Making (2012)

Scratch Remotes @ SIM, 18 & 22 Feb. 2012

Scratch Remotes:
Left to right & top to bottom: soldering extension cable joint; securing alligator clip to extension cable; creating one switch shield with cardboard and adhesive aluminium tape; testing Scratch remote.

How-tos

  • Extension Cable
    How to make an extension cable to attach sensors and switches to the Reader.
  • One Switch Shield
    How to make a one switch shield with cardboard and aluminum tape, and transform the Reader into a simple remote control for Scratch. Test it out with the three example projects below: Remote Meow; On/Off Switch; Channel Hopper.

Example Projects

  • Remote Meow
    Demonstrates a remote control for Scratch. Should be used in combination with a One Switch Shield connected to a funda Reader. Each time the switch is pressed the cat meows. The first script is optional; it sets a variable (sensor1) to the values coming in from sensor one so that they are visible in Scratch. No need for a partner funda project (as there are no tags involved), but the middleware should be open and running as usual. You will need to select your own reader from the senor value block’s drop-down menu. Download: remoteMeow.sb
  • On/Off Switch
    Demonstrates a simple On/Off switch in Scratch. Should be used in combination with the One Switch Shield connected to a funda Reader. No need for a partner funda project (as there are no tags involved), but the middleware should be open and running as usual. You will need to select your own reader from the sensor value block’s drop-down menu. Download: OnOffSwitch.sb
  • Channel Hopper
    Demonstrates a simple ‘next-channel’ button for ‘channel hopping’ in Scratch, using looped sounds from the sound library to represent the channels. It should be used in combination with a One Switch Shield connected to a funda Reader. Pressing the switch hops to the next sound (of six). You will need to select your own reader from the sensor value block’s drop-down menu. No need for a partner funda project (as there are no tags involved), but the middleware should be open and running as usual.
    Download: channelHopper.sb

On-board Photoresistors @ SIM, 29 & 30 March 2012

On-board Photoresistor (light sensor):
Left to right & top to bottom: securing photoresistor to the Reader; top view; under view; controlling sound levels of a Scratch programme by increasing or decreasing the distance of the face-down Reader from the table.

How-tos

  • On-board Light Sensor
    How to set up an On-Board Photoresistor on the Reader. Test it out with the Example Projects below.

Example Projects

  • Light Sensing
    Demonstrates how to access photoresistor data in Scratch – a variable is continually set to the values received from the sensor port to which the photoresistor attached. Use with an On-Board Photoresistor. No need for a partner funda project (as there are no tags involved), but the middleware should be open and running as usual. You will need to select your own reader from the senor value block’s drop-down menu. Download: photoresistorReadings.sb
  • Controlling Sound with Light
    Demonstrates how to control Scratch sound levels with photoresistor readings. Use with an On-Board Photoresistor. You should start off by establishing minimum (min) and maximum (max) light readings for the setting in which you will be using the Reader and rounding these values to the nearest 100. Then adapt the script which converts the photoresistor readings to values between 0 and 100 with these values (as shown below):

    variable = (photoResistor - max) / ((min-max) / 100)

    You may need to recheck and adapt your min and max values once you have everything up and running. Download: photoresistorVolume.sb

DIY Force Sensitive Resistors @ SIM, 2 & 14 April 2012

Building Force Sensitive Resistors:
Left to right & top to bottom: preparing the edges of PCB plate with sandpaper; the prep-ed plates with cables attached; applying the hot glue used to bond the various layers of the sensor together; sandwiching it all together.

How-tos

  • Force Sensitive Resistor (FSR)
    We used Kyle McDonald’s great Instructable for the FSR. The sensor is made from high density conductive foam – the protective material used for packaging microcontrollers – and one-sided copper PCB plate. In addition to Kyle’s steps, we also prepared the edges of the copper side of the PCB plate with a little sandpapering to ensure good adhesion. Note: not all conductive foam is created equal, so try experimenting with different types and thicknesses to see how this effects performance.

