Electronics Projects

E.T. Sculpture

Baby in the Carseat Alert (In progress)
Parents and other caretakers can sometimes forget if a sleeping baby is in the car. This can obviously have tragic results when the caretaker exits the car without the child. A pressure sensor below the baby should be able to detect when a baby is in the carseat and can alert others in the car via a sound, smart phone application, or visual display.

Joystick for documentary video editors for improved transcription workflow (2014)
Joystick for controlling a keyboard. Transcribing a video requires complicated keyboard shortcuts to play, pause, rewind, fast forward, and various other tasks used for transcription. Regular keyboard keys cannot be used because they are needed to type the transcript. I used an Arduino Leonardo to remap keyboard shortcuts onto the movements of a joystick to be used in conjunction with InqScribe, a video transcription software. I conducted user studies with professional video editors who frequently transcribe footage for work and they found the joystick very easy to learn and made transcribing more efficient.
Main Components:
Computer – Mac or PC
InqScribe
Arduino Leonardo
Thumb Joystick

Sonification of Human Movement (2013)
This was an armband for visually impaired athletes. Accelerometer detects speed and X, Y, Z coordinates of the wearer’s arm movement and outputs sound to a thin speaker based on the accelerometer data. The idea was that a coach could demonstrate to a visually impaired discus thrower the proper arm movement using sound instead of, or in addition to, touch. Project hurdles included mobility, wearability, real-time feedback, and one that we never overcame: conveying 4 types of movement information using sound from one speaker. Conductive thread proved inadequate.
Main Components:
Arm band
Arduino Teensy
Thin speaker
Accelerometer
More information: SonificationofHumanMovement

LED Cat Vest (2013)
A vest for a cat with an LED on the chest area that lights up depending on the speed of the cat’s movement. I hoped to replace the LED with a laser pointer but didn’t get that far. Tried to use conductive thread but had to use ribbon cable wire instead.
Main Components:
Leather cat vest (handsewn to elegantly house electronics in a strip on the back)
Arduino Teensy
Accelerometer
LED

Communication Necklace (2012)
Components:
Wool fabric
Electronics extracted from a speaking card

Musical E.T. (2012)
E.T. sculpture plays a note of the E.T. theme song, sequentially, and the finger lights up each time it is touched. I built a 3.5ft tall paper maché sculpture of E.T. with an LED in the finger and a hidden compartment to hold the electronics.
Main Components:
Paper Maché
Arduino Teensy
9V battery
Piezo speaker
Accelerometer

LED Winter Coat (2011)
A thick winter coat with 100 LEDs sewn in that light up when the arm is raised. Hurdles: wearability, power, rain damage, wire insulation, conductive thread and resistance. The LEDs sewn into the coat made the coat less comfortable to wear. 9V batteries added burdensome weight. I wasn’t sure what would happen if the electronics got wet from a rainy day, and some of the wires were outputting a worrisome amount of heat that singed the fabric lining. Lastly, conductive thread has unreliable connectivity and resistance raises as distance/length of thread increases.
Main Components:
Coat
LEDs
Mercury switch (to determine arm position)
9V batteries
Conductive thread

LED Jogging Pants (2011)
LEDs in the rear of the pants light up when the wearer jogs, jumps, or raises his/her legs. An unexpected outcome of these pants was that it made various leg and body movements fun as the wearer tried to determine what would make the LEDs light up. There is potential to making a game out of obscure body movements linked to technological feedback. Several people were inspired to move and dance when they put the pants on, to the delight of onlookers telling them when the LEDs lit up.
Main Components:
Pants
LEDs
2 Mercury switches
Batteries

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