#6 (Due 11/2)

This set of Deliverables has three parts, with different due dates:

1. Looking Outwards #04 (Due 10/26)

NOTE: This Looking Outwards report is due in two weeks, on October 26.

The topic for this Looking Outwards is "physical computing". This is an umbrella term for creative practices which explore new combinations of materiality, tangibility, and computation. Many such projects use novel sensors, materials, and/or actuators in interactive media. More generally, such projects typically consider interactivity off the screen.

  • From blogs and any other sources, identify and discuss a physical computing project that you find interesting. Write a 150-word Looking Outwards report about the project.
  • Be sure to include visual documentation of the project: ideally, a still image, animated GIF, and video.
  • Title your blog post nickname-LookingOutwards04.
  • Categorize your blog post LookingOutwards04.

Some possible places to explore for projects:

Some artists you might find interesting:

Addie Wagenknecht, cyberfeminist, tactical new-media artist
Amanda Ghassei, innovative creator of tangible/computational media
Annina Rüst, artist and creator of feminist robotics
Becky Stern, developer of experimental wearable projects
Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau, media art pioneers
Darsha Hewitt, electromechanics hacker, sound/installation artist
Hannah Perner-Wilson, high/low tech wearables and textiles hacker
Janet Echelman, creator of large-scale, temporary public architecture-scale sculptures
Jim Campbell, artist-engineer
Julian Oliver, critical technologist
Julijonas Urbonas, creator of critical interactive installations
Kaho Abe, experimental game/interface developer
Ken Rinaldo, robotics artist
Kate Hartman, designer of computational wearables
Keri Elmsly, production director of new-media performances and installations
Kristin Neidlinger, augmented fashion designer
Lea Albaugh, augmented fashion designer and game developer (CMU)
Leah Buechley, researcher of high/low tech hybrids, innovator in maker culture
Luisa Pereira, artist-engineer, developer of new musical instruments
Madeline Gannon, designer of interactive tools for digital fabrication
Meejin Yoon, large-scale interactive architecture projects
Micah Elizabeth Scott, brilliant circuit hacker and artist-engineer
Mouna Andraos & Melissa Mongiat, playful interactive public sculpture
Natalie Jeremijenko, artist & critical technologist
Nataly Gattegno, co-director of Future Cities Lab, experimental architecture studio
Sabrina Raaf, mechatronics artist
Surya Mattu, critical technologist
Tega Brain, critical artist-engineer
Tony Dunne & Fiona Raby, influential pioneers of speculative design
Zimoun, sound sculptor

2. Skimming

Check out the following. No deliverable.


3. An Automaton (Due 11/2)

Working in two-person teams, create an automaton using a provided kit of electronics, and other materials of your choice. This might be a robotic character, or an absurd machine, or...etc. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to use microcontrollers to read information from sensors
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to use microcontrollers to control movement with stepper motors, servo motors, and DC motors
  • Demonstrate understanding of the design of expressive mechanical movements for automata
Getting Help
Technical Criteria

Your project will be exhibited on a shelf or podium. In respect of this, please note the following requirements:

  • The maximum footprint for your automaton should be 12"x12".
  • Your project should be "stationary" (i.e. non-traveling, rooted to a spot). If your project jiggles a lot, consider providing an attachment point or two, so that it can be screwed to a wooden surface.
  • Your automaton must function without any connection to a computer, and it should be powered exclusively by the provided 9V power adapter.
  • You have been provided with an infrared (IR) distance sensor. There will be long periods when there may be no observer present. You are encouraged to use the IR sensor to activate/deactivate the automaton, and/or use this sensor as a source for real-time interactive input.
  • If you are experienced with Arduino electronics, you may integrate additional sensors and/or actuators, but the Professor and TA cannot provide support for components beyond those provided in the kit.
Summary of Deliverables

Here is the checklist of expected components for this assignment.

  • Develop an automaton, in collaboration with your partner. Be sure to document your process along the way (e.g. with photos from your mobile phone, etc.)
  • Create a blog post on this site to document your project and contain the media below.
  • Title your blog post, nickname1-nickname2-Automaton, and give your blog post the WordPress Category, 06-Automaton. It is only necessary to publish your blog post once: it's fine if one collaborator hosts the page for the project.
  • Write a narrative of 200-250 words describing your development process, and evaluating your results. Discuss the different contributions of the two collaborators.
  • Embed a video of your project doing its thing.
  • Embed an animated GIF (or two) of your project.
  • Embed two good-quality still images of your project.
  • Embed copies of your paper sketches, if you have any.
  • Test your blog post to make sure that all of the above embedded media appear correctly.