A Long Distance Lamp (Version 01)

Brief

What I am intending to do and why.

Long distance relationships are tough. There are many technologies that help to alleviate some of the difficulties of distance, such as video calling, instant messaging, even connected devices that simulate physical touching. Yet long distances remain hard.

The solutions above all require an ‘active’ participation, each person must be engaged in the video call, or on the message thread, or with the physical device.

With this project I posit there is a space for more passive presence, a subtle “I’m here, but not active”. My partner and I enjoy simply reading in bed next to each other, each minding there own business but aware of and comfortable with the other’s presence.

The ideal end goal of this project is a pair of connected reading lights, with each light giving subtle and noninterruptive cues that the other lamp is present. I also intend to offer the possibility of subtle interaction, similar to a light brush of the arm or momentary eye contact.

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Full Circle: A Hand Cranked Power Supply

 

In my first assignment for Fabrication I created a hand-cranked flash light with parts from the junk shelf. For this final assignment I thought it would be wonderfully fitting to expand on that concept and create a hand crank that could power my other assignments, or any projects in the future.

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Atari Punk Macbook Charger

This hack was created for my ITP class Intro to Fabrication.

In another class, Basic Analog Circuits, we’ve recently been covering the 555 timer. One of my favourite ridiculous ways to use the 555 timer is in an Atari Punk Console – basically a weird noise machine. Two 555 chips are used to generate interfering square waves, the result being a ‘techno punk’ sound reminiscent of the music and sounds on an early Atari console. The small, annoying console is a perfect circuit to enclose for this week’s assignment.

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Junk: The Green Flashlight

The Work (in progress)

The Inspiration

The inspiration for this project came from another project I did a while ago, on a different continent, with far less electronics understanding than I have now. In short, I needed to light up and make “interactive” a sign, with no access to wall power. The result was A Hand Cranked LED Sign.

That project started me thinking about different sources of energy, and how we so easily take for granted electricity that comes out of our walls. I have thus been thinking about sustainability in Interactive Media for a while, and this week’s assignment was a wonderful catalyst to get started experimenting. My goal is to create a flashlight that is both portable and powered completely by the user. Continue reading “Junk: The Green Flashlight”

Transmitting data over light using PJON (Proof of Concept)

Today I learned that an LED can be used to both transmit light (the intended purpose) and also to receive light. A little bit of electricity is sent back along the anode when enough light is received by the LED.

With some clever manipulation, this effect can be used to turn an LED into a transceiver; a device to both transmit and receive data.

Here I use PJON, a free network protocol, to send (very simple) data between two arduinos using two LEDs. This is currently just a proof of concept and not much more than the example code supplied.

A CD Writer (DrawBot)

TL;DR: I took apart some CD drives and turned them into a very terrible etch-a-sketch type thing. In the future I hope to give control over to a computer so as to have a robot minion very terrible CNC drawing machine.

Code for the project is here.

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gLoves: a Christmas gift for nerds.

Introduction

The gLoves are an attempt at reparations with my partner after spending four years together in Abu Dhabi. The UAE is a wonderful place, but its social norms frown upon even mild PDA. To make up for the many years of lost handholding, and considering that we’re now both in a place with bitter winters, I thought I’d put together a Christmas gift that warms the heart as much as it warms the hands™.

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