About marcela

Posts by marcela:

Lullaby

This week I wanted to experiment with light sensor and piezo. I really don’t like to sleep, so I decided to make myself a toy, which could motivate me to go to sleep earlier.

I laser cut the front of the building, so that we could see the light in the apartments.

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Then, I drilled a hole on the top, to place a light sensor inside.

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Finally, I wrote a lullaby, connected piezo and LED lights and installed everything inside.

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Fireworks

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I wanted to experiment with shapes a little bit ,so I decided to form my fireworks out of tiny triangles. That was the first time I’ve used  ‘sqrt’ and ‘rotate’.

The trick was to explode fireworks at certain points of the screen. To make it happen I combined ‘gravity’ and ySpeed.

I created different types of fireworks, which comes up randomly, after we click.

I’d really like to be able to explode them at different heights, but when I set up my gravity as ‘random’ the fireworks loose their shape.  I’m still working on that so I might update the file.

You can play with fireworks HERE

Synthesis

This Friday, our whole 1st year had an event called Synthesis. The focus for that workshop was a design challenge. We were supposed to create an experience in the browser using p5 that responds to a single interaction — the press of a button.

My partner Xiqiao Zhou and I reworked my ICM game, replacing arrows with a button.

Here’s the video of the result:

 

It was so much fun combining Arduino and p5. I saw many great ideas that were very inspiring.

Rocking horse!

I’m a horseback rider, so what I miss the most while being in NYC are horses. After taking a walk to the Central Park (just to share an apple with one) , I felt inspired to make my next pComp project.

My own goal for this week was to play around with servo and potentiometer. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I bought a Continous Rotation Servo instead of a standard one, so I’ve been struggling how to use it so that it won’t rotate 360°.

Anyway, as a kid, I always dreamed of having a rocking horse, but I never had one, so now I decided to change that !

Laser cutting it seemed to be pretty smart idea, so I drew one in Illustrator and uploaded to the machine.

Voila! Here they are!

So, the general idea of my project was to move a rocking horse using servo, controlled by potentiometer. Because of the fact that I purchased the wrong servo, I decided to use the potentiometer to turn the LED on and off.

It did’t went exactly the way I wanted, but I achieved my goal anyway. Now, I understand how a servo and a potentiometer work like! Let the game begin!

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And here’s how my project looked like:

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Making a stand

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And finally, the video:

PS. Thank you Emmanuel for holding my Servo! 😀

Constellations

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This week I continued practicing organizing my code. I had many ideas, of what I could create, but then finally decided to listen to my heart.

There’s one thing I really miss in NYC – I have never see the sky fill with stars at nigh here. I used to see it back in Poland, but unfortunately, the light pollution of the city prevents the stars from being visible. Dreaming about my lovely night, I started creating my own, p5 night sky.

Practicing arrays, loops and functions, I ended up with a nice night sky, full of my beloved stars. To add some magic, I decided to add some movement to the stars, which move in circle.

That was a good opportunity to practice ‘sin’ and ‘cos’.

Moreover, I wanted my project to be more educative, so I singled out stars, which creates constellations. Here, I added a small drawing simulating animation, which one by one, shows constellations on a sky.

I also added 2 hidden features:

mouseDragged – adds more falling stars

keyIsPressed – displays constellations’ names

Link to sketch HERE

Have fun learning!

Bloodcurdling breakage!

‘In teams of two tell a story through sound. Upload it to your blog. ‘

A week ago Ishaan and I met for the first time. During that meeting, drinking nasty salted caramel coffee, we came up with the perfect plan. Surprisingly, both of us wanted to make something spooky, so ideas were coming to us like crazy! I won’t describe anything here though, it’d me more fun if you can hear it first.

We decided to try out few options to record a sound, so we took Shotgun Microphone, Zoom audio Recorder and A Yeti USB microphone from our ITP shop. Finally, after few tests we decided that Yeti meets our requirements completely.

Saturday was so much fun!  In the afternoon, Ishaan, our two actors Selbi and Zeyn and I met in the hope to combine business with pleasure. While actors were reading the script, we started preparing our terror scene. It didn’t took long, so after couple of minutes we were ready to rock!

Of course I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t take any pictures! So, here’s how it all looked like:

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Scene number one takes place in the bedroom. Ishaan and our brave actors were getting ready to begin the game!

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Are you guys ready?

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This item made so much noise! We all loved it!

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Quick meditation before the grand finale…

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Petrifying moment of breakage have been exposed!

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Director Ishaan explains how to play the fighting scene.

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Recording from closet turned out to be a great idea!

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And, as befits the all great photographers, I haven’t been captured in any picture :(.

And now, ladies and gentlemen…. The short video of our petrifying ‘fight sceen’! BEWARE! SPOILER!

 

To sum up… We had a lot of fun and did a pretty good job! The apartment still exist, nothing was broken and none of us got bruised. Hope to do it again soon!

You can listen to our story here:

PS. Selbi, Zeyn, If you happen to read this – Thank you once again for your help! We wouldn’t be able to do that if it wasn’t for you!

Food Guard

For our third assignment, we were supposed to come up with a simple application using digital or analog input and digital output.

