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Tangented 2.0!

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Our most recent realization of our interactive sound sculpture incorporates aesthetic additions to the object itself (namely the white "canvas" paint job) as well as improved software design and an immersive 6-channel speaker array.


Jamie/Sara project follow-up and update

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So, this is more of an update than wrap-up for the collaborative project because Jamie and I are continuing to work on it. Attached is a wiring diagram, simplified. It shows one switch controlled by a pull-down resistor (there will be 6 switches in real life) and one relay wiring diagram (there will be 4 relays). Pins 2-5 and 10 are reserved for the Waveshield which after 4 weeks, 4 SD memory cards, 2 computer science tutors, one graduate student mentor, and one ex-boyfriend's help is finally working, PRAISE PERSEVERANCE.
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I'll have to upload the code for the lights tomorrow as it only exists on the Macbook I use in class, but it's a pretty simple setup. The analog pins read the input from the switches and determine HIGH or LOW. When arduino detects HIGH input, it uses the digital write function to send 5V to the normally open relay, allowing the relay to turn on the lightbulb via wall current. The main framework for this code comes from LadyAda's tutorial #5.

For the audio, I will be modifying the following code (also from LadyAda) to play our tracks.

Play the wave file all the way through once, but allow other buttons to interrupt .pde

After I have merged those two foundation codes for the switches, relays and audio, I will write a portion for the master switch which will control all the other switches. Since we noticed the trend to want to press multiple buttons at once during our first presentation, we've also decided to add another funtion that will make the light and audio "short out" or play some kind of error message when more than one button is pressed.

So we still have plenty of work to do, but things are continuing to progress. I am nervous about whether or not only having one 5V output on the arduino will interfere with the only triggering one relay at a time, but we'll see. And I hope that Jamie and I get time to practice our performance too. More pics and video to come soon.

Textile Sensors

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An important aspect of this urban game test was to experiment with the tactile quality of pressure sensors. We modified an tutorial to create four sensors from neoprene, conductive fabric, fusible interfacing, and thin foam with a small hole cut in the center. While piezo sensors would have been technically suitable, the homemade sensors felt more durable and 'poundable,' which I believe allows for a more active game.

Bus Shelter Game: Video and Code

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Our original goal for a bus shelter-based game involved interaction between bus and shelter, and/or interaction between two or more shelters. We decided to prototype that communication with radio frequency (RF) technology, experimenting with a few different options. We also felt it was important to get some prototype elements built that would allow us to test different programs for games or interaction, different switch styles, as well as various ways of using LEDs to light a wall or shelter-sized space.

Over the course of the last few weeks, we've been acquiring and assembling a couple of RF possibilities: the JeeNode (an alternative to the Arduino, with built-in RF) and the RF Link. This journey continues, but we were able to get a game prototype up and running for the presentation last week, and it was extremely helpful to get people playing it and get feedback about everything from the program to the switch design to considerations about putting it in an actual bus shelter.

The program linked below is a whack-a-mole inspired game, using four LEDs and four switches. Things to try next, besides getting the RF elements up and running, include experimenting with different games or other interactive programs, the spacing of switches to make it more collaborative, and different sensor techniques (for example, light sensors rather than pressure sensors).

(Note: We stuck some links and info from the RF research on the blog here.)




Arduino code

Tangented thoughts...

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Teroy and I were thrilled by how our interactive sound sculpture prototype turned out. And thanks everyone for your feedback and initiative to test it! Teroy thought the way the piece engendered continued and deeper levels of interaction over time was a significant element. I also loved that the speakers projected the resonant sounds of the sculpture's inside, effectively placing the participants within it.

Feel free to download our Max patch: Tangented.maxpat

Jamie/Sarah Progress Report

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Sarah and I have several elements of this ambitious project completed, including: the construction of the Wave Shield controller, the soldering of individual relays for each respective lightbulb, and the designing and construction of the "ROBOTCONTROL" shown above.
We are encountering problems in establishing communication between the Arduino and the Wave Shield. Having successfully uploaded our 5 audio tracks to the SD card incorporated into the Wave Shield, we are now unable to get the Arduino sketch to communicate with the microcontroller and thus are unable to get the audio tracks to play.

As of today, Sarah and I are going re-think our end product, compromising the original idea by incorporating audio tracks that are independent of the rest of the lightbulb-relay system. Basically we'll have to ask someone to act as the narrator, and speak the audio commands aloud when prompted by the particular lightbulb.

Collaborative Idea

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Bradley and I are working on a project similar in concept to his E-light prototype. Our goal is to used video to animate an object with a certain kind of behavior that will react to being approached. Our desired scenario is to have something that appears to exist, or have some living quality, beyond its being interacted with, and that its change in behavior will evoke a sense of disturbance or interruption of its existence.
The idea is to set up an interactive experience where the interaction feels like an interruption of a process or system, rather than a completion or catalyst of those things.


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Our project is meant to be used by one person at a time, but experienced and appreciated by many others simultaneously.

Who doesn't love dancing like a fool? Unfortunately, such joy is not often experienced during daylight, while sober, and in the judging eyes of your close friends. Our project is meant to embrace the silliness of late-night raves and put it on the pedestal. While wearing our box-helmet apparatus, the user will experience an overwhelming light show that syncs with a mesmerizing dance beat. The experience will draw a fine line between mesmerizing and obnoxious, and if the user does not suffer an epileptic shock, they will likely be drawn into the fantastic light show and explore the interactive features of the helmet while stumbling across the designated dance rug. Tilting the helmet (side to side, front to back) will alter the light effects and adjust filters on the music. So the more you bob your head, the more you get out of the party. The user will be encouraged to move around with the helmet, sing along, dance, head bang, etc., while the rest of the class looks on, laughing, pretending they don't deeply desire to wear the party helmet.