Author Archive

soft drink · for two

Posted in 10. Build the Hardest Part, 11. Project Final Reports, 9. Project Proposals on December 15, 2009 by ellenwu

For long distant couples who suffer imbalanced conversation due to separation, soft drink · for two is a conversation display that encourages human-human interaction, unlike previous sound visualizers, which focus on individual pattern and human-computer interaction. Soft drink · for two engages couples to build a rich conversation together.

download detailed documentation: Soft drink for two_final report


shy rabbit

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

the shy rabbit has 3 states:
1. approach and avoid:
the IR sensor detects certain distance range. if someone invades the rabbit’s territory, the servo motor rotates at a random angle while the turning direction is based on current position, resulting in an ignore behavior.
2. kiss and blush:
the photo sensor detects certain threshold. if someone kisses the rabbit on the cheek, namely, covers the photo sensor, the LEDs start pulsing like a blush.
3. touch and nervous:
the tilt sensor acts as a switch. if someone touch the rabbit by bending its ear, the DC motor starts rotating like a shivering tail.

the states are basically independent, although my intention was to make it behave differently according to proximity.

materials include tilt sensor, photo sensor, IR sensor, DC motor, servo motor, LEDs, resisters, TIP 120, batteries… i did this intentionally to practice most of what we’ve covered in class.

jumpers are annoying :(

rabbit circuit

Arduino Sketch: Wu_shy rabbit

Dribbling Robot

Posted in 6 Form & Motion on October 18, 2009 by ellenwu

I made a dribbling robot that dribbles faster as a defender approaches. An IR sensor is used to detect the distance of a defender. The signal then determines the speed of a DC motor. Rotary motion of the motor is converted to a rather linear one inspired by a clockwork sping squirrel tail that i saw at shadyside varieties. A similar mechanism called quick return can be found on fly pig.

The circuit and code are very simple in this case, but it took me a long time to tweak the material, shape and position to make the whole thing functions smoothly. I used basswood and sponge tape to attach to the motor because they provide more friction while i used my chicago CTA transit card and acrylic rod to make the quick return unit because they allow rapid spinning, and at the same time, are strong enough to stand the centrifugal force.

Motor was a pain. I tried one gear motor (9V) which ran too slowly, one fan motor (12V) which i had a hard time connecting all the batteries, and one regular motor (3V) which i went with. Whichever took me a long time to test, and i almost burned my arduino once… i was to use a styrofoam ball or pingpong ball, but they are both too heavy for my tiny parts, so i ended up just drew a flat basketball.

Finally, i illustrated my circuit. hopefully it’s more clear than the photos!





Arduino Sketch: Wu_dribbling robot

human power amusepark ride

Posted in Brainstorming on October 18, 2009 by ellenwu

mti idea

our team (Rechal, Mark, Ellen) focused on a shared experience that could be achieved by co-controlling or alternative input. the former led to the idea of a bumper car in which the rider can only control the direction, while another person, riding a bike outside, will control the speed. the later, as shown in the iamge, is presented by a scream controlled pirate boat. how high the boat will go on one side depends on how badly the riders on the other side screamed. you could imagine as they get more scared, the boat goes higher!

Posted in 5. Treasure Hunt on October 2, 2009 by ellenwu

bend sensor – $2

stretch sensor – $12.95

electroluminescent wire – $0.85 per foot

alcohol sensor – $10.23

micro solenoid – $15.08

linear actuator – $66.99

optic fiber cable – $0.5 per meter

tiny potentiometer – $0.68

conductive fabric – $4.95 per foot

thermochromic paint – $44.99

Nitionl memory wire – $5.25

silver conductive paint – $5.49

Neodymium magnets – $4.99

copper tape – $1.75

rollerball tilt switch – $0.95

Tellurex Super Peltier Junction – $11.3 (3 for $33.95)

Xmas Tree… whistling one

Posted in 4. Analog Input-Output on September 25, 2009 by ellenwu

i realized in class that i did 4-3 wrong. here is the new version: i adjusted the increasement of maximum brightness for green led as well as lower the output value for red led in order to make the two colors compatible. i like how the red and green “mix” into orange. :)

Arduino Sketch: Wu_4-3-3

Xmas Tree

Posted in 4. Analog Input-Output on September 24, 2009 by ellenwu


i tried two versions for 4-3: one is to recognize 0 to 1 transition of the switch and respond with certain amount of pusling brightness increasement, and the other is to recognize the 1 state of the switch, thus the LED will keep becoming brighter as long as the switch is being pressed. i ended up going with the second version because i had trouble resetting the first one, and the outcomes of both versions aren’t perceivably different.

Arduino Sketch: Wu_4-1
Arduino Sketch: Wu_4-2
Arduino Sketch: Wu_4-3-2
Arduino Sketch: Wu_4-4