Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Homework for Class #2

Here it is, I wired together a circle of LEDs and had them illuminate in sequence to make it look like the light was travelling around the circle. Then I wired some analog inputs (one flex sensor and two pressure sensors) into a glove and had them control certain features of the lights. See below

With regards to me "dream project"... I dont know if it counts as a dream project since Im actually in the process of making it, but the project has been in my head for over a year now so Im gonna go ahead and say that it counts. By the way, major nerdiness is about to ensue, so try not to judge and if you must, save the wedgies till after class.

Last year I was inspired by my brother a big comic book nerd (and coincidentally a comic book artist) and was thinking of one of my favorite comic book characters and wondered why no one had attempted to make a realistic costume of Archangel, the big metal winged version of the X-man. So, I took it upon my self to be the first one to do it. However, the more I thought of it the more I wanted to trick out these 6-8 foot metal wings. I've started cutting the aluminum that they will be made out of but havent quite gotten to the fun stuff, the stuff that is actually making me list this project here as my ITP assignment: sensors and actuation.

The wings are going to be powered by this really amazing material I found called shape memory alloy. Its a very thin wire made of nickel and titanium that will actually contract in length much like our muscles. All you have to do is heat them electrically and you have muscle wire! You can kind of see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-coGuDTb-Y

As for the sensor side I was always fascinated by the fact that the character had such a strong connection with his wings. They would even drive him to do things with a mind of their own. So, I'd like to hack into a heart rate monitor and use the beating of my own heart to trigger the electrical pulses that will cause the muscles wires to make the wings flap. Aside from getting a brainwave sensor, I think using my actual heart rate to trigger the wing flapping is about as strong as a human connection can get.

I might add even more sensory inputs, but my goal is to have them ready to present at World Maker Faire this september. I'll try to bring in a sample of the muscle wire and a scale model I made of what the wings will look like.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, HW #2 is awesome! Could you do something like have a square formation of lights and program the arduino to display upper-case letters or numbers depending on which fingers or combinations of fingers you moved?