Tyler Roman- RAPS- Week 01 Max Projects Review

For the first week’s project, I decided to look at the following two projects:  Dökk and City Symphonies.

To start off with I’d like to take a look at City Symphonies:


I found the idea novel and was actually very impressed with the ideation of the process because, in a way streets do create a sort of song as you listen, the soundscape that surrounds you weaves together a tale of life, speed, and often times impatience. I even appreciated the smaller details such as the noises getting louder the “closer” the cars came to the virtual listener. However, I did not quite like City Symphonies for the fact that it failed to create what it envisions, a symphony. Dictionary definitions set aside what City Symphonies creates is little more than a cacophony of bleeps and bloops, albeit a more realistic and some-what series of them. There is no music to be found in City Symphonies and to equate a series such a mishmash as a symphony let alone music, is a stretch at most. I find little enjoyment soundwise from City Symphonies rendition of the modern day vehicular soundscape and would much rather venture out into the streets myself and listen to the vrooms, the honks, and the angry shouts, sounds creating a truly diverse experience, than the somewhat dull and lifeless tones of City Symphony. As for how Max MSP is thrown into the mix, they describe their interaction as an interaction between Processing and MSP and use of binaural audio techniques and mixing of sounds relative to virtual “distance” so I would imagine there would be some sort of factor distance than would then be plugged into a variable that produces a resulting sound/volume in MSP.

Moving on to Dökk:


While I kind of found the presentation of Dökk somewhat cringy and self-important I found that there was a lot of merit in their pride. Unlike City, Symphonies Dökk creates something that rings true with its name: Darkness. The amount of perceived effort and detail they put into Dökk creates a tale of depth and passion. There is so much thought put into Dökk that I am just impressed by their effort.  They seek to create a space where time does not flow in a sense creating a mishmash of media that in its essence creates a feeling of vertigo in its viewer and just watching it there really is so much to see. From projection, projection mapping, sentiment analysis, motion capture, and audio there is a ton of stuff involved with Dökk almost unnecessarily so. But it works. All the pieces make sense and tie together to create this dark, passionate, and almost visceral experience that is meant to serve as both a representation of mind and body a balance “between light and dark” as they themselves put it. I like the visual aspect of Dökk as well as its use of technology and its ideation, though I might prefer that they let the project speak for itself instead. The use of Max as they put it is: “audio programming through Max MSP (graphic development environment) – creating chains of effects and audio synthesis patches in real time for the interactive parts of the show” and that is something that RAPS will follow closely as well as sometime that I myself would like to aspire towards doing, and that is patching audio and video in realtime as I suppose is the purpose of the class itself.

Tyler Roman- Inflatables Long Term Reading Assignment (Mikesell)

For the Long Term Reading Assignment, I made sure to charge in first and grab the most interesting piece (at least to me) and was more than happy to grab

Towards a Soft Pneumatic Glove for Hand Rehabilitation

published in Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2013 IEEE/RSJ International Conference.

And a link to my bare-bones presentation.

The reason for the lack of text being the expectation that I would narrate most of the information gained from the reading.

Overall the purpose of the text was exactly that of the title. Creating a soft glove made of air-controlled pneumatic networks that when actuated would cause the hand to contract in a semi-natural fashion thus creating a cheaper, easier, and simpler means of hand rehabilitation rather than the practice of requiring the hiring expensive physical rehabilitator.

The way in which this was done was by creating soft actuators through the use of silicone.

Taking inspiration from McKibben actuators the team involved used silicone and molds in order to create these actuators based on the PneuNet (Pneumatic Network Technique).

Once the actuators were created the team spent vast amounts of time taking careful calculations in order to ensure reliability, comfortability, and safety. In order to do so, they spent a lot of time calculating and comparing results taken between the observed data and the FEM data or Finite Element Modeling data (data calculated via mathematical computation and physics). Luckily, bar a few discrepancies in data due to the nature of the measurements and further improvements needing to be made most of the results landed squarely in what was both anticipated and needed.

The actuators were then connected to a neoprene glove designed for comfortability and quick removal for safety and then tested. The tests showed the actuators working to bend the hand to grasp various objects as seen in the photos in my powerpoint.

