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Communicating between Arduino and Processing

Added on by Olivia Greco.

This project experiments with sending input from the Arduino to Processing, while incorporating a few different elements. 

Our circuit includes a blue LED, an infrared proximity sensor which detects the reflection of an infrared light within about a 10-80cm range, and a global on/off switch which controls the entire circuit. The wiring is housed in a white acrylic box which we laser cut so that the switch, LED, and sensor are accessible from the outside.

 Wiring inside

Wiring inside

 LED and switch

LED and switch

 IR sensor

IR sensor

When you interact with the sensor by moving closer to it, the LED gets brighter. This input information is sent from the Arduino to Processing, which uses the information to draw a cyan box with different text that appears when the user interacts with the sensor at separate defined distances. The point size of the text is mapped to the sensor distance value, so the text grows as the user comes closer. A new word appears incrementally at each closer distance. 

Our concept is based on the idea of an enticing storefront display. The user might walk by and become interested. As the user moves closer, the increasingly brighter light and changing text intrigue them even further, and convince them to come into the store. 

Physical Computing Project 2: Enhancing the Switch

Added on by Olivia Greco.

To enhance my homemade switch, I used a light-controlled variable resistor (photoresistor) in my circuit so that when the lights in the room are turned on, the LEDs around the mirror light up. When the lights are off, the LEDs turn off.

This would be practical if the lights were perhaps white and very bright, for example, as one might want to have this mirror illuminated on a vanity or bathroom counter.

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Here’s a schematic of my original circuit and my enhanced circuit. (No real reason for losing 1 LED besides the fact that I burned out all of my red LEDs and just used 2 yellows for simplicity.) In wiring the actual mirror, I simply replaced the resistor with a photoresistor.

When the lights are on around this circuit, the resistance of the photoresistor is lower, so the LEDs will light up. When the lights are off, they’ll go out.

Next, I used the Arduino as an in-between from the new analog input, and the LED output. I had to change this circuit in order for the Arduino to work. The variable resistor (photoresistor) has to be converted to varying voltage so that the Arduino can read it. I added a resistor to affect the voltage. The video shows me affecting the sensor with my hand by covering the sensor instead of turning on and off the lights.

Physical Computing Project 1: Object with Home Made Switch

Added on by Olivia Greco.

Assignment: Create a sculptural or architectural or toy-like or just weird object with some LEDs and a homemade switch. Try to use an unexpected material, and/or an unexpected behavior.

I built a homemade switch using a countertop mirror, 3 red LEDs and a 9V battery. When you adjust the mirror (tilt backward), the lights on top of the mirror turn on. 


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