ITP Blog

Physical Computing - Week 4: Digital and Analog I/O Application

TITLE: Radio Puppet

DATE: October 2016

INSTRUCTORS: Ben Light + Tom Igoe




At first, I want to make a machine that reflects a feeling of a lonely person in different scenarios:
1. Once in a crowd, those who feel lonely are active, they are eager to get noticed, so the radio will light up with the music rhythm. When someone walks through it, it will react to his action and rotate the antenna.

2. Once there is only one person or only the radio alone, the light will turn white show the inner peace, like a study lamp on my desk. Lonely is not cold. To me, it is peaceful with a strong feeling to talk.

But the feeling of lonely is changing as we grow senior.

If the soul of the radio is young, which is controlled by the knob,
1. the light is stronger than senior
2. totally interact with users’ action
3. the rotation of antenna is fast and strong
Young soul is energic and curious about the outside world

otherwise, which means, the soul of the radio is old,
1. the light is dim
2. sometimes it interacts with users, sometimes it won’t. Or it reacts with a weird way, like random changes. It means that we turn to explore inside instead of outside world.



More details and fabrication process can be found here.



After I finished the lab, the circuit, and the enclosure, I found it hard to make three interactive events functional in one program, which is functional in separated programs. So I think the possible reason is that both the Neoled stripe and 15kg micro servo need external power supply. But the problem never showed when I was doing the test lab.

There are some other problems I found when I was making the radio:

  1. The servo jigged! I have to adjust the range from (0,179) to (30,150) to stop the jiggling.
  2. The neoPixels sometimes blinked.
  3. Both the digitalRead and analogRead can read the PIR sensor output
  4. why does the microphone module need an inputwindow?
  5. one USB of my Mac always showed the bug said the port was wrong

I have resorted to Adafruit PIR Motion SensorAdafruit NeopixelFC-109 (MAX9812) microphone amplifier module for how to use the sensors and components.