I really wanted to explore force sensitive resistor, so I decided to build a funny ‘Food Guard’ project.

I wanted to create a 2-layered ‘plate’ for the food. I laser cut two equal squares, then carved a circle, on which I planned to put my food.

Then, I started with a simple version of the project, which was supposed to turn the LED light off every time someone takes the apple from the plate.

Next, I decided to add an alarm, so that we could also hear that someone’s trying to steal our food.

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Also, that was a time to solder wires to my force sensitive resistor. I It wasn’t easy due to tiny and flat parts of the resistor, but luckily I’ve managed to do that.

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Finally, the assembly:

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Turned out that the hardest task was to set up the value, that would both run the alarm, and light a LED light. Also, I put few rolled and unstick pieces of electric tape on the force resistor, just to make the sensor more sensitive to a flat surface of the plate.

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MetroCard Vending Machines

From time to time, almost every New Yorker must deal with MetroCard Vending Machines. We can find them at every subway station. I decided to watch the one at Vernon Boulevard station, next to my apartment.

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First thing you notice, while approaching to the machine are color-coded sections, indicating:

Touch screen – Black,

Cash & coins section – Green,

Metro Card section – Yellow,

Credit/ATM Card Section – Blue

Change/ Receipt – Red

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I must say, this color code is easy to understand, and significantly quickens the whole transaction.  According to what Norman wrote in his book: ‘The most important principle of design is visibility. The correct parts must be visible, and they must convey the correct message’, vending machines seem to make a good impression on a future user.

To begin the usage, first thing you need to do is to touch a screen, which immediately asks you for a language of preference. After picking the language, we’re headed to the menu, where you pick the MetroCard type. Next, you pick the transaction type. If you wish to refill your MetroCard, all you need to do is to Insert your card to the ‘Yellow’ section and make the payment.

The whole process seems to be pretty easy and intuitive, unless you’re foreigner, who is in rush and wants to pay by international CreditCard. I remember that very well. Right after I came here, first thing I wanted to do is to be able to move around NYC by subway. I went through first steps, but when it came to payment, I encountered a difficulty. Turns out that when a credit card is used the machine asks you to enter your zip code for verification. Back them, my credit card account had a Polish billing address, so I was not subjected to the zip code verification requirement. It took me a while to google the whole situation and find out that instead a zip code I should type in ‘99999’. This  indicated that the card I was using was an international one, what leaded to different authorization process.

So, taking into consideration the amount of tourists who don’t own an American credit card, I’d definitely add a ‘Pay with international Credit Card’ option to the menu (without adding extra step to do that).

Another thing, I would change, is the ‘Touch to begin’ menu. Do we really need to see this welcome screen? What if we could skip it, also skipping the ‘Select your language frame’, just pressing the button with the right flag on it? Wouldn’t that be both intuitive and time saving? Could I touch it it less to get what I want?

The design displays high-contrast graphics, which definitely helps visually impaired. Braille and audio instruction are also available.

After staying next to the vending machine for a while, I could observe that usually, the whole process of refilling card does’t last more than a 2 minutes. There were few people, who were struggling with payment when using international Cards. Most of them ended up asking ticket seller for help.

I’d say that MTA Vending Machines are quite nicely designed, and pretty intuitive example of public interactive technology. I am sure that after few updates they could became even easier to use.

Dots – my first game

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I came up with this funny idea of a game. The goal is to get to the other side of the road without touching any other dot. Each touch increase our size, making it even more difficult to pass.

Here’s how it looks like when you succeed:

Moreover, if we’re feeling strong enough we can make the game harder by adding more ellipses to the game. To be able to do it we must click and drag the mouse through the canvas.

but… this is a total hardcore. Free drinks to anyone, who’s gonna pass it!

This game is my introduction to Object Oriented Programming . I really wanted to learn it. And although I’m still very confused with this topic , with a great guidance of Moon, I was able to program this game in more professional way . I still need to practice this. It’s still very fresh for me. I didn’t let myself to add more options, even though I had 12345 crazy ideas of how to improve it!

I will do it next time, as a reward for myself that I can use arrays and feel comfortable with Object Oriented Programming.

I can’t wait for that moment. I’m so excited!

If you wanna play the game, here’s the….

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Good luck!

Her Long Black Hair

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That was the first time I experienced a Sound walk. I’ve chosen a ‘Her Long Black Hair’ by Janet Cardiff, because Central Park is the place I love the most in NYC. I usually go there alone, running or just enjoying the nature. I was pretty curious how it would be to disconnect from the reality, and enter someone else’s story, which takes place in the exact same path I was supposed to follow.

This assignment turned out to be a great experience! Hearing peaceful voice of a woman I followed her instructions, listened to her footsteps and sounds around her. Sometimes I was confused if what I just heard was happening now, or is if it was just are recording. It wasn’t difficult to become a part of her story. I fell in love with binaural recording. I could hear everything from different directions – that was amazing!

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A lot of things happened during this walk. I saw people lying on the ground, I even saw a freshly married Asian couple, which mentioned in the audio. That was way too real!

I loved this multi-sensorial experience. I would recommend it to anyone. The moments, where the story meets with the reality and made me feel very confused. Wait ! Was it supposed to be like this or was it just a coincidence?!