Archive for the 11. Project Final Reports Category

Electric Staircase

Posted in 11. Project Final Reports on December 17, 2009 by lukekambic

I wanted to build a wall that would eject stairs as a person walked up it and retract them as they pass. I made a prototype with 5 steps and nothing but the essentials- a simple ejection mechanism and a couple of narrow-angle proximity sensors for each step. More and better sensors could make it more reliable. A weight sensor or a row of IR sensors pointing up out of each step would give better information about the user’s position. 

While doing initial tests with individual steps, I tried using the original code from the test bed. The motor stopped responding. I assumed a MOSFET had blown and moved to another step, and the same thing happened except the motor was stuck on instead of off. After many hours of messing with the circuitry and the code, I figured out the problem: I toasted my Arduino. The gate capacitances of the 50 amp logic level MOSFETs I used are huge and I didn’t use gate resistors (I thought the internal impedance of the Arduino outputs would be enough). Apparently the resulting current spikes killed the outputs (the nature of the test bed code made the spikes especially bad). 

Here’s the best I can do with the surviving pins while I wait for a new Arduino and some other replacement parts:

The middle step retracts slower because it uses a different motor. I’m going to replace it with a faster one. Also, the vibration when the stops hit the wall is sometimes enough to disengage a sprocket. You can see it happen in the side view in the video. The impact shoves the whole thing forward. It needs better shock absorbers.

After I get all the steps working I’m going to try to find other interesting things to do with this contraption.

The provisional code:  Arduino Sketch: <a title=”Arduino Sketch: kambic_luke_stairs” href=”; target=”_blank”>kambic_luke_stairs</a>

Here’s how I built it:  kambic_luke_final_stairs


Final Project Report (Rhino Glove)

Posted in 11. Project Final Reports with tags , , , , , , on December 16, 2009 by mehrdadgh

The goal of this project is developing a wireless glove and a software framework to manipulate a parametric model in Rhino 3D. The glove reads user’s hand movement and gestures using mounted sensors on it. Then a LilyPad Arduino gathers sensors data as input, processes them, and sends them using a XBee module wirelessly to the computer. The software framework on computer gets sent data using another XBee module, connected to the computer. Finally, the framework translate data to information for controlling the parametric model in Rhino 3D.

Link to documentation:

Link to Arduino sketch:

Link to Grasshopper definition:

Link to video:

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

HexaCrawler – Final Report

Posted in 11. Project Final Reports on December 15, 2009 by zingzhang


The HexaCrawler Hexabot is a six legged robot that is controlled via a Wii NunChuck.  The purpose of my project was to experiment and have fun with robotics.  As someone who has never done anything related to robotics, circuitry or machines (past what this class has taught me), I really wanted to find a fun way to learn first hand how these types of things work.  With that in mind, the purpose of this project is so that others that are in a similar situation as myself can go through the same educational experience and come out with a fun toy in the end.  HexaCrawler is easily reprogrammable and comes with basic, easy to understand functions so that users may customize and add to the robot.

Final Report: HexaCrawler – Final Report


Arduino Sketch:
Wii Nunchuck Documentation

Laser Cut Template:
Hexabot Template


Grumpelstiltskin- Final Project

Posted in 11. Project Final Reports on December 15, 2009 by mckuhn

A Moving Chair!

Abstract – 

Many objects in our everyday environment are inanimate, leaving little room for creative interactions and social growth. A major contributor to this lifeless world is furniture: it is present in virtually every home and building, yet provides no more than a place to relax. The objective of this project is to produce interactive furniture, seeing the potential to increase human cognition. With furniture which now has personality, people will no longer take them for granted. Users will have to consider the emotions of the furniture, rather than assuming it is specifically for their use. Besides having fun, this project would benefit people in that users will become more courteous towards others and increase awareness of their environment.

Final Report

Interactive Beer Pong Table

Posted in 11. Project Final Reports on December 15, 2009 by Rohit



Have you ever played found yourself in a long, boring game of Beer Pong wishing there was a little more excitement in the game? I know I have so I decided to try and make pong games a little more exciting in our house by making this interactive beer pong table! The general idea behind the table is to make the table respond to the state of the game, and change as the game progresses. In the example I have made here a series of tri-color LED’s in the middle of the table change colors as cups are removed. (if you don’t know how to play pong, please check this out first! ) The table’s main parts are force sensitive resistors (to sense the cups), an arduino microcontroller, and lots of tri-color LEDs.

Smart Blind

Posted in 11. Project Final Reports on December 15, 2009 by Andrew Ngan


Given I had no prior experience working with electronic development and circuits wiring, the goal for my project was to take advantage of the new learnt knowledge from class and utilize it on daily application. The idea of the Smart Blind project is to implement sensors onto an ordinary window blind, and with that create interactive movements and responses according to the surrounding environment. By having smart blind installed at home, one can secure personal in-room privacy from the outside, and improve energy saving efficiency by using natural sunlights as a source for interior lighting during the day.

How it works

The basic framework and build of the project is simple. With photo-resistors installed on both sides of a window blind, an Arduino senses the amount of light abundant in the exterior environment and the interior environment. By comparing the values returned by the photo-resistors, the processor will decide how much light to let in by controlling the angles of the blinds with a servo-motor. To improve the accuracy of the motors and the capability of the Arduino board, a motor shield was implemented as an upgrade, and is powered by a 12V battery.

Report: Full Report Link


Arduino Sketch: final