Physical Computing

by Student
October 23, 2009, 3:02 pm
Filed under: Labs, Projects

miniproject: Group 7

Hot ChocLED!merged


Do you always burn your tongue on a fresh brewed coffee because you’re in a hurry? Do you forget your hot drink often and experience the “special” taste of cold coffee then? The solution for this problems is called hot chocLED. Just plug hcLED to your computerUSB or to another power supply and place your drink on it. HcLED will light up. The colour shows you if your drink is cold (blue), warm (yellow) or hot (red). The heat is conducted via aluminium foil to a LM35 temperature sensor. The signal of the sensor is interpreted with an arduino that switches the light on and off concerning the actual state. The spot for placing your glas or cup is a bit soft to adapt as good as possible to the container for the best possible heat conduction. HcLED is very light, easy to use and fits in almost every modern kitchen. The USB port can be used to enhance hcLED by everybody because the hot chocLED software is open source. So stay tuned for the processing user interface or for the hcLED twitter app ;D.

Hot chocLED is the miniproject of Naghmeh, Suvash, Diogo and Alex (Group 7).



Super Mario Game-hack-ed ! by Student
October 23, 2009, 2:35 am
Filed under: Game Hacks, Labs, Projects

This project involved hacking into a Logitech Gamepad, which would be controlling the Super Mario game character in a computer ( emulated inside a Nintendo Game Emulator ). Instead of directly using the gamepad, wearable sensors/switches were made which connected to an Arduino, which in turn then controlled the gamepad using a hack in the circuit.

We(Group 7) fabricated two bands which could be worn over elbows or knees as preferred and two switches which were intended to be place inside shoes. Bending the elbows/knees would move the Mario in either directions, while the other two buttons performed the “Fire” and “Jump” action.

Below is a video in action…

Super Mario Game-hack-ed ! on Vimeo

Below are few images of the sensors that were created for the prototype to work.

Controllers/sensors created for the prototype

Controllers/sensors created for the prototype

Our group (No. 7) consisted of Naghmeh Taghavi Nejad Deilami, Diogo Laginha Machado, Alexander Neumann and Suvash Keshari Thapaliya.
Group 7, All smiles.....

Compose:Me by Student
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

No Traffic Jam by Student
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

The Power Sleeve for Tetris by Student

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

Silly Roof by Student
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

Mario with buttons and a circuit by Student
October 7, 2009, 9:52 am
Filed under: Game Hacks, Labs


LGIM0008 LGIM0004

Our project was developing an interface for playing Super Mario game with wearable buttons but without using Arduino. The game is controlled by 3 buttons and a bending sensor for every action: One is for going right and another for going left which are put on the feet and controlled by pressing them with our feet, one button for jumping that is placed on the bottom of the player, a bending sensor which is placed on a glove to simulate shooting action by opening hand.

The first problem we encountered was that the jumping and firing signals needed to be inverted. Since the player sits on the jumping button during the game and he/she has to stand up and release the button in order to jump, the signal was supposed to be inverted. The similar issue goes for the fire action too. We built a circuit to be able to invert these signals. We could get this to work when we tried it with a multimeter, but not when we connected it to the gamepad. When we were almost out of time we heard from Mika that there was a problem when trying to connect the gamepad with transistors. We should have used the buttons on top of the gamepad, but we didn’t know that until we were out of time.

We also had a problem when we connected our buttons to the gamepad. The buttons worked, but when we connected them to the gamepad we got shortcircuits. We suspect that this could be due to some problem with soldering of the gamepad, which was quite hard.

It was a good introduction to wearable technology. This field was something that none of us was really familiar with and it was interesting to try. If we did this again we would probably used an arduino. We decided not to use it so that we didn’t have to code anything, but when looking back we realize that it was a mistake.

/Group 10