Posted on March 21, 2016
Our next project had to do with e-textiles, wherein electrical components are combined with textiles like clothes, backpacks, or simply pieces of felt. I had no real inspiration for this project, so I simply wanted to try my skills as a seamstress in any way I could. So I decided to sew three LEDs into a circle of felt to see if I could make it work. The sewing was not too hard, just time consuming, but thanks to Pink Floyd’s 1973 album Dark Side of the Moon, played on vinyl of course, we were able to endure the laborious hours of felt, thread, and needles. I was successful in lighting one of the three LEDs, thanks to the fact that I sewed the other two in backwards. I am fully confident that I would be able to have a better lighting average if I tried it again, as I learned my lesson and gained valuable experience in sewing and circuits.
Posted on February 28, 2016
After a few weeks of preparation and anticipation it was finally time to start actually 3D printing. We started out by working with a program called tinkercad to build fairly simple models to 3D print. For this project we were able to make practically anything we wanted. For example, people built things ranging from rings to guitar slides. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to print, so I decided to make a fairly simple shape, of a cube with the inside cut out of it. I thought it would be fairly easy to make with tinkercad and I was right for the most part. I also made a rocket ship and a birdhouse because I wanted to. I have not printed any of these designs yet, but I hope they turn out well. Most of the designs people have printed so far have turned out pretty well. None of them have been too complex, I honestly think the birdhouse might be one of the most complex designs yet, because it is hollow on the inside and has overhanging pieces. So I am not sure how it will turn out but we will see.
Posted on February 15, 2016
For our next project, we were tasked with using the Makey Makey, an arduino board used as a computer interface. The options the Makey Makey gave us were to map the arrow keys, the spacebar, the mouse, and several other keys to different alligator clips. When the circuit was grounded, this let us use anything that conducted electricity as our keyboard. We decided that we wanted to play a game with our keyboard but we needed to decide what to make the keyboard out of. The video we watched included examples of food being used as the keyboard so we decided to make a quick trip to the cafeteria to find the parts for our keyboard. Lucky for us, they were serving club sandwiches that day. So the meat controller was born. The hardest part of making the meat controller was getting the meat/cheese to stay in place, but staples made short work of that problem. Attached are a picture of the meat controller in progress and a picture of the testing process.
Updated on February 1, 2016
Over the course of two classes, we were assigned to create a chain reaction with lego motors and a variety of building materials. The reaction was started by a scratch program that simulated a ball hitting a switch which then turned on a lego motor. Then this motor was used in any way to activate a motion sensor which triggered the next series. The use of the lego motor to trigger the next motion sensor in the series was where we were allowed to get creative. There were a variety of methods used to trigger the next motion sensor, including cars and ramps, dominoes, and various projectiles, including my partner’s and my catapult. We attached an arm to the end of our motor and used it to launch a lincoln log towards our target. The group next to us had their motion sensor in a slightly challenging location, about a foot off of the table, so we needed a way to trigger it. I had the idea to use a sort of seesaw with a bucket on one end to catch the projectile and lift up the opposite end of the seesaw to trigger the motion sensor. It was a challenge calibrating our contraption in order to successfully hit the seesaw, but we managed to successfully trigger the sensor in all three of our full runs. The coordination with the group before us was fairly simple, as we just had our motion sensor on the table and could manipulate it easily. The biggest challenge of this project was the fact that we had a bit of a communication breakdown with the group after us, which lead to us adding the seesaw device on sort of last minute.