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November 30, 2009

SUCCESS!!! -Bryce Davidson

It works! After much confusion and varying degrees of discouragement, I finally figured out how to program the multi-colored LED light using the Lilypad Arduino! The tutorial on ladylada's site got me going in the right direction, but the real challenge was figuring out how to make white light and learning how to get it to flash how i wanted. I discovered quickly that the code is quite different and much more confusing. One cool site that helped make sense of it was: http://www.visibone.com/colorlab/
This helped me understand the relationship between the numbers that I was programming into each light (red, green, or blue) and how it resulted in a color change.
Here is my first success with the alligator clips:
I was happy just to get the dang thing blinking, and even happier to have figured out how to manipulate the color and the rhythm, but I knew I wouldn't be done until I had success with the conductive thread. I tried it out and after a few mishaps with threading the needle and making knots, alas, it worked!
ahhhhhhhhh. I am so satisfied right now.BlinkyThread.jpg

November 29, 2009


Here is what I have been working on for my final project. This rotating servo-controlled cd flower will be a component in a synthetic garden. I want to use lighting to maximize the reflective effect. Continuing to use touch pads for controlling functions.servo_cd_flower.jpg

Collaborative Project

Jane and I were successful in getting the touch pad control the muscle wire function of a crow moving up and down. With the constant motion of a servo sweep, this simple function was in a somewhat realistic context, behind a backdrop of paper vegetation.nopress.jpg
when no press applied


November 24, 2009

Stripping and Exterior Decoration - Bryce Davidson

Initially, I worked on visual aspects of the dance club. I helped spice up the walls of the club with decorative checkered paper, and shared ideas about what could visually be happening in the club. Through this process, I started thinking about the different movement aspects that would be fun to add. Mostly, I was thinking about the different dances that I could simulate with the assistance of the Arduino. I had the idea of using a Servo motor to make one of the action figures do "the sprinkler" on the dance floor. In the end, the motion of the motor that I programmed made more sense for the shirtless action hero on the stripper pole.

I was really happy with how it turned out. It was quite a process building the motor shield, and then learning how to make it move how I wanted it to move. The programming was definitely the biggest challenge, but learning how to interact with it was quite satisfying.

Here is the code for the Servo motor:

// Sweep


Servo myservo; // create servo object to control a servo
// a maximum of eight servo objects can be created

int pos = 0; // variable to store the servo position

void setup()
myservo.attach(9); // attaches the servo on pin 9 to the servo object

void loop()
for(pos = 0; pos < 90; pos += 1) // goes from 0 degrees to 180 degrees
{ // in steps of 1 degree
myservo.write(pos); // tell servo to go to position in variable 'pos'
delay(20); // waits 15ms for the servo to reach the position
for(pos = 180; pos>=1; pos-=1) // goes from 180 degrees to 0 degrees
myservo.write(pos); // tell servo to go to position in variable 'pos'
delay(15); // waits 15ms for the servo to reach the position

Dance Club

I had a great time working on this project. We all did our part making the assignment fun and run smoothly. After we decided to create a dance club for action figures. I searched my home for any sort of action figures/dolls and brought them to class. Robin had already made the walls of the dance club so i spent my time helping to decorate and giving roles to the action figures. After some time we noticed that it would have to be a gay club since i did not have any female action figures. I worked on subscribing roles to individual action figures, creating props and decorating. I also helped to make the taped electrical grid on the floor of our club. Nick and I worked really hard on making the spinning break-dancer. I attached a nine volt to a spinning motor and we created and decorated a box that taped over the motor. Nick drilled a hole in the head of the action figure and we attempted to glue him on the motor's spinning rod. This, however, proved to be a difficult task. Perhaps he had a headache from being upside down for so long, but he just didn't want to stay on that rod. Finally after many attempts we got him to stick. Then I found the break-dancer a "number one fan" and gave him or her (very ambiguous sex to that action figure) a sign and put tin foil on the bottom of "its" feet in order to complete the circuit and allowing the break-dancer to spin. While we were doing this the more arduino proficient part of our group had come up with an electronic dance floor, a gyrating stripper pole, and bubbling disco lights. I helped to decorate the exterior of the dance club, which was all that was left. The End.
~Tyler Williams

processing + arduino

You can find a guide to connecting the arduino and processing here.

