Sigurd Soerensen - Mon 15 June 2020, 1:59 pm Modified: Mon 15 June 2020, 2:01 pm
The final week have come and gone, and we all made it through to the end. In the last days leading up to the exhibition, we revisited our team reflection one last time before handing it in and tested to see if our prototypes worked one last time after having merged our codebases. Finally, it worked to send messages to each other with all code merged! Although my prototype still was broken, we were able to show off our combined effort at the trade show.
As for the tradeshow, at first, we did not get many visitors, so we had an extended chat with Ben before Matt later arrived. Marie mostly held the presentations as her ball was one of the more reliable ones in terms of sending information to the others, whereas Tuva's worked half of the time and Thomas' broke midway through. Thomas was able to fix his again for the rest of the exhibition though. Later on, we had a flock of visitors who wanted to check out our concept, which was nice, and we did receive a lot of positive feedback. It was also nice to see how some of the other projects ended up and peoples' creativity in finding a way to prototype their concepts. All in all, it was a great ending to a long and exhausting semester, so I'm glad we can put that behind us and keep focusing on the thesis.
I didn't really receive any feedback on my portfolio, except from within my team. Seeing some of the other portfolios I decided that my time would be better spent working on the thesis rather than fine-tuning a few more things on the website, as it is rather good already.
Xue Xia - Mon 15 June 2020, 10:13 am Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 12:41 am
This week I focus on building the prototype. First, I need to list the details of the functions that I need to achieve which include the interaction plan and the technique that needs to be involved in the plan.
Then, I have learned how to use the servo motor, the ultrasonic sensor, and the flex sensor base on the sample on the Arduino tutorial. I have built them in one breadboard and have made sure each of them can run as what is supposed to be by using the sample code in the Arduino tutorial.
Then, I tried to make them work connectively as I am expected in my concept. First, I am working on using the ultrasonic sensor to close the light of the led strip. This function presents that the user can use their gesture to close the warning. After the user turns it off, the warning will warn again in a few seconds (simulate, actually should be 45 minutes later) to remind the user again. It is a function that can be used to remind the user to do study, to have a break, and to go back to study. After doing coding, I just can use the ultrasonic sensor to close the light, but cannot let it reopen automatically with a changed light effect and then close it by the distance sensor as a loop. I will go to the on-campus workshop to consult the tutor about it in next week.
Then, I tied to let the flex sensor and the ultrasonic sensor control the servo motor. It present that user needs to bend their finger (flex sensor) on the top area of the box (ultrasonic sensor) to lock and unlock (servo motor) the box, if the user bends their finger in other places, the box will not be locked or unlocked. The code I have written for it seems correct, but the servo keeps shaking when I run it, and when I waving hand on the top area of the ultrasonic sensor, the servo can work without the flex sensor. I need to consult this problem at the workshop next week as well.
Week 14 Journal
Zihan Mo - Mon 15 June 2020, 12:37 am Modified: Mon 15 June 2020, 12:37 am
During the exhibition, I have watched many interesting and meaningful concept and our team have demonstrated our concepts by using three teddy bears, each of us were working on different learning content and these contents focus on incorporating multi-sensory learning that encourages children to use more than 1 senses to engage with learning. Each prototype utilizes the sense of touch, hearing and vision to assist with children’s learning experience. We got many positive feedbacks and many audiences thought our concepts can effectively help kids learning in a funny and interactive environment, and develop their motor skills, and they thought it was an interesting way to present our concept. We also got many suggestions on how we can incorporate our concept together. Some of them also mentioned the tone of the audio is not friendly enough and the use of the word is too complex for the target age group.One of them has mentioned I need to deal with the incorrect response and no response situation. I think I need to consider these issues to make the prototype more friendly to the kids.
I decided this week to add more functionality to the prototype and provide a base for the breadboard with the particle photon and MPU6050. The functionality that was added allowed the user to shake the dice to record the number that was just rolled; this would then allow the user to multiply that number with the other ones they roll until they do the shake action again. Before the exhibit, the functionality was implemented and shown in Unity to keep track of whether the value is correct. The other functionality was multiplying the number when the user throws the dice. I only focused on multiplying the last two rolls as users will start with learning the times tables which are only multiplying two numbers. Unfortunately, I was not able to get it to fully function as the two last rolls don't change when the user rolls the dice again after throwing it upwards. This means the particle photon has to keep being flashed after each throw. Apart from showing the answer in Unity, it is not used for anything else. If the prototype was to continue to be built the answer would be used to know which sounds to compare to the ones the user produces through hand gestures. The comparing of sounds to check similarity was believed to be the most difficult part and, therefore, it was not focused on for the fear it would take too long and not enough functionality would be created for a person to interact with it by the time it came to the exhibit. If I was to do it again, however, I would explore this area a bit more to see if it was possible or feasible rather than decide it could be simulated through the computer. This would have allowed users to currently interact with the prototype more and test the interactions, as well as see how easy it would have been for the target users to answer the question through movement and matching of tunes. The prototype I did create, however, was functional enough and allowed users to roll the dice, with the side lighting up and corresponding audio would play which was another important part for the users to be engaged and interested in multiplication through the visual and hearing representation. The users would also know which sounds respond to which number. For the foundation, balsa wood and the tape were used and stacked to make the sensors sit flat and stay in one position so that the measurements would be within the range of values stipulated in the code. These were the materials and resources I already had. This did make the breadboard with the particle photon and MPU6050 sit better, however, the ranges for the sides had to be changed because the numbers were no longer within range. In hindsight, I should have tried to find a more accurate and better way to determine the side rolled instead of using the raw numbers; however, the side was still detected most of the time, thus, improving it was not focused on because other parts or work needed to be done.
