6. For the final act: Mounting motors

Artschool is expensive: that seems to be the general agreement. If you are going to be making stuff you are going to be spending big bucks in fancy materials.

This class has taught me a completly different way, I have learnt that as important as the proper tools are, to have a clear knowledge o the result you are going for is incredibly more important than the materials you are going to be building/fabricating with. Genious actually is materialized through limitations.

As I mentioned in the enclosure post it has been inevitable to merge Pcomp final and Fabrication, and is actually that project what I'm continuing for this final delivery.

But, what is all this talk about material costs and solving problems within scarcity about?

The class before this delivery we were introduced to several pre-fab options to mount motors, connect thei shafts to the moving mechanism and even moving mechanisms themselves. All magnificent options to create incredible finalized projects but the question is: How much of a finalized project are we turning in?

I know for sure that regardless of all the work that has been put into designing, prototyping, building, playtesting and correcting, what is going to be shown is still a product in process. Which is getting to a quite decent and solid place as a project, but not a finalized project yet.

And as such it deserves to be treated with respect and be properly built, but it is not yet ready to deserve big bucks to be poured into it,

But enough talk and more show. So for the sake of this argument this motor mounting was built with nothing but humble materials and knowledge from the proper techniques learnt in class.

And that is that, a lot of technique, a little of investment, and a motor that is perfectly fixed and performs wonderfully.

The time has come for...PCOMP midterm

For my midterm I really wanted to develop my first switch which was based on the idea of switching on the Oxytocin producing reaction in our brains, after all that is what I promised all of you my trusted readers.

In this case I wanted to test the hug as a response to the need of changing a negative situation, being the negative situation either A. A Bad news feed or B. A plant in peril (being either deprived of essential nutrients or more harshly being bathed with a toxic substance)


Being this such a  time sensitive project I decided to go for the option A and using the knowledge required to develop the ICM project which had to be based in API usage and hence create an interface that would feed negative news until the observer hugged someone for 10 seconds in which case the news would turn into positive community listings. In this case the plan went like

A. Code

B. Circuit to initialize serial communication

C. Installation of circuit and code...

The development of the plan went something like this:

From the fast paced process of this project I was able to takeout HUGE lessons

  • When time constrained, it is not important to get it right, but fail frequently and faster: if there is something not working instead of pushing it, it is wiser to try a different angle and if that doesn't make it then go for a different angle using all the lessons learnt from previous mistakes. In so doing you keep shedding light from different places to the same idea making it literally multidimensional.
  • .Get your idea out there as frequent as possible: By placing Leidi out into the world I saw how people interacted with her, how much they liked to hug her -YEI!- and most importantly how they liked the idea of hugging her in exchange of good news.
  • If you do not have a team, get one: This is just a reinforced idea. I was working by myself, but without the input, positive energy and help of other people the project would've never been possible

So after seeing how people gave so much love to a make believe character and how the materiality of it was fundamental I have a lot of information to keep on working on luring people into hugging.

Note: The project I used was Autodesk's crystal ball arduino project


Not quite sure what happened here but it went something like this:

1. A very confusing intro - DanO wore a intergalactic hat, Shiffman crossed a square river, we sand kid songs...

2. An even more confusing team coupling - Random over random

3. Pizza

4. These witchery created with my teamates Grau &Nanou  by using a Photoresistor, Arduino's  AnalogRead Sketch Example, and this p5.js drawing I made some weeks ago

Robot Butterfly

This week we explored the servo motor and the piezo speaker, two components that as Danny mentioned seem to bring to life our boards. When thinking for applications for this I realized that since I had already seen the capabilities, it was as knowing a brain could think but how could that brain transmit life. So comming from the question of

How to bring my servo motor to life?

I decided to use it to recreate one of my favorite motions: the flapping of a Butterfly's wings.

By setting this challenge I realized that once the circuit is built and the sketch solved (an easy task for this) the real works starts when materializing the motion. How much does the servo should turn? Which arm to attach? and then the crafting of the object What the butterfly should be made of? How to attach it to the arm? Should the wings get pushed or pulled. And this is when the project starts consuming brain power and time.

Once I got the servo working I started prototyping the butterfly

Once I got the servo working I started prototyping the butterfly

Getting my butterfly done

Getting my butterfly done

Hence the problems that are left to solve regarding this are:

- Since I wish to mantain the material of the butterfly. Is there a better way to hold the wings and make them move other than string? Ruber? Wire?

- How to hold the structure of the butterfly firmly with the servo so that it is a sturdy structure?

- In order to give it a seamless interactivity. How could I adapt a photoresistor as a swich to control the movement of the butterfly?

Playing with a flower

The idea of the potenciometer being a way of regulating light in a more organic way made me thing of a flower, and how it regulates it self  and even moves depending on the amount of light.

So, How about a flower that gave an output of light when being moved rather than the other way around.

For this I cleaned up the potenciometer circuit

Then I went ahead and built the flower pod the flower and made the connections (and forgot to record any of this) But I did recorded the finalized product:

Doing this full product made me realize how much hazel is encountered in the process of fabrication, and made me discover a lot of different ways of tacling issues in advance and planning the final product


Quote by Chris Crawford

In the first two chapters of Cris Crawford's book "The Art of Interactive Design" he states very clearly that dance IS NOT an interactive activity, not with the music at least, if anything it is an iteraction amongst dancers.

I dance, I'm not a dancer as I failed developing a career in dance but I dance. This means two things (nothing that has to do with my body structure)

A. I can appreciate music for its rythm

B. Dance brings me closer to myself and others

C. Ok and I have slightly crooked feet but lets forget about that.

Before I break into a rant lets re-focus the attention in the previous excerpt (of what I think is a marvelous film "La cite des enfant perdus") that is a choreography, hence it is a dance, music-less but a dance. Now lets imagine it wasn't a choreography. Lets further the possibilities and imagine not only it is not a choreography what we are looking at but else one of those ladies is actually a computer responding to the human's comands (transmited in the form of taste, pressure, movement, sight and smell) and responding to them.

Bret Victor suggest imagining such insteractions as the future interactions -and consecuently uses the example of making breakfast as a great exploration enviroment to imagine said futures- ones that magnify our capabilities, that respond to what we take for intuitive tasks perhaphs...

Some thoughts as to what might lead us there:

- Experiential futures. Stuart Candy introduced me to this notion and I reckon Pcomp class will be where we get to build them.

- Further explorations of the innovations and experimentation Bret Victor suggests through his rant and in his Answers apendix to it.

- As designers/inventors/makers, a clearer understanding of the importance of LISTEN, THINK, SPEAK within interactivity. And sustaining within the premises of our work the idea of achieving an Active Direct Involvement rather than just a demonstration or display. 

- Observing. While Chris Crawford clearly evolved the argument of how much of an interaction the refrigerator swich is (from rendering it a ZERO interaction to a mild interaction) he failed at calling DANCE as a whole none interactive and just a mere participation.

Well Mr Crawford, you try to dance Kitri's variation falling into time with no mistakes towards a CD, it is impossible, even if you ever came close to being a Zakharova. What prima ballerinas achieve on stage has to do to a delicate built interaction between them and the orchestras' conductor and musicians...ballerina and orchestra rehearse many times so the musicians understand the ballerina's movements, gestures, rythm and on the day of the performance they can modulate their interpretation to what she is showcasing.

So lets dance, through our everyday routine and see how our choreography may inform future interactions.