Author Archive


Posted in 11. Project Final Reports on December 14, 2009 by Paul Shen

Final Report

The following are supplements to the report.

Tasty source code:
Imprint controller
BlinkM Library

Have a good break everyone,


Imprint Final Project Proposal

Posted in 9. Project Proposals on November 3, 2009 by Paul Shen

Proposal [PDF]

Sketch [JPG]

Wiichuck Finite State Machine

Posted in 8. Finite State Machines, Uncategorized on October 29, 2009 by Paul Shen

For this project, I decided to play with the nunchuck that comes with the Wii. The Wiichuck uses the I2C protocol, which is a common method of transmitting information. The Wiichuck provides many inputs with a built-in 3-axis accelerometer, 2-axis joystick, and two buttons.

I found the following site, which provided instructions on how to connect the nunchuck to the Arduino. I bought the connector shown on the site. The site also provides a small library for communicating with the Wiichuck.

This machine has 4 states:

  1. The LEDs are controlled by the orientation of the Wiichuck using the accelerometer. The brightness of the red LED is controlled by the position on the x-axis and the brightness of the green LED is controlled by the position on the y-axis.
  2. The LEDs are controlled by the position of the joystick on the Wiichuck. The brightness of the red LED is controlled by the x-position while the brightness of the green LED is controlled by the y-position.
  3. The LEDs are off. This state transitions only to state 1.
  4. The LEDs are off. This state transitions only to state 2.

[FSM diagram to come]

Arduino Sketch: FSM_WiichuckWithLED


Wire Toys

Posted in 7. A Mechanical Automaton on October 17, 2009 by Paul Shen

For the mechanical automaton, I bought some 20 gauge aluminum wire to make the parts, somewhat inspired by the ones shown in class (Arthur Ganson’s machines). I really like the fragile yet intimate feel of the machines.

As someone who works in code, this was more or less a failed experiment because I realized how hard it was to create gears using wire that work with each other. It was fine creating each part by itself but the alignment is very hard to achieve by just bending the wires. Nonetheless, I have a collection of parts that do interact and transform mechanical movement. I also spent a little time trying to create parts out of foam core.

I don’t have access to a camera right now but once I do, I’ll upload pictures of the little gadgets I created.

Shadow Crawler – Transistor with External Power Source

Posted in 6 Form & Motion on October 8, 2009 by Paul Shen

A bug that only crawls when in the shadows.

I used a photo resistor as input and a combination of a TIP-120 transistor, diode, and 9V battery to power the motor.

Arduino Sketch: photo_transistor


Treasure Hunt

Posted in 5. Treasure Hunt on October 5, 2009 by Paul Shen

My Google spreadsheet with links and prices

Analog LED with potentiometer

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

For assignment 4, I used a potentiometer to control the strength of the green LED while using a digital switch to increase the strength of the red LED.

Potentiometers, or pots, provide variable resistance based on the rotation of the dial. Potentiometers usually have three spots to connect wires. From left to right, the first goes to power, second goes to analog pin, the last goes to ground. The amount of voltage to the analog pin depends on the rotation of the dial, from 0 to 5V.


Arduino Sketch: mti_analog_led
Code also has segment for blinking color mixer