Author Archive

Ergomatic Chair: Final Project Report

Posted in 11. Project Final Reports, Uncategorized on December 14, 2009 by Aaron Chenault


My final report can be found here:



Final Project Progress

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2009 by Aaron Chenault

Here’s some of the things that I’ve been working on.  The image of the chair back and seat are quick renders of surfaces that I created in rhino.  I am going to CNC mill these surfaces into MDF to create a more comfortable chair.  Also posted is my rough circuit diagram.  One IR sensor will detect approaching people.  When this reads high, it will turn on an LED, which signals the person to extend his/her arm.  The second IR sensor will read the height of the person’s outstretched hand, and will turn the motor on to adjust the height of the chair accordingly.  The phototsensor will read when the person sits in the chair, and will turn off all of the IR sensors so that the chair doesn’t freak out while someone is sitting in it.

Here’s my code:

Final Project Proposal

Posted in 9. Project Proposals on November 3, 2009 by Aaron Chenault

Assignment 8

Posted in 8. Finite State Machines on October 29, 2009 by Aaron Chenault

I based this assignment off of my idea for assignment 6.  The person starts off “asleep,” or lying down.  When the photoresistor detects an increase of light, the person “wakes up,” sitting up.  The person can wake up in two different states, however.  If the photoresistor detects a lot of light, the person wakes up angry, and his eyes are red.  If the photoresistor detects more moderate amounts of light, the person wakes up happy, and his eyes are green.   The program resets itself automatically after 5 seconds.

The construction is simple enough.  You’ll need:


19 Gauge Wire



3 LEDs (Green, Red, White)

Servo Motor


Jumper wires, various resistors


 Just attach a short (2″-3″) piece of wire to the servo, and embed the servo into a wall of foamcore.  Cut out a chipboard person, including holes for the eyes, and hot glue it to the wire.  I found that by adding a second wall of foamcore closer to the chipboard person, I could ensure that the LEDs would only shine through the chipboard person’s eyes, and would not create a “halo” around the chipboard person’s head.

Here’s my code:

HW 7 – Mechanical Bobble-head

Posted in 7. A Mechanical Automaton on October 15, 2009 by Aaron Chenault


My original idea was to try to reproduce the motion of the human neck, but what I wound up with more closely resembles a bobble-head, I think.  I used a quick return to create the forward/backward motion, and a modified rack and pinion to achieve the lateral motion (modified because the rack is actually a semicircle fixed on a pivot.  This causes the arm to arc from side to side rather than sliding from side to side).

Interactive Amusement Park Brainstorm

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2009 by Aaron Chenault

P1020035Our groups idea was a monorail car that would be powered by kids playing inside.  The ceiling would have plates suspended from springs with monkey bars attached to the bottom (see worms-eye perspective).  As kids climbed on the monkey bars, they would pull the plates down with  their body weight.  The monorail would harness this energy to power itself.  Also, protective suits for the kids would capture additional energy from the children’s movements.

Don’t Wake Me Up!!!!

Posted in 6 Form & Motion on October 8, 2009 by Aaron Chenault

So basically my idea is a mother waking up her son.  There is a servo motor with an arm connected to the “blanket” (trace paper and wire).  When the “mother” comes and pulls the blanket back to wake up her son, a switch is closed, triggering the servo to pull the blanket back onto the boy.  There are three red LEDs in the window simulating the sunrise, powerered by a 9v battery.



Here’s how to build the contraption:



And here’s my Arduino sketch: