“Immersive Experience” by Zhuoling Shi (Susan)

This is about the first time I’ve ever experienced immersive feeling in my life. I was in elementary school then and I went to Hong Kong Disneyland with my classmates. I can still remember an attraction called Mickey’s PhilharMagic. It is a “4-D film attraction” which was basically a 3-D movie with exaggerated movements: things may “move” very “close” to the audience very fast and makes the audience to dodge backward. There are other techniques involved, mostly making physical phenomenon like wind or fire. That’s probably not the first time I’ve ever watched a 3D movie but I was really impressed by that. That was the first time I’ve ever felt myself interacting with the characters in the movie and I felt myself inside the movie. I really appreciated a couple of details. Once there were many gems and jewelries pop out of the screen and came close to my face. I reached out my hand trying to pick up the gems and then realized how stupid I was because they were not there. The other time was a mop running over the stage and splashed water to audience’s faces. There was actually water coming out and poured onto my face. But if you will never expect that there are some water shooting devices assembled in the “fences” in front of the first row. Because people cannot see where the water came from, it became more real as if the mop splashed water onto the audience’s faces. Besides, when there was fire on the screen, the temperature in front of my face will rise and my face was like burning. When the characters were flying, there was wind blowing on my face. Of course, all those heating devices and fans were hidden. The seats could create acceleration as if I was flying or dropping from a cliff, too. It did not have to move very long distance or drop from very high position, the acceleration was the key that makes the movements very real. It was really amazing.

 

【Loom】

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This is the loom I made. I started the design with the idea of making a loom that at least has some mechanism in it. I chose to use a cam to change the height of the two roles of hooks

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In the first prototype, I forgot to make something that can help to hold the hooks in place. While pulling the cam back and forth, they just came out of the rails very easily.

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Meanwhile, the cam itself was not functioning as well as I expected. I glued them together with little pieces of acrylics to create a longer cam. But the power that’s on the connection part when I was pushing them was too big that it just fell apart.

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I also forgot to leave some places for the shuttle, you can see that the side part of the loom is blocking the way.

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In the final version, I changed the side part into a curved shape so that the shuttle can come through. The hooks are much longer than the previous version and there are also little rectangle pieces that can help to hold them in place. In the middle of each piece of cam, there’s a hole for the supporting stick to go through so that them can hold strictly in line.

 

My favorite immersive world: Morrowind.

 

Bethseda’s 2001 entry to The Elder Scrolls series is till this day one of my favorite video games, as well as immersive experiences. There are so many things in this game that make it more immersive for me than either Oblivion or Skyrim. Of course, it is harder and not as user-friendly as the newer games, but once you’ve gotten into it, you realize that is so much deeper than its newer follow-ups.

The world of Morrowind is more unique and original than the worlds of the new Elder Scrolls games. Oblivion and Skyrim add fantasy elements to worlds that resemble a lot to medieval empires, the world of Morrowind goes for a weirder, more unearthly setting, complete with gigantic mushrooms, gigantic flea-like thingies as a transportation method (more about that later), and has an overall feeling to it that might scares away most of today’s mainstream gamers, but is of state of art design by itself and after the gamer has gotten used to it, is arguably more immersive than the new games’ more realistic sets.

Is that a tree? Is that  mushroom? Where the heck I am? Do any of these things matter?

 

Besides the main storyline that is challenging, but epic and rewarding, the side missions contribute a lot to the immersiveness. The guild missions provide a sense of belonging to an organization, complete with a sense of progress through different in-game organizations. A lot of side quests are not even marked and the gamer needs pure luck to stumble upon some of them on the map. Generally, stumbling upon stuff is a huge part of Morrowind’s gameplay and is the most important drive for the gamers’ explorations. The game never fails to offer hidden missions, treasures, easter eggs at the most unexpected places (I once found a full armor at the bottom of a lake inside of a cave where I had really nothing to do). 

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Yep, that’s the corpse of  Han SoloIndiana Jones

The sense of exploration is more real than in the TES games that came after because of the different fast travel system: while in Oblivion and Skyrim you can basically effortlessly teleport between places you have visited, in Morrowind there are certain stations where you can use fast travel which is riding a gigantic, ungodly flea-monster and only stops in a handful of cities. This way of course you need to walk a lot, but those walks are never boring.

