Physical Computing

October 17, 2009, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Labs, Projects, Tech | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Compose:Me is designed as a toy to help kids learn music, recognize notes and compose some simple music.


The device was designed to look like a piece of sheet music (although we did not end up drawing the lines of the staff in our prototype) where you can place magnets that function as notes.  The notes are then automatically played in a loop and can be changed in realtime.

There are eight different columns where you can place notes (magnets) and you can place either one or two notes per column.  We are working on increasing this number so that chords can be played. Currently the odd rows correspond to the notes EGBDF and the even rows correspond to FACE.  The LEDs at the top of the columns indicate which column of notes are being played. At the bottom of each column is a switch that can change the length of the note between short or long.  The overall tempo can be changed with the rightmost slider and the cycle speed of the LEDs changes to match the tempo. The device has internal speakers but can also play the music on earphones or external speakers. The volume is controlled by the leftmost slider.

After presenting this project in our Physical computing course we went to the Valand School of Fine Arts to present it at an experimental music exhibition on October 16, 2009.

We received some very positive feedback and it has encouraged us to keep on working on the device.
Our first goal in improving Compose:Me is to upgrade it so it can handle more than two tones at a time.  Other ideas we have are to create similar devices that can interact with each other and make Compose:Me communicate with a computer to be able to play more complex sound with it.

Compose:Me at Valand

David and Eric presenting Compose:Me at the Valand School of Fine Arts with our biggest fan Alex.

Eric Hauchecorne and David Marshall for group 13

Pianotrappan –
October 16, 2009, 3:50 pm
Filed under: Inspiration

I like the technologies that encourage people to choose  healthier way of doing things, which are fun and healthy. As much as the usage of high-tech facilities increases in our daily life, we are becoming lazier and less healthy. So we should think of new ways to relief the side-effects of  lack of mobility. This Pianotrappan is an attractive technology that offers both fun and mobility to its users. People prefer to use it over the electric stairway because they are curious how they can make the piano play by going up the stairs, meanwhile  they are unconsciously doing some exercise as well. This approach could be applied more in different facilities to make them more compatible with body health.

“via pixelsumo”

Sara Mansouri Bakvand

Group 10

No Traffic Jam
October 16, 2009, 12:45 pm
Filed under: Labs

No Traffic Jam technology provides an efficient, dynamic way to schedule traffic lights at an intersection. The goal of this adaptive system is to reduce traffic congestion on the roads caused by stopping the flow of traffic at a set of lights. This will decrease the amount of time drivers spending waiting in traffic by giving higher priority to busier roads.

No Traffic Jam model

The system tracks usage statistics on the roads in much the same way as a web server does in order to determine programatically which roads are busier and should therefore have priority. When implemented in a real-world system, these usage statistics should be stored for a much longer period of time and be divided by hour and day of the week. This would allow peak hour from 5pm-6pm on Wednesday to prioritise different roads than midday Thursday for instance.

Additionally the lights will only turn green on a road that contains traffic at that moment; this prevents time being wasted on routes with no momentary traffic.

The model we created uses 4 magnetic relays acting as sensors to detect the cars, these would be replaced by something more sofisticated sensors when the system is implemented on a larger scale. LED’s were used to represent the traffic lights, magnets attached to toy cars to activate the sensors and an Arduino board acted as the microcontroller for the system.

We hope this system provides a glimpse of the possibilities available for a more intelligent road network system.

Group 15
consisting of Akbar Abdi, Adnan Alsaid, Ranjith Anantharaman, Lian Duan, Onur Kurt and Jonathan Osborne

October 13, 2009, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Etc., Inspiration, Projects

push N900.

Nokia wants you to hack their newest device N900. If you can think of a cool project they may will support you (with a N900 f. e.) and take your results on a world tour. Unfortunately the deadline is allready next week so you have to hurry a bit. If you got a nice idea but you need help to realize it just mail me ;D! On the blog you’ll find a description howto connect the n900 to an arduino for some physical computing action.

maemo 5 intro video


The Power Sleeve for Tetris

This project of wearable technology is a sleeve able to control the game Tetris. By moving your wrist left and right you can move the pieces, by closing the fist you make it rotate and by opening your arm you make it fall.

The sleeve is connected to an Arduino which interprets the signals and controls a USB gamepad to finaly control a Super NESS emulator installed on the computer.

The power sleeve is made only with conducting textiles and conducting threads.

The part that was the most difficult to master was the streaching sensor on the wrist because we had to recalibrate them quite often.

Video of the Power Sleeve working :

Picture of the Power Sleeve with team 13 :
Power Sleeve for Tetris

Eric Hauchecorne for the group 13

BrainGate™ human-computer interface
October 11, 2009, 4:55 pm
Filed under: Inspiration | Tags: ,

You might have heard about the BrainGate technology, which enables paralyzed people or people with physical disabilities, to steer their wheelchair with just thinking about it, and not even a blink of an eye’s mechanical action. The chip inserted into their neural system transmits the signals produced by their brain activity, to a computer, and the computer will interpret the signals into pre-defined commands and sends them to the electrical wheelchair. Yep, you think about going which direction, and you go.

check out the video here.

I think the future of interaction will not be much dependant on mechanical movements, but on the decision making mechanism in our brains. And I think it would be feasible, as we are moving forward in the fields of micro-, nano-, bio- and techno- logy.

Posted by: Amirhosein Azarbakht – Group 13

Silly Roof
October 7, 2009, 10:16 am
Filed under: Labs, Paperbots

Group 10We decided to use the Globo circuit. We built a house with lights that turn on when it’s dark. The house has two windows on the roof that we can open to let the light in, when the roof windows are closed the lights will turn on. This was a good way for us to get familiar with basic electronics, like soldering, building circuits etc.

/Group 10