Archives for the month of: May, 2013

Exhibited at Arts/tech night- May 15th, 2013




IMG_5662 IMG_5694


We mounted 4 servos in back to drive the 2 gear trains. (This video shows our servo brackets being 3d printed- most of the components in this piece were fabricated in-house by Emily)


 It took quite a bit of work to get both trains moving- in the end we had to remove a few sticky gears.  But after installing LEDs this sacrifice was hardly noticeable…IMG_5654


A little late in the game and not so pretty, but below shows the proof of concept for my midterm:  

This is the schematic:  photo-6

Polarizer 1 and 3 are at 90 degrees to each other.  A small colored polarizer (#2, the green object in the video- lime shape very unintentional..) is mobile, creating a moveable ‘window’ (see this post):


IMG_57322 continuous rotation servos control the x-y position of the ‘window’ while a 3rd servo adjusts the angle.  While I couldn’t get the angle adjustment to work, here is an example of what I was going for: 

The goal was to create a piece where changing the position of the ‘window’ (via joystick, motion tracking,etc) also causes some change in the angle, potentially dimming or blocking the light- if the viewer tries to compensate by directly adjusting the angle- the position of the window changes- and so forth- creating an elusive system.

Almost there… tonight we will (hopefully) bring it to life!photo-3

In thinking about how to animate our sculpture, I came across some nice light sculpture to share:


I am often drawn to interactive work which is erratic and overwhelming, perhaps ugly at times.  To create a more fluid piece I am finding inspiration in music such as by Steve Reich- multiple cycles, going in and out of phase with each other…

(this piece by Joby Talbot is a quite nice, also)

Our shield w/ components in place: pre-solder-photo-13

Top view- the finished product:photo-2

2 shields tested and ready to go!photo-9

Below- making custom arduino shields for our final project.  We’re up to 2 arduinos for our sculpture- each one can control 2 servos and an RGB LED strip (the LEDs are 12volt, hence 3 transistors (labeled ‘FET’)).

Shield designed in fritzing software:

Prepping fritzing output for the laser
Laser cutting pcb board covered w/ adhesive (tape will act as an etch resist).photo-11 Carefully peeling away areas to be etched..pcb One more run through the laser cutter to burn away excess adhesive- then into an acid bath:photo-7

40 minutes later, after cleaning:pcb final

Distance tracking in max, part 2: getting into it…max

The beginnings of interactivity- first attempt at distance tracking in max.  A webcam is mounted near the laptop, where we used cv.jit.mass to measure the number of pixels in a thresholded video feed- as the viewer gets closer more pixels fill the area.  This info is scaled and fed to the arduino in realtime to drive the servo.  

Gears and backplate milled and cut- assembly