Archives for the month of: April, 2013

The strange shaped gears jam up- to get them to moving we’ll space them farther apart and attach to other (hidden) gears:

a1 a2 a3

Below- it is possible to make functional, organically shaped gears:

Final project- mechanical sculpture: Cherise, Kaleigh, and I are teaming up with Emily from the digital fabrication lab to create an interactive piece which will involve layers of glowing, semi-transparent gears, perhaps etched with an image or other features (see  The gears will align to reveal or destroy the image, and/or change color- in response a viewer’s distance, movement, etc.  Below is our first attempt- odd shaped gears created in Gearotic software, laser cut out of 1/4″ acrylic.


Laser cutter in action:

Thus far: they move well in the software, not so in real life…

dont do this

Bad idea: connecting audio rate data to the random number object.

Above- in class lab 4/4/13- using the arduino to control max and vise versa.  Our group made a simple synth with pitch controlled by a potentiometer, modulated by a random number- where the degree of randomness is scaled by the amplitude from the computer mic.

Below is the arduino part (stolen from Bryan):

const int sensorPin = 0; //sensor analog pin
int val = 0; //variable to store sensor data

void setup() {



void loop() {

val = analogRead(sensorPin); //assign sensor values to variable

val = map(val, 0, 1020, 0, 254); //map value to be a 1-byte integer

Serial.println(” “); //seperate each reading with a space


My attempts with matlab last summer resulted mostly in self doubt.  Playing around with max/msp has been refreshing.. I can actually make (some) stuff.

Class notes 3/28/12


So it’s been a while, but we’re back on track for the midterm project.  Some bearings, pulleys and belts are scheduled to be delivered this Friday.  While I wait, the fun part- collage night!  photo-4