You can benefit from the approaches that other people have taken with these introductory examples of communication between the arduino and processing here.
You can find examples here and here.


Here are some resources for exploring Processing as a medium for experimenting with dynamic images and text.

The home site has a series of tutorials.

Daniel Shiffman share his wisdom via tutorials, examples, and exercises.

... some beginning explorations:

3-5 mouse pressed key pressed

5-3 rollovers

5-5 button as switch

9-10 interactive stripe

10. implementing a timer

15.2 image sprite

17.5 Rotating Text

Explore the exhibition ,

Which work intrigues you?

How would you describe the aesthetic of this art work?

If you were experiencing this art work in a tangible, sensory way, how would you want you want it to respond or interact with you?

The Mystery Well

November 21, 2009



fritzing is "an open-source initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to take the step from physical prototyping to actual product."

download the beta version and try it out.

You can use it to document the electronics in your arduino project.

the magic combo of your .pde code file and your .fz fritizing files will provide you with sharable documentation.

try some of the projects here and consider sharing yours.

November 19, 2009

Perry Hoberman

Perry Hoberman teaches in and works with digital media at the University of Southern California School of Cinema Television. Although dedicated to teaching in recent years, Perry has created several notable, award winning, pieces in the past. These include his works System Maintenance and Bar Code Hotel. I'm particularly drawn to Hoberman's work in Bar Code Hotel. Perry's use of an everyday consumer icon, the barcode, in an interactive fashion is both creative and thought provoking.

Usually I see the digital world of the barcode affecting me. When I purchase an item, a task that typically requires the scanning of a bar code, I am personally affected because I have less money and a new product. It is interest to see the tables turned in which the scanning affects another, in-organic creature.

Much like how the scanning of a barcode affects me through my purchase of an item, the scanning of a barcode affects the inorganic programmed objects within the virtual barcode hotel world. If I purchase a movie I'll likely become lazy, staying home and watching it on my couch. If I purchase a case of beer I'll likely fall into a jolly state of inebriation.

Similarly, each barcode in barcode hotel gives a virtual representation certain characteristics. Scan one barcode and the representation may become aggressive, scan another and it may become docile. Each virtual character is influenced by the barcode, much like the modern consumer.

You can check out more of Perry's projects at www.perryhoberman.com.

Head Spinin', Crab Walkin' & More

So I was predominately involved with general construction of the night club and less with the technical Arduino programming/wiring. I helped with the conductive strips on the foam part of the floor where we could rig up some sort of simple action involving tin foil contact points on the action figure's feet/hands/etc. The "Rufio" crab walking character had a cell phone vibrating piece attached to his back, which was connected to wires that were wrapped and soldered around his hands. When he was bent into a crab walking position and placed with his knuckles on the conductive tape on the floor, he would vibrate from the motor, giving him the illusion of crab walking. I also, along with Tyler, helped to create the "head-spinning" action figure representation of Bryce. The circuit was essentially a 3.5volt (or however many volts it was) motor (the kind that had simply a small, spinning peg), a 9 volt battery, and "alligator" wires to connect it all. We concealed the system beneath a hand-crafted cardboard box. We left the circuit incomplete with two tin foil contact points exposed outside of the box. The circuit would be completed, and subsequently cause the motor to spin, when an action figure with tin foil on their feet stood on the two strips of tin foil to complete the circuit. The action figure representation of Bryce was the blonde-haired guy with the lime green glasses attached to the "elevated-head-spinning-box". To attach him to the peg of the motor, I stuck the figure into a vice, used a Dremel tool to drill a small hole into the top of his head, filled the hole with a few drops of hot glue, and placed the figure upside-down onto the motor peg. We let him dry and tested it to make sure it worked.
In addition, I also helped with the building of the physical structure of night club.