I was nervous about the exhibit because I had never attended an event like that online or been a part of one. People suddenly coming into the video chat worried me as I am a typically shy person and I find it extremely uncomfortable talking to people I have never met; however, I feel I am getting better compared to my first years as there have been times that a course has pushed me out of my comfort zones and given me more practice to talk to people I don't know. The exhibit, however, was interesting to be a part of and I found that it was a lot more enjoyable than expected as the team was there supporting each other. People who attended were also very nice and seemed generally interested in the prototypes that we created. We got a lot of positive feedback from people and some asked questions to further understand our concept as well as have a good chat with us that made me feel more at ease. The exhibit did allow me to see all my team member’s prototypes and see the complete functionality that they had done. I was very impressed and wished I could interact with them physically. I was also lucky to see another team’s prototypes. It is wonderful to see how much work people have put in and achieved especially given the circumstance.
There were parts of the exhibition that was frustrating as my prototype at different stages would stop working or would only work when the camera was not on. The video feed also kept freezing which meant that sometimes when I was demonstrating to people, they couldn’t see; however, everyone was very patient, and I was able to show them when the video was working again. I decided to try and fix the prototype during the exhibit which had varying degrees of success; however, it did allow some sides to function.
To make the exhibit more of a success I should have planned better for what exact information I would want the users to know to better understand the prototype and when to use the share the screen to allows users to see the different data change when certain interactions are done and, thus more interactions could have been shown; however, the concern there would be people who are not familiar with Unity might miss the change in data. I am happy, however, that I used the web camera to show the prototype instead of using the phone as I prefer to listen to the audio and see other people on the computer. There was also an issue with the other user not being able to hear very well or not always seeing the video when tested before the exhibit.
This week as mentioned before was also spent on finishing the portfolio. I am not completely happy with the styling as it is not responsive enough and, for some pages, the content was too chunky and very minimal styling done. I was able to break up the content by adding images and videos to show the different interactions with the dice; however, further styling would have improved the aesthetics of the layout.
What to do now
Now, I am focussing on finishing the report which I have yet to properly look at because I decided to have a slight break and focus on other courses with closer due dates. This course has been challenging but also very interesting, engaging and fun. I am a lot more confident with using the Arduino and now a particle photon, as well as creating circuits. I hope to continue learning and creating more projects with the different sensors I have used as well as experiment with others. Thank you to the teaching staff who have all been extremely helpful and knowledgeable which has made it a lot less stressful when it came to creating the prototype, making it functional and continuing with the whole course in general.
The exhibition went really well for team Twisted. Our channel on Discord had a steady and constant stream of visitors, peers and teaching staff who were keen to see our team's individual projects in action. Team Twisted had a very cohesive presenting style where we would pitch, demonstrate and then introduce the next team member who would then repeat this process. This cohesion was even commended by visitors. The team also received positive feedback regarding our design approaches and complementary projects which were clearly reflective of one unified domain. All team members were able to succinctly and accurately answer any questions the visitors asked as well as effectively exhibiting the work completed to date.
No real problems occurred during aside from a small mishap with my red colour pad which triggered unexpectedly late into the exhibit. I realised that this was because the single core wire which was leading into the Arduino had been knocked and was touching another exposed wire. I fixed this and it worked without error for the rest of the night. In future development, Mixed would utilise a printed circuit board (PCB) in order to add to the design's durability and robustness. Another small issue was that some visitors were unfamiliar with how to use Discord which occasionally made it difficult to demonstrate our projects.
It was a learning curve but very rewarding in the long run. DECO3850 has showcased some exceptional designs and it was brilliant to see these in action at the online exhibition.
Reflection on Reflections
I just went through and reflected on all of my journal posts since week 1. It was really interesting going back through this living documentary of my project development. Some things that are glaringly obvious in retrospect didn't even cross my mind in the moment.
I think out my ability to reflect fluctuated to a significant degree over the semester. I found it quite difficult to reflect on some very straight-forward processes (such as building the physical controller of Mixed). I think it was mostly an inability to separate myself from the work I had just done, then step back and reflect on what I have done and how it complements the overall design/ design process of my project. I often found myself projecting potentials into the future rather than critically reflecting on past events.
I think that if I had refined this skill and made more of a conscious effort to reflect, some of my roadblocks could have been minimised or mitigated altogther. