild Plant, I asked for her and was allowed in. This game uses RFID chips to allow the child to place the mouse ears over the character and recognize when an answer is correct.
I took a picture of the stuffed animals (upper right) because I like the muted colors and materials used. These animals were created using recycled materials and all natural dyes. I think I would like to create this look for my final project.
In exploring the passage of time, I created a pyramid using different colored LEDs. The pyramid grows from bottom to top with first the orange LEDs, then the green LEDs, and finally, the blue LEDs. Initially, I placed the blue LEDs on the bottom followed by the orange and then red LEDs. After testing, however, I discovered that the brightest LEDs were the blue ones. So, for a more dramatic effect, I placed them on the top. After reaching the top of the pyramid, the blue LEDs blink three times before decending down the pyramid.
The top most point of the pyramid is connected to the “1” hole on the Arduino – this keeps it lit at all times.
Because my experience with code is somewhat limited, I "faked" the speed of the lights to visually make it seem like the rows were blinking together. For example, the two orange LEDs at the bottom of the pyramid are blinking one after another but the speed at which they are blinking make them appear as if it were the same time.
Photo of Board, Arduino & Photo of Project in Enclosure:
Three weeks ago, I'd never heard of an arduino or breadboard – much less played around with them. This first project gave me some initial exposure and I enjoyed playing around with the code, breadboard, and arduino. My project is incredibly simple but I’m excited about learning more!
Name: Kirsten Halterman
Background: I grew up in a small northern California town by the name of Moss Beach. Moss Beach is located on the coast about 45 minutes south of San Francisco. I earned my BFA in Graphic Design at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Upon graduation, I worked for a biopharmaceutical company (Amgen) for about two years in South San Francisco doing production/design work. About a year into doing layout work, I grew tired of it and realized that I was growing ever increasingly more excited about the digital aspects of design. So, I decided to apply to graduate schools for my MFA – Parsons was my first choice.
Why I'm in Computation: I’m taking Computation because it’s completely foreign to me and I want to learn as much as I possibly can during the next year and a half. I’ve always been interested in childhood development and I’m becoming increasingly interested in how ubiquitous computing in toys can be used for educational purposes. I’m very excited and slightly terrified of the final project.
Favorite Childhood Toy: Favorite childhood toy: I used to love watching the Wuzzle Videos as a kid and playing with my Wuzzle in my parents’ front yard. I remember actually thinking that my Wuzzel (the purple elephant guy) used to sneak off and play with the other Wuzzles, like he did in the video, when I wasn’t looking.