Take away and reflection:

Overall, I really liked this paper. It was a nice extension to the McKibben actuator lab we did in Lab 3 and really showed me yet again, the versatility of inflatables and their importance in the development and furthering of modern technology. coming into this class I honestly thought that the class would be about balloons and hot air balloons and water balloons or like bouncy castles and the like and yet, time and time again I have been suprised with the artistry, creativity, and unfortold possibilities of inflatables. The idea that inflatables could be used to tackle such things as physical rehabilitation, or used as “hugging” or support type devices to tackle mental illness, was a concept I had never taken into consideration before. Truly though, the depth of research needed to calculate and understand the full utility of the soft actuator truly goes to show the diversity of the inflatable for progress in the modern age, in all faculties of life, and in ways I had honestly never thought possible.

Tyler Roman- Inflatables Lab 5 (Mikesell)

 For this lab, I partnered with Isabella Baranyk and Maya Williams to use Arduino to control and measure an air pressure sensor.

The materials used were an Arduino, Breadboard, wires, air pump, valve, power source, IP 120 transistor, diode, voltage regulator, pressure sensor, and an inflatable square of TPU coated fabric

In the lab using the materials, we created two circuits, the first being a circuit designed to cycle through various high and low states, inflating and deflating an inflatable as they change.


While I was soldering the wires to the air pump, Maya and Isabella used the digital multimeter to ensure that the voltage was correct before plugging the circuit into any power sources. Our circuit needed about volts of outside power from a secondary source which they measured pretty accurately as seen below.


When the circuit was finished we connected the air pump to the valve with some small plastic tubing and then attached the inflatable square made of TPU coated fabric to the valve and successfully inflated it, but not deflating. After a while, we realized we still needed the power from the secondary source. Once the power was connected the finished circuit could both inflate and deflate the square. In the video we recorded you can hear the clicking of the valve that shows that air pressure is being released from the system.

The second circuit we constructed involved us adding a pressure sensor to our previous circuit. Then, after inputting an Arduino code for pressure sensing provided to us by Professor Mikesell, we connected a syringe to the open end of the valve with plastic tubing. By using the syringe and a serial monitor we were able to look at and calculate the air pressure/the change in air pressure. The maximum pressure we reached was a little over 30 which is supposedly about the highest you can reach. You can see some video of this below.

Credits to Maya Williams for photos/video


// Code to Control Valve
void setup() {
 // initialize digital pin LED_BUILTIN as an output.
 pinMode(6, OUTPUT);

// the loop function runs over and over again forever
void loop() {
 digitalWrite(6, HIGH); // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
 delay(10000); // wait for a second
 digitalWrite(6, LOW); // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
 delay(1000); // wait for a second

//Pressure sensor code

#include "Wire.h"
#include <Arduino.h>

#define sensor_I2C 0x28 // each I2C object has a unique bus address, the DS1307 is 0x68
#define OUTPUT_MIN 1638.4 // 1638 counts (10% of 2^14 counts or 0x0666)
#define OUTPUT_MAX 14745.6 // 14745 counts (90% of 2^14 counts or 0x3999)
#define PRESSURE_MIN 14.5 // min is 0 for sensors that give absolute values
#define PRESSURE_MAX 100 // 1.6bar (I want results in bar)
float psi = 0; // 14.5 psi is pressure at sea level

void setup()
 Wire.begin(); // wake up I2C bus
 delay (500);

void loop()
 float pressure, temperature;
 //send a request
 Wire.beginTransmission(sensor_I2C); // "Hey, CN75 @ 0x48! Message for you"
 Wire.write(1); // send a bit asking for register one, the data register (as specified by the pdf)
 Wire.endTransmission(); // "Thanks, goodbye..."
 // now get the data from the sensor
 delay (20);

Wire.requestFrom(sensor_I2C, 4);
 while (Wire.available() == 0);
 byte a = Wire.read(); // first received byte stored here ....Example bytes one: 00011001 10000000
 byte b = Wire.read(); // second received byte
 byte c = Wire.read(); // third received byte stored here
 byte d = Wire.read(); // fourth received byte stored here

byte status1 = (a & 0xc0) >> 6; // first 2 bits from first byte
 //Serial.println(status1, BIN);

int bridge_data = ((a & 0x3f) << 8) + b;
 int temperature_data = ((c << 8) + (d & 0xe0)) >> 5;

 temperature = (temperature_data * 0.0977) - 50;

 Serial.print("PSI ");

Serial.print("temperature (C) ");

delay (500);

Tyler Roman- Inflatables Lab 4 (Mikesell)

The point of this lab was to create an inflatable dome which I did along with partners Maya Wang and Matthew Couch.

