long overdue-arduino

Our first of many(?) successes a button!

There it is. Why use an IR trip sensor you ask!? We needed a sensor to judge the proximity of a person to the focal point. After attempting to work with proximity sensors, and looking into the limitations and requirements when it comes to the code, we decided to use an IR sensor. We would use three per person, so that with each triggering, a different movie would play on the N810. Our group was five people, each with three videos. So we still had to decide how the machine would know which series of movies to play through.

One big issue we had with the IR’s, however, was their range. The goal was to have a person walk in between them, therefor triggering a movie. After making one, however, we found out that the range is closer to an inch… we had to keep brainstorming. We started testing the IR’s using reflection by instead of placing the components across from each other, they would both face the same direction. This means no movie would play until a person walked by and the light being emitted would reflect off the person, allowing the detection of the light and the triggering of a movie to play.

The project for this class had group and individual elements. Individually, each student was to make a move using TYPE-not text- using after effects. This meant that we all needed to learn the software, and then produce something beautiful. The morning class periods provided us with basic knowledge with after effects, and provided us time to work on our videos. The afternoons and majority of the class was spent working with our groups on the arduino piece. We had to pick a sensor, learn how to arrange and code it, and create an installation.

This task proved extremely difficult due the unfamiliarity most people had with sensors and arduinos. We researched a lot and made many trips to SB road to by electronics.

In the end, I have a very negative look on the class. My expectations were high, I felt a class using arduino, flash, and after effects had a lot of potential especially considering the last and only class I had taken with arduinos. Issues with the group as well as the instruction were daily, and the end result was less than impressive.

Now, this was something I could be proud of. Mahima and I wired up one successful IR sensor and had everyone duplicate it once so there were now five working IR’s, I then wired all of these up to one board and then into the arduino. I labeled the wires to try and keep organized, and we were set… so we thought.

In the end, after spending days trying to understand why these boards that were wired exactly the same as the working one refused to function. FINALLY the third full night spent on new campus, increased stress and irritability due to exhaustion and heat pushed us to go up to the terrace and work up there… Afterall-if the heat was affecting us so negatively, we wondered if that could have anything to do with the sensors.

We used aluminum to try and increase the reflection… still no luck

On the terrace- everything worked perfectly, much better than we even expected, the range was much greater.

After a great deal of pain…

Tanuja and Chandini did the visuals, the rest of us did all the wiring, coding, etc. We each had a box with a breadboard in it, some graphics, and the N810. When a person approached, he or she would pick which of the five to view and sit down in front of the sign and graphics pertaining to that theme. The viewer would watch the first video which plays while the N810 is nearest to the individual, and in moving the N810 further from the body, the sensor would trigger a different movie to play.

In the end, the sensors changed to using one sensor per person which was based on proximity. We set the range, and that was that!

As I previously mentioned, I was extremely disappointed with the class overall, and cannot believe that this is all we could produce in a five week course that meets monday-thursday. I can’t help but think smart surfaces (scroll down) was a 7 week final project and just one class out of 5, but circumstances are different.


March 21, 2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Feb 13, 2010

Woke up early this morning in attempts to continue work on the postcards I have due today and was pleasantly surprised by a text message declaring that school had been cancelled due to a “state bandh”. I showed this to emma, and neither of us had any idea of what that meant. We logged onto google to find out more. Turns out, there is a group in India that is very much against Valentines day, and thus everything is closed.

Still curious, I went to the mess to find out more. My understanding is that this groupĀ is attempting to preserve their culture and therefor strongly discourage the celebration of this Western holiday? All day I have been hearing and reading stories about (today and or in the past) busses and cars set on fire and stoned, couples threatened to be married on the spot if spotted together in public, groups barging into pubs and beating people up, etc. When I asked if I could go to the city, I was told that it might be alright as long as I remain distanced from any guys and if I see saffron, to turn around and walk the other way… I stayed in Yelahanka.

In the News

I kept reading…

“Since all these fads are against Indian culture, we will see to it that no courting couples or lovers make a mockery of our native ethos and celebrate the Valentine’s Day. We will not hesitate to ascertain their whereabouts and summon their parents for a proper treatment of such lovebirds,” Sampath added.

Meanwhile, activists of Sanskriti Bacahao Manch (Save Our Culture) another forum in Bhopal worshipped sticks with which they are planning to beat up the couples, if they are found courting.

“The youth should banish the western culture from our country on this Valentine’s Day. They can choose some other day from the whole year to express their love, but not Valentine’s Day. Despite our efforts, if the youth does not listen, then we have performed this ritual of worshipping the sticks and gathered our whole group,” noted Chandrashekhar Tiwari of Sanskriti Bacahao Manch. (ANI)

-Newstrack, India

Another article titled “Tamil Nadu-based Hindu outfit burns Valentine’s day greeting cards” reads:

Coimbatore: A Tamil Nadu-based Hindu outfit today burnt a few Valentine’s day greeting cards here, to mark its protest against celebrating the day falling on February 14, in the State.

Eight workers of Hindu Makkal Katchi including its general secretary, Arjun Sampath, brought the greeting cards near the District collectorate and burnt them.

Sampath told reporters that government should not allow Valentine’s day celebrations to be held in Hotels and Clubs and public places. Such celebrations promote Western culture in Indian minds,he added.

No class, and no more plans to go into the city today and tomorrow for my photo essay, which is extremely disappointing. I spent the day cleaning and doing work on and off. Mimansa, Shreya, and a friend went out to eat at a place called Traffic Jam. 50 rupees for us all to eat.

I have been working on after effects. First of all, learning how to use the program, and then making three ten second videos for my interactive type design class. Unfortunately, my computer does not handle the program well, and so attempting to do anything within the program or while it’s open-is extremely slow. This is also due to the glows and particles in the scenes.

At a standstill, and unable to produce anything I was pleased with for my screen printing assignment, I left the house and ventured on to Swati, Laura, and Saema’s apartment. It was beautiful…

February 15, 2010. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.