Club Dance Floor

I was predominantly involved with the creation of the LED dance floor that was at the center of the club floor. The dance floor consisted of 12 squares, each containing a LED. The LEDs were each wired to a resistor that in turn ran into one of the arduino's digital I/Os. The negative leads of the LEDs each ran into a strip that tied them all together so that they could be plugged into the arduino's ground. This helped eliminate clutter. I used the code below to light the LEDs in sequence. The code is a combination of the "knight rider" for loop presented on the arduino website and some simple coding similar to that presented in the example sketch "blink". Reflective tape was used to shape the squares to separate the flashes of light. The light was dispersed with a sheet of thin foam which was covered with a piece of glass.


int aOne = 1;
int aTwo = 2;
int aThree = 3;
int bOne = 4;
int bTwo = 5;
int bThree = 6;
int cOne = 7;
int cTwo = 8;
int cThree = 9;
int dOne = 10;
int dTwo = 11;
int dThree = 12;
// LED connected to digital pin 13

// The setup() method runs once, when the sketch starts

void setup() {
// initialize the digital pin as an output:
pinMode(aOne, OUTPUT);
pinMode(aTwo, OUTPUT);
pinMode(aThree, OUTPUT);
pinMode(bOne, OUTPUT);
pinMode(bTwo, OUTPUT);
pinMode(bThree, OUTPUT);
pinMode(cOne, OUTPUT);
pinMode(cTwo, OUTPUT);
pinMode(cThree, OUTPUT);
pinMode(dOne, OUTPUT);
pinMode(dTwo, OUTPUT);
pinMode(dThree, OUTPUT);

// the loop() method runs over and over again,
// as long as the Arduino has power

void loop()
digitalWrite(aOne, HIGH); // set the LED on
delay(100); // wait for a second
digitalWrite(aOne, LOW); // set the LED off
delay(100); // wait for a second

digitalWrite(aTwo, HIGH);
digitalWrite(aTwo, LOW);
digitalWrite(aThree, HIGH);
digitalWrite(aThree, LOW);
digitalWrite(bOne, HIGH);
digitalWrite(bOne, LOW);
digitalWrite(bTwo, HIGH);
digitalWrite(bTwo, LOW);
digitalWrite(bThree, HIGH);
digitalWrite(bThree, LOW);
digitalWrite(cOne, HIGH);
digitalWrite(cOne, LOW);
digitalWrite(cTwo, HIGH);
digitalWrite(cTwo, LOW);
digitalWrite(cThree, HIGH);
digitalWrite(cThree, LOW);
digitalWrite(dOne, HIGH);
digitalWrite(dOne, LOW);
digitalWrite(dTwo, HIGH);
digitalWrite(dTwo, LOW);
digitalWrite(dThree, HIGH);
digitalWrite(dThree, LOW);

Mystery Well - Collaborative Project (More images to come)

Mystery Well - Collaborative Project

Mystery Well - Collaborative Project

Mystery Well - Collaborative Project

Theo Jansen - Kinetic Sculptor

Nightclub Video

November 18, 2009

Club Images and Video


November 17, 2009


For this project I worked with the group on the overall construction of the club, some things such as the NEON bubble tubes, were designed for implementation of the club. The level of interactivity is limited as of yet. However the way the floor was designed and the club itself is so that modifications would be achieved without great hindrance.
The code is a modification of analog control as it uses a potentiometer that senses when a considerable amount of change in light occurs.