The materials used were a large sheet of plastic, scissors, cardboard, tracing paper, a marker, and a handheld iron.

1Then, using http://www.domerama.com/calculators/cover-pattern/ we calculated the dimensions for the gores and created a template using the cardboard. The Template was then used to create 8 corresponding gores that would be used to make the dome.



Once the side gores were completed and the resulting dome was flipped inside out we then made a base for the dome, using two pencils and a ruler to trace a circle onto another sheet of plastic. The base was then ironed onto the gores while a small opening was left for inflation. Finally, we took some leftover plastic and fashioned an inflation straw. Once the straw was done it was secured to the dome with tape since the awkward shape was not conducive to heat sealing. The dome blew up well even though the end shape vaguely resembled a soup dumping or perhaps a breast.




Tyler Roman- Inflatables Lab 3 (Mikesell)

For the second lab, we made McKibben Air Muscle actuators using balloons, a syringe, plastic tubing, some net, some zip ties.

My partners for this project were Maya Williams and Matthew Couch.

To create the muscle the balloon was strung through the net tubing by slowly inching it and pulling it through. Then one end of the joined balloon and the net tube was closed off with zip ties. The other end of the opening was attached to the plastic tube and then connected to the syringe. The final step tie of the opening with the tube using yet another zip tie. Once the muscle was completed it could be tested by using the syringe to pump air into the muscle.


Once each group was finished with their muscle we all connected our muscles to this sculpture created by Professor Mikesell and took turns inflating them causing the sculpture to bend in different directions.


Video of the working sculpture. Credits to Maya Williams

Tyler Roman- Inflatables Lab 2/Assignment 04 (Mikesell)

For this lab, Professor Mikesell brought us through the basics of creating 3D models using the Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software Fusion360 from Autodesk.

We practiced creating shapes and extruding them, hollowing and shelling them, and creating holes as seen below.

Then for the last part of the lab/the weekly assignment Professor Mikesell instructed us to create a bouncy castle.

Or rather a bouncy-castle-ish space. However, I just made a rather generic bouncy castle house as I thought that was assigned. Overall I am quite happy with the way it turned out and got quite a bit of practice sketching, extruding, filleting, and shelling various surfaces.

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Final (Godoy)


The concept for the final project is “Uncanny”.

Design your toy using any of the techniques we have seen during the semester. You will need to define a user and create a design concept while keeping in mind that this should have an uncanny element that will help to produce a playful experience.

Give your toy a name and present it as a product. In order to do that make renders, packaging, logo, comics or any resource you think will be helpful.


So following the original idea for my final I wanted to use something unique, but still soft for the body of the Yoo Doo Doll thus I decided to use one of my favorite materials, the silicone epoxy we use for molds. Thus, using some of the modeling clay I made a body shaped mold for the silicone and then let the body begin to take shape. Once the body was completed I essentially wanted it to have movable appendages similar to a normal voodoo doll and was thinking of using 3D printed joints in order to get the desired range of motion, however carving out silicone was not as much fun or as practical as I had imagined and so I was brought back to drawing board. Eventually, continuing on with the aspect of the voodoo doll and given the extremely soft nature of the silicone body I decided to test out whether or not I could just shove needles into the doll to connect all the parts and to my delight, it worked! With that solved, I went about making the accessories for the Yoo Doo Doll.

The accessories for the Yoo Doo Doll are for now essentially a book, a weight, and a burger/sandwich with each one representing a different thing you would like the Yoo Doo Doll to make you do i.e. reading/studying, working out, or eating/cooking. I made all of them using the different colored cloth and some hot glue and overall I think they turned out quite cute.

