Tinkle, part 1/2 – installation

For the past few weeks, we have been play-testing a lot. Based from users feedback, we decided to rip-off the message-recording portion. Simplify the interaction to user enters, sits and hears a message, then leaves.

Process: Fabrication
We decided to hacked the toilet instead of getting a real one. We search through target, bed bath and beyond, and china town for stools. But none of them has the height and shape we want.

Then we came across this camping porta-potty from Amazon. It was perfect. We replaced its upper sitting area with an actual toilet seat. Coated it with a warm hue of pink. It was funny to this announcement from Pantone a few days after our spray-paint session.

Process: Code
We used Arduino to send out data from the sensors and P5 to play our pre-recorded message. For the sensors, we know that we need a distance sensor at the entrance to determine the enter state of user. A photocell inside the toilet bowl to determine the standing and sitting states. The photocell works likes a charm, but the ultrasonic sonar distance sensor is giving unstable values that we had to change to IR sensor.

After we have tested all the sensors. We attempted to put it onto a solderable breadboard to lessen the amount of space consumed, but we failed. This was one day before the winter show. So we went back to the normal ones.

Presentation &  Winter Show
The two-day winter show has been fun. A number of users tested our project and they seemed to like it. The longest record people sit inside it is around 5-minutes after the recording stops.

Playtest and More

In preparation of the play-test, Suzanne and I cut out a toilet-shaped seat and lid and put them on top of a chair. We agreed that the piece should be isolated in some way; whether enclose it with cardboard, a curtain, or install it near a corner.

System Diagram

Above is the system diagram. User enters and sits on the toilet. Once they are sitted, the sound piece will be played. They hear the piece and record a response. They get a note from the toilet then exits.

Questions Still Need Figure Out:
Do user get a printed message before they end the experience?
Do we want them to be able to hear their own recordings?
Or does it make more sense to play other people message?

BOM, Timeline

PCOMP Final Project Ideas 2

1. 90s Childhood Games – More Interactive

How to Interact:
2 people play together, each playing one sensor. One who first connects in four wins.

Plywood – rack
Silicon – chips
Sensors – knock, temp, LED.

6″ x 6″ laser-cutted plywood
36 pre-installed chips (each with 2 sensors)
reset button

– What sensor should I use? Knock, temp, LED.

How to Interact:
User press the buttons and guess where the bomb is.

Minesweeper algorithm


2. Real-time API
Flight, traffic, stars.
Indian Train

Based from real-time API, interaction piece respond to it. Something moves, something goes off.

PCOM Final Project Ideas

1. Sound manipulation from everyday objects.
I would love to see how things we use and see each day can be manipulated into a musical instrument. Some of the “instrument” I have in mind are rubber shoes, kitchen utensils, or even washing machine. The Nike/Free Run Plus project serve as one of my inspiration.

2. Self-motivated machine.
In ITP, I often felt my time fleet away without me even noticing, like I need 36 hours to catch up with all the workloads and classes I am taking. I wanted to create a installation that moves on its own without people interacting with it, a truly self-motivated piece, to make a resemblance of my current status.

Tickle My Tummy Candy Dispenser

Halloween is such a huge thing in States that even our PCOM midterm revolves around the theme. Which is weird for me and my group mate Arnab, because we never really get to celebrate it back in our countries. We heard that there is even a Halloween parade coming up this week, and streets will be shut down partially.


The initial idea for the project was based on the hammer game. But instead of hitting the target as hard as you can with a hammer, you squeeze it.

Breaking down the component of the hammer game, we have:
1. a input where force is detected
2. a visual and audio output to represent the force (a.k.a score)
3. a reward

With the components listed above, we then decided to make it a candy dispensing machine to have it more relevant to Halloween.


After setting our idea, we quickly went to production. We were able to talked with a few people who had similar projects before, namely Lola, Cammy, and Armitabh. Lola lent us a  MPX 5010 air pressure sensor which we tested on stress ball, enema, and silicon. Enema and silicon works surprisingly well since they both have a hallow space inside.

We decided to customize our own shape by 3D-printing a mold and casting it with silicon. Cammy recommended us to get the Smooth-on Eco-flex 00-30 on it. We got it from the Compleat Sculptor. They have all variations and samples of the silicon.

After getting the sensor to work. We worked with the lights, audio, and motor, and fabrication.

The Water Flow Metaphor

This week we looked into serial communications, and have our arduino and web work together. I took one of the sketch I had in previous ICM class, and manipulated it using an analog value.

Here’s the photo of my sketch, I controlled the water flow as the potentiometer turns on and off.


Interactive Technology – Presence

Last weekend, Maker Faire held its annual exhibition at NYSCI. I volunteered to help the 2nd year’s out and was assigned to this project named Presence, a project of Dan Oved.

It was really a fun project. By using the webcam, it captures body poses and reflects them real-time on screen and on the installation. If you do not feel comfortable moving your body around, there is also a midi set that act as a controller. I love the fact that it involves so little explanation for people to make interactions. They just know what to do; some sway their arms up and down, some do jumping jacks, some even dance!

One of the biggest problem we encounter is when there are other people present in the background, the program gets confused on who to interact with. Also, I think the pattern created in the real world is not as obvious as it is portrayed on the monitor.

Turning LED with Creative Switches

After being able to light up a push button LED, we were asked to make a creative switch. I decided to try toggle switch, when switch to one side, one of the LED lights up, when switch to another, another LED lights up. But then I failed. Both LED lights up when switch is on one side. Which is not what I want. My good classmate Tushar came over and helped me with the sketch and board.

This second one was a flat iron switch! When the two ends touch together, LED lights up. I grab some aluminum foil from the shop and wrap them around the iron. Then place two wires to each side respectively.

The third one was a swiper switch, that when card is swiped across swiper, LED lights up. The shapes were created using laser cutter. I assembled them and included coil tapes and jumper wires.