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The engine also allows the gamer to combinate, craft and enance items and weapons in a way that wasn’t possible in the later games. The whole Elder Scroll series enables gamers to play according to their own style and focus on abilities and skills that they prefer, but this eleveated sense of crafting is what makes the picture whole in Morrowind. These senses of hidden possibilites, mysteries that won’t solve themselves (as opposite to straightforward, simple gaming experiences offered a lot nowadays), and a process af exploration that feels genuine and real are what make Morrowind one of the most immersive games ever.

I can recommend this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf0jiOpD-AQ

Drone Programming

On the second class, Professor Ben introduced a cool API that can make the drone autonomy. I tried some basic functions like take off, turn, move ahead and landing. Then I added an animate function just as what professor did in class. However, the outcome seems different. I think the battery is fully charged because when I unplugged it, the light is green. Besides that, I didn’t see an obvious clockwise(0.5) movement and the move.front is moving front-right actually. I don’t know the reason.
Please check the video below.
If the video does’t work, try this link

Here is the code.

var arDrone = require('ar-drone');
var client = arDrone.createClient();

client.takeoff();
client
.after(3000, function(){
this.up(1);
})
.after(2000, function(){
this.animate('flipAhead', 300);
this.stop();
})
.after(2000, function(){
this.clockwise(0.5);
})
.after(2000, function(){
this.front(1);
this.stop();
})
.after(2000, function(){
this.animate('flipLeft', 500);
})
.after(3000, function() {
this.stop();
this.land();
});

I also tried the examples->png-stream.js. I tried to integrate it with the code above but then, the localhost:8080 says it is not connected. I am still trying other functions and the ardrone-autonomy.

Solar Solutions Idea Proposal: Solar-powered Flower Tower (Jamie)

What is it?

I thought of making a tower that had flowers on every level of the tower that would be watered by a solar powered mister (that would mist the flowers to water them). The mister would go off at a certain hour, which would be dubbed the power hour. The tower could also be hollow on the inside so as to fit the mister as well as any other wires and mechanisms we might need. The would make for a lovely installation, pleasing to the eye and self sustainable for the most part.

What does it look like?

It would look a bit like terrace farming, allowing us to utilize the space we have more fully by building upwards instead of out. Another possible look for this would be a topiary style, with moss, flowers, and a wire frame to hold it up. Once again everything would be hollow so we could place the mechanism within and if its in combination with another project, we could place speakers or the like within as well.

Are there any projects similar to yours?

I am pretty sure that there are projects similar to mine out there. Gardening and solar power often seem to go hand in hand.

What does it do?

It could have moisture sensors in the soil to know when it needs to be watered and when it does not. It adds color and life to the backyard scene. It would just be basically a self watering mini garden.

Is it feasible to accomplish by the end of the semester?

I think it should be fairly feasible to accomplish by the end of the semester as long as we all work together. Also depending on size, we might need to scale up/down to have the appropriate amount of mist in relation to the amount of plants.

Is there enough sun to power it?

Depending on where it’s placed, I suppose there could be. Since the mister won’t need that much sun to be powered, I think it is possible but would need to go through a period of trial and error.

Talking Fabrics|Project #3|Asiya Gubaydullina

This project was the hardest out of what we did before.

“Create a fabric or fabric items that can sense information that humans cannot sense (infrared, electromagnetic fields, toxic fumes, etc).” So, I had absolutely no idea what to do, however wanted to try airdrawing for a very long time. As it goes, I utilised the airdrawing in this project.

Very simple yet very interesting. I first sewed the circuit with glowing LEDs to the glove so that is easier to draw. I think it is also a lot more interactive as you can move several fingers around the screen. The design can definitely more neat but so far this is what I’ve got: three leds connected between each other and powered by the battery. In order to make it more appealing, I sewed a little pocket for the battery. The clips are for the convenience purpose, so that it is easier to attach the battery’s wires.

The glove

The glove

I used Processing for the drawing. To do so I had to explore video library along with learning how to work with pixels. The example code is screen capture, which uses computers pre-installed camera. For airdrawing I needed Processing to recognize the brightest pixels and follow it around the screen, so I needed to have shaded or dark environment and bright objects in order to draw. Obviously, LEDs are the brightest objects Processing is supposed to be recognizing in my project.

Overall, I think the project turned out quite well, however there is a lot more to improve: glove design, also test on different LEDs colors and project them on the screen, so there are different colors to draw with. The end.

