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.

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.