The code:

int sensorPin = 0; // select the input pin for the potentiometer
int ledpin = 4; // select the pin for the LED
int sensorValue = 0; // variable to store the value coming from the sensor
int ledpin1 = 5;
int ledpin2 = 6;
int ledpin3 = 7;
int ledpin5 = 8;
int ledpin6 = 9;
int ledpin7 = 10;
int ledpin4 = 11;
int Norm = 0;
int squid = 0;
int time = 0;
void setup() {
// declare the ledPin as an OUTPUT:
pinMode(ledpin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledpin1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledpin3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledpin4, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledpin5, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledpin6, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledpin6, OUTPUT);
pinMode(ledpin7, OUTPUT);
Norm = analogRead(sensorPin);
void loop() {
squid = (analogRead(sensorPin) - Norm);
if (squid * squid > 30) {
digitalWrite(ledpin4,HIGH);//speaker control
while (time < 1000) {
time = (time + 1);
time = 0;


// read the value from the sensor:


November 12, 2009

Tilt Active Sketch

Tyler Williams- For this assignment, i used the tilt sensor to create a narrative between two action figures and the audience. I strapped the tilt sensor to an action figure that i dressed like a "terrorist" from Guantanamo bay and i had a Captian America action figure standing at a station that two LED's were attached to. I was only able to make one of the LED's turn on so I attached that one to lie. When the terrorist head was dipped into water then the LED would indicate that he was lying. In this way the terrorist had no way of telling the truth and thus would be kept in Guantanamo Bay forever. I had Captian America tell the audience (which were children since they were action figures) to help him by torturing the terrorist. This way i symbolically put the audience in the awkward position of a soldier at Guantanamo bay that is taking orders to torture an individual. I also wanted the set up to feel like a commercial action figures that targets children. This is to relate how we as the United States act towards our "enemies" and how we are training our children to do the same thing with the toy bad guys that they play with.

Golan Levin (Artist Presentation) - Nick Gentle


Golan Levin is a new media artist exploring new modes of what he calls "reactive expression". Levin's academic credentials include a bachelors degree in Art and Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as well as a Masters degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab. The bottom line; he's a (very much so) tech savvy artist that enjoys the interactivity aspect of art.

"Golan Levin's artwork focuses on the design of systems for the creation, manipulation and performance of simultaneous image and sound, as part of a more general inquiry into formal languages of interactivity and of nonverbal communication in cybernetic systems. Through performances, digital artifacts, and virtual environments, often created with a variety of collaborators, Levin applies creative twists to digital technologies that highlight our relationship with machines, make visible our ways of interacting with each other, and explore the intersection of abstract communication and interactivity".

I think Wikipedia explains his line of interest in his artist work the best. He's experimented with a number of different technologies, the most notable being his "Cell Phone Symphony" where he programmed thousands of cell phone ring tones to sound at his command, simulating an orchestral experience in an auditorium setting. This is a very unique take on venturing away from the primary utilitarian purpose of a cellular phone.

Here is a link to his website. A decent portion of his projects have been in collaboration with another artist in the interactive field.


November 7, 2009

Einstein's Dreams author, Alan Lightman, @ MCAD

Einstein's Dreams Author at MCAD
World-renowned physicist and author Alan Lightman will close MCAD's fall series of lectures, films, and course projects on Space/Time with a talk on Monday, November 9 at 6:30 p.m. in Auditorium 150 and then a community forum on science, education, and creativity on Tuesday, November 10 at 10:30 in the College Center. The two events will provide final reflection on science and art by the author of the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams, a fictional account of the month Einstein worked on his theory of special relativity.

Lightman, who teaches at M.I.T., was the first professor there to hold a joint appointment in physics and humanities. He implemented communications course requirements for all M.I.T. majors in an effort to bridge the gap between "the two cultures." His essay "In the Name of Love?" was the first article about love and language published in Nature, the prestigious international science journal, and his "The First Law of Thermodynamics" was the first short story published in the physics journal Physics Today. Lightman has written over a dozen books on topics including astrophysics, art, and religion, and has lectured at more than one hundred universities nationwide.

What: An Evening with Alan Lightman
When: Monday, November 9, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Where: MCAD Auditorium 150

What: Community Forum on Science, Education, and Creativity
When: Tuesday, November 10, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
Where: MCAD College Center


November 5, 2009

scaling + arduino

autoscale here

Mehmet (Memo) Akten & United Visual Artists

For my artist presentation I explored two artists; Memo Akten and the United Visual Artists

here are a couple cool examples of Memo's Work:


Memo uses mostly C++ and Frameworks to create his art.