Creative Pop Up Book Documentation

The idea for my pop up book came from a poem I wrote in a creative writing class. I decided to make the images in the book the most prominent imagery from the poem. In class, I was a little embarrassed to show the actual poem itself, but it is probably important to tie together the narrative, so I will put the words to each part after the picture.

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I would know more of you than I asked

When you sang all of your secrets to me            

There was so much inside you wishing to be free

From the break of a wave that had long passed

The first page uses a flap. The skull is meant to represent one’s inner self, and it is singing. The flap opens to reveal birds trying to fly away and gain freedom. The strip of paper that the birds are attached to is anchored to the page and the inside of the flap, so when the flap is opened, it creates tension and suspends the birds in flight.

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I could not be both an actor and a witness

Watching the echo of a wave cannot

On its own make the waters stop

Nothing else is left to exist between us

The second page uses all of the same mechanic. The stage and the audience both use the technique where you fold the paper in half, cut out a triangle and then fold up the bottom half and anchor it to the page. The ballerina just uses a box support to attach to the stage’s background.

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Sometimes I think that you are the bluff

That the ocean beats against again and again

The third page also uses the same mechanic as the second. However, I mad folds in more places to try to give the castle more depth. I also began folding down the middle to make a sort of roof so that it would be more cliff-like, since the poem specifies an ocean bluff. However, I noticed that with just the middle down, it looked a lot like a sand castle, and I decided that I really liked that aesthetic. The waves crashing against the castle are a simple pull tab.

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And I am just a  hapless, entranced painter

That you look to before your life is snuffed

Out to immortalize your beauty in pain

Before the edge of your eroding life whittles fainter

In the fourth and final page, the painting canvas is propped up by two boxes made like the ones for floating layers. For the painter, I tried following a mechanic that was in one of the books Marianne gave us, pictured below

Laser-Cutting with Antonius

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So today, in Antonius’ class, we got our hands dirty with Cura, Illustrator, and TinkerCAD. However, the 2D design that we made on Illustrator is the work that we are to document. Pictured above is my take on the in-class work today. It’s basically just primitive shapes forming the word “So”. I recall that one of my friends uses the word ‘So’ a lot and so, (oh gosh) I thought it would be fun to use that as an inspiration and try to use basic shapes and negative space to form the word.

However, I’m not entirely happy with the design because the white space in each letter doesn’t seem to be of the same width (ah!), but I think for a 15-min creation, I can’t be more happy about this work.

In addition to the laser cutting, we also did 3D printing for today’s class. This what the ring looks like from the front, with the gray part being the hole:

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Talking Fabrics Electronics Project

For this project our mission was to display nonverbal communication through clothing. I decided to make a hat that depending on how you are standing LED’s will turn on. For example, many males give the “head nod” to say hi as they walk by so for this hat once your head moves up and down LED’s turn on to signify another way of saying hi. With enough LED’s one could make faces out of them or colors depending on how you move your head to express emotions. This could be given to those who cannot speak and allow motions of their head or arms to display a certain colour which correlates to an emotion or answer.

To start this project I started from a bread board. With a Switch sensor, resistor and Arduino I started to make the most simple form of my idea.

The code was a simple blink function provided in the examples Arduino gives. From there the next step was to bring this same concept and add an external LED and utilize a cheapduino.

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Using the cheapduino took a while and I needed the help of Antonius but eventually I was able to  do the same function as if I used the Ardunio. Once the code was working properly I had to find something to attach this system to. I decided to use a hat and make head motions the nonverbal communication. To think that a head nod could say hi and and shaking back and fourth to say no, with the addition to LED’s specific colors or shapes in addition to the normal motions we are use to adds the the amount of information we can express between each other.

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IMG_0942I started making the hat from the battery. I created this pouch in  the front where the battery is housed. from there I sewed the wires around and then attached them to the cheapdunio. I used multiwire for flexibility but also conductive thread with a little cloth coating for flexibility. I then recreated my circuit that I designed on the bread board. The difficulty I experience was how things were to be situated. On a bread board things are nice and organized but placing it on a fabric requires a lot more wires and planning. Due to the size of the cheapduni and the had having a space that could cater to the batter rather easily it is hard to notice any different other than the thread and LED’s. I believe there are many applications this could be used for such as street dancers or synchronized dancers having LED’s that react to the motion they are doing at the moment.