Then it was a process of creating the container that would hold the Yoo Doo Doll. Repurposing a laser cut box, hot glue was used to seal five sides of the cube together while the top remained free to be pulled off. A soldering iron was used to burn the words “Yoo” and “Doo” alternatively into the 4 sides of the box while a black marker was used to write forboding messages such as “Run Run Run” or “Inside Warning Death”. The marker was also used to write “666” and “444” on the inside walls of the box the former number relating to the beast and the devil in western culture and the latter being a pun on the word death as 4 sounds similarly in several Asian languages. In addition, a traditional pentagram was on drawn on the bottom of the box as the pentagram is known as a protective symbol to keep the evil inside.

The final pieces of the puzzle were a soft toy skull pin cushion, that my friend Maya Williams helped me to create, which was then hot glued to the top of the box and then, finally the trusty marker came once more, marking the bottom of the inside of the box with one final “Yoo Doo Doll”.


Looking at the finished product I am immensely happy with how it turned out and the simple, cute, and yet creepy design really worked with the overall aesthetic and uniqueness of the project. Looking forward I got really good feedback about having included a silicone head by which I could nail a person’s head to tie their essence to the doll, as well as the suggestion to use needles with grips at the end as the needles I was using were rather difficult to pull out.

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Assignment 10 (Godoy)

So for the silicone mold this week, I was super excited to use the food-safe silicone once I learned that it could be used to make actually edible things. Using a 3D printed Bulbasaur as the model I quickly went about mixing the super pink food safe silicone before pouring it into a carefully measured box containing the 3D printed model.

Once the mold had set for 6-12 hours I came back and underwent the process of freeing my mold and model.


Finally, once my mold was cleaned a bit, it was ready to start producing so I ran home and experimented with a bunch of different liquids.

  • A personal favorite is the soda Bulbasaur, a great snack and nice and refreshing!

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Assignment 09 (Godoy)

Link to the final project idea.

To summarize my idea, what I want to create is a what I call a Yoo Doo Doll, a somewhat more benevolent version of a voodoo doll. The inspiration comes from the idea that a voodoo doll is essentially something created to force someone to do something,  a Yoo Doo Doll works in the same way except that the user is often using it on themselves or is using it in a more thoughtful and beneficial manner. The idea is, by using techniques learned in this class I will be able to make a Yoo Doo Doll mostly for myself and others like me, those of us who need that extra step in getting our work done and doing the things we want to do.

Tyler Roman- Toy Design Midterm (Godoy)


Create a soft toy for someone you know; a friend, a member of your family, a neighbor, etc

Do some research! Ask questions to your user: what does he/she like, what animal/object he/she likes, what he/she does for a living, what are his/her hobbies, etc…

Choose a category of toy accordingly, and use any technique you learned to create a soft toy for that person. The toy should have their own identity and match the user’s personality.


So I actually struggled quite a bit with the midterm. The original plan was to create crocheted hacky sacks for my best friend Silvanus. However, upon beginning to crochet with the actual string and not the large practice string I quickly discovered that my skills were not up to par. Stabbing the needle through the interwoven threads and needing to start over, missing a loop and needing to start over, and many other issues more I have lost count how many times I tried and failed to progress with my crochet. Eventually, after a lot of stress and frustration, I decided that it may be simpler to sew some cloth and created a hacky sack that way.  Eventually, I was able to get started. Initially, the idea started out with a ring concept where I would sew different colored rings together to get the layered color effect I desired. However, under more careful consideration I discovered that I could instead hot glue the layers together into two halves and then sew the two halves together to get the completed hacky sack. This would save me a lot of time sewing, for which my proficiency was barely above that of my crocheting.

Doing it this way resulted in my first prototype of a burger hacky sack. However, while sections of it did look burger-like a large portion of the hacky sack was sewn so that the layers could not be seen. Thus it was back to the drawing board, but not for too long this time as I then decided to sew the two biggest middle layers together and THEN hot glue the remaining sides once we could see the extent of the largest center layers.


Doing it this way worked wonders and before long I had three amazing hacky sacks that I am super proud of and know that Silva is without a doubt enjoying as we speak.

  • In the middle above you see the T-side of the TZ (Tanzania) hacky sack and v2.0 of the burger (much cleaner)
  • In the last photo you catch a glimpse of the Z-side of the TZ hacky sack and some of the lack rice used as filling