Another piece that caught my eye was by the United Visual Artists

They used 3D cameras and BumbleBee2 to create this Dance and light show

These artists inspire me to do similar work that use dance and technology to create visually stimulating interactive performances

Sleepy Sleepy Spiderman - Bryce Davidson

For my exploration with touch and the light sensor, I created a system for Spiderman to both sleep better at night (with no nightmares) and wake up better in the morning (without hitting the snooze 20 times)

When spidey pulls the cover over his light sensitive mattress (and over the the Arduino's light sensor) his spidey night light dims, so he can go to sleep. However, it stays just lit enough so that there is some light in the room and he doesn't have any scary dreams about Venom or the Green Goblin

Photo 54.jpg

When it's time to wake up, Spiderman pulls his covers off and his night light illuminates, waking him up immediately, so he's ready to fight crime and protect the world from evil doers.

Photo 53.jpg

Have a good day, Spidey! :)

Oron Catts & Ionat Zyrr: Tissue Culture & Art Project


PowerPoint Presentation: TissueCulture&ArtProject.ppt

November 4, 2009

Life Supporting: touch project

Interactive piece that invites the viewer to participate. The participant's touch on the (simulated skin rubber) torso causes the cool light of the heart to begin to pulse with red light and the two pigs on the lower shelf to pulse. A video of two pigs in a large outdoor pen begins to play. When the participant's touch is removed the pulsing heart returns to a constant cool light, the two pigs cease to pulse and the video stops playing.

Link to Arduino code:





Interactive Installations + Wearables & Fashion.

I "re-stumbled" on this site with links to a number of interesting projects. I've only had a chance to check out a couple of projects.


One of the links lead me to Hannah Perner-Wilson who is doing work with wearables.


An interview with Hannah link:

Hannah's websites: info on materials, techniques....workshops


Link to some other wearable/fashion projects:



November 3, 2009

scaling and shifting

Shifting and Scaling

So what happens when your sensor is giving your a range of numbers that just isn't big enough? Or what happens if your sensor is giving you a range of numbers that is too big? Well, what you need is a way to shift and scale your range of numbers.


EXAMPLE 1: Under optimal conditions, sensors usually have a large range of numbers that they can output. On the Cricket, for example, this range is 0 - 255. But say that my sensor is giving me values that range between 10 and 88. This might happen to a light sensor that is in a room that never gets completely dark (a 10 value perhaps) and never gets completely light (an 88 value perhaps). Say that I want and ouput range that is 0 - 100 (perhaps those represent the notes that I want to play on a Cricket). Here's how you do it:

  1. Please gather the following numbers (you may need to experiment by hooking up a display module to determine these numbers)
    1. __Input minimum__ (What is the lowest number your sensor is giving you?)
    2. __Input maximum__ (What is the largest number your sensor is giving you?)
    3. __Output minimum__ (What is the lowest number you want your sensor to give you?)
    4. __Output maximum__ (What is the largest number you want your sensor to give you?)
  2. Evaluate the shifting and scaling equation.
    1. Scaled_Input = (Input_Value - Input_Min) * (Output_Max - Output_Min) / (Input_Max - Input_Min) + Ouput_Min
    2. For Example 1 we would do the following ...
Scaled_Input = (Input - 10) * (100 - 0) / (88 - 10) + 0
Scaled_Input = (Input - 10) * (100 / 78)
Scaled_Input = (Input - 10) * (1.28)

So, if you want to scale a value you first need to subtract 10 and then multiply it by 1.28.


You may find this page useful for more information. It is aimed at users of Lingo (another artistic programming language), but the math and graphics are useful.

Eyebeam Studio

I presented on Eyebeam, a collaborative studio located in New York City. Eyebeam emphasizes open source and community-oriented projects, such as Windowfarms and Graffiti Research Lab. Their site: