Sprial Lamp


This is the final product of my spiral lamp. It has a toggle switch which controls a stripe of LED. The hardest part about this lamp is to make the spiral shape. My first attempt was to bend a piece of wooden stick into that shape. After watching tons of youtube tutorial video, I decided to steam the wood then bend it.IMG_0847.JPG.

After several trails and lots of broken wood, I realized I’m just not capable of bending this in my home kitchen. So I went online and ordered a drum shell and decided to just cut it with a wood saw.


This process took me more than 2 hours but eventually I got the shape I want.


After I got the spiral shape, I stick the LED stripe around the inside of the wood and connect it with a toggle switch on the base.

I actually want to add a motor at the base so the spiral shape can open and close when the lights are switch on and off. Unfortunately, I spent too much time on bending the wood and I will add that mechanism for the next project.



4 Hour Time Lapse

This is a 4 hour time lapse from 6 -10 am, unfortunately it was a rainy day and I couldn’t see lots of changes in the lighting. However, one interesting I saw was the processing of how the wall of Bed Bath & Beyond slowly soaking by the rain. I think it would be interesting if I can replicate that effect with lighting.

Materials Connexion


This is the first material we saw at Material Connexion, it is a very strong and flexible bioleather. I can’t really think of any applications of this material for my own project but the process of making this material is rather interesting. This translucent sheets are made of bacterial cellulose produced as a secretion from bacteria fed a sugary solution (in this case, pineapple juice) in a warm bath.



This is a second material which has nothing to do with my own project but I really enjoy touching. It is probably the softest fur I have ever touched (softer than my puppy’s fur!) It is pelt from the Orylag, a breed of French rabbit. The diameter for each hair is only around 15 microns, which is almost 10 times thinner than human hair. The feeling when brushing through is with my hands is just phenomenal.



This is the solution for a unbreakable one piece hinge. The white flexible part in the middle is made from a combination of carbon fiber and kevlar, which are two lightest and  strongest material in the world right now. Which means this hinge has incredible durometer and flexibility. I believe this material will work excellent on any applications with moving parts.


img_0718This is one of my favorite material. It looks like a wireless glass with LED in it and it will conduct electricity without any visible wires. What it has is a clear conductive polymer films stick in between two glasses which allow the electron to flow through LEDs. I think this material has great usage in AR application, like OLED. If the conductive film is stick in between two flexible  plastic sheet, then we may create a screen or display that is much harder to break due to its flexibility.



This flexible foam is my ideal sensor for pressure. This piezoelectric foam will generate electric charge in response to applied mechanical force, which mean it will be a perfect replacement for all the sensors for impact, for example sensors to trigger air bag in a car. I also think this will work perfect to put under a robot’s feet. Since it can provide very perceive feedback for the pressure it’s taking, it would be a great sensor to help robot keep balance.


Interactive Technology in Public – Mood Floor

Mood Flood is a interactive project created by Mazi Tradonski and Michael Abramovich. It was designed to pick up different body languages and reflect them with lights projecting on the floor. Here’s the video showing how it works.

Aggressive or angry mood will be expressed by fast and sharp movements with the lights, while calm and relaxed mood will be expressed by slow movement. Those lighting will move around the user create a fun interaction on the street.

In my opinion, this is a very successful design because it doesn’t take a lot of thinking to understand what this project is about and how to interact with it. When people see lights moving around their feet on the floor, we immediately start to interact with it, because that’s what people do if there are real physical objects moving around people’s feet.

For me, the best design for interaction is to blend digital objects into our real physical life. Suppose a person walking down the street suddenly saw few cockroaches running towards him, the two reaction he will have is to either step on the cockroaches or run away from them. So when there are unpleasant things being projected on the floor, people will react the same because it has been our instinct. Same goes with pleasant objects, if we see a nice grass field in front, we would love to step or walk on it. So when there are pleasant lighting being projected near our feet, we will play with them.

To sum up, this is a very simple design but it follows all human instincts, that’s why when users are being exposed to this project, there’s not much introduction needed for the users to enjoy the interaction.


Physical Computing Mitderm Project

For the midterm project, our initial idea was to create a little game involving the proximity sensor. There will be one sensor on both the left and right side, each sensor will detect the position of the player. A random value will be generated by the program to assign whether the player should go left or right for each step. To win the game, the player must choose the right side each time to reach the end of the path.



(This is the design for the sensors)

Since the sensor only works well with a black flat surface, therefore, I program the sensor to take multiple reading, discard the 0 reading the return the mean value to have an accurate reading of the distance. The second program I wrote is to detect whether the player has taken the step. This program will store an initial reading of player’s position, then keep comparing the difference between the initial reading and player’s current position, once the difference is greater than 25 cm, it will return true to indicate the player has taken a step.

After the first two programs was written, we decided to added a guidance for the player to indicate which side is the right way. So we set up a target with a pressure sensor behind it, then the player hits the target, it will trigger the sensor and the program will send out a signal showing whether the player should go left or right.


(This is the target we made for the player to shot at)

To put all the programs together into the game, I set each program to run under different time interval, once a program run out of time or receive the right signal, the next program will start running.

After we put the game together, we decided to add lighting into the game, so Richard started to write the different light effects for different parts of the game. We have left and right sweep for the guidance to indicate which way the player should go; a count down for shooting the target, a red light to indicate the wrong way, a green light to indicate the right way and a rainbow effect when the player has won the game.

However, since the program for the game and lighting were written in different board and different logic, we couldn’t combine them together. The program for the game was written in the for loop which check both timing and a boolean value, it will stop if the Boolean value change or when the time runs out. But the program for the lighting is written in a for loop which only stops when all the statements have run out. Therefore, when combining both programs together, the loop for the lighting interferes with the timing of the game, which hinders the game from running smoothly.

To sum up the project, both program runs perfectly when running independently, however, we haven’t got time to figure out the code to put both programs together for the game.