Example Projects

  • Simple Running Meter
    Demonstrates a simple way to measure the paces of someone running on the spot using a Force Sensitive Resistor (FSR). Conductive foams vary a lot, so you will have to measure resistance with someone standing on and off your FSR and configure the script below with these values for the programme to work properly. In the example the FSR gave readings below 500 when someone was on the sensor and above 800 when they were off. Download: simpleRunningMeter.sb
  • Running Meter
    An extended version of the Simple Running Meter programme (see above) which includes a switch for starting/restarting the project and a timer which runs the project for 60 seconds. Should be used in combination with an FSR attached to sensor port 1 and an On/Off switch attached to sensor port 3. You will need to select your own Reader from the drop-down menu in the sensor value blocks.
    Download: runningMeter.sb

Testing Force Sensitive Resistors:
below left: testing out the FSRs in a running on the spot competition – the project counted the number of paces a contestant achieved in 60 seconds; right: the final hardware solution for the competition – a foot-size FSR attached to sensor port 1 and a switch for starting/restarting the project attached to sensor port 3.

Reed Switches @ SIM, 17 April 2012

Reed Switches:
Exploring various Reed Switch configurations in a 3 Reader to 1 Listener setup. Left: A reed switch connected to sensor port 1 on all three Readers. Right: The three reed switches connected in series to one Reader’s sensor port 1. We are working with neodymium magnets – they are the tiny disks attached to the ends of alligator grips.

Test scripts for Reed Switch experiments:
(top three scripts) set 3 variables to values from sensor port 1 on Readers 101, 102, 104 so that they are visible in Scratch; (script second from bottom) for testing the one reed switch per Reader configuration – plays a sound when all switches are in an ON state; (bottom script) for testing the three reed switches connected in series to sensor port 1 of Reader 101 – plays a sound when all three switches are in an ON state.

3-letter Word Games @ SIM, 21, 24 & 28 April; 5, 19, 22, 26 & 29 May; 2, 21, 26, 27 & 28 June; 3, 4 & 5 July; 21, 23, 28, 30 & 31 August 2012

3-letter Word Game Development Process:
Left to right & top to bottom: cutting out template for an interface modeled on a games controller, showing positioning for Readers, playing cards and visible switches; cutting out layer for interface modeled on a house; checking house interface layers; soldering 3 reed switches in a series circuit for detecting when a word is presented to the system; testing the reed switch circuit with a word; managing the recording of words; editing a word audio file; underside of game controller project’s cards, showing magnets and tags; securing house interface circuitry with hot glue; fitting switch in game controller interface; programming game with Scratch; attaching sensor circuits to Reader; adding visual detail to the house interface with coloured vinyl; testing game controller project; after adding positioning blocks and corresponding holes to align interface layers; final testing.

3-letter Word Games:
Casa das Letras game in use at SIM. To play the game users must create a given number of words with the 12 letter cards provided within a specified time frame. They may not repeat words or use proper nouns. The game has 6 levels: the first five are in Portuguese and the last is in English.

Wearable IDs (an intro to fundakit) @ SIM, 8, 15, 22, & 29 October; 5 November 2012
groupIDs

Wearable Identities:
left to right and top to bottom: gluing persona drawing to (RF)ID badge made from recycled cardboard, insulation tape, an RFID tag and safety pin; the fundagirls group (as they named themselves) wearing their persona badges; the fundagirls’ one-switch-shield remote controls; the group’s ID tags.

This project continues here

Board Games for the Floor @ SIM, 12, 19 & 26 Oct; 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 Nov 2012

For this project youth were divided into two groups of five and tasked with designing their own games for their after-school centre.

Both groups chose to design floor-based board games using force sensitive resistors (FSRs) to detect the presence of players on board squares, and hand-held devices for rolling dice and responding to questions.

One game was based on the popular Jogo de Glória game – renamed Super Glória – and the other was a completely new design called Batalha Ecológica. Super Gloria is for two players. Batalha Ecológica is for four players.

For the ‘boards’ groups chose to join forces and implement a single set of 18 FSRs which can be reconfigured into the two different board layouts.

In Super Gloria each players has a remote control (one in the shape of a key and the other a mobile PS) for rolling a virtual dice and answering questions. In Batalha Ecológica two players roll digital dice off the board for their partners on the board, who use a collection of tagged recyclable objects to respond to challenges (some of the FSRs also have RFID capabilities).

maquetteRecicla

Board Games for the Floor:
left to right and top to bottom: playing (and debugging) the analogue maquette for the Super Glória game with a real dice, chess pieces to represent the two players, and questions made up on the fly by the group; detail from the Super Glória maquette, showing the casas/squares for music, good luck, mathematics, bad luck, challenge and mathematics; maquette for Super Glória remote control showing A & B option buttons and button for rolling the virtual dice; maquette for the ecological game Batalha Ecológica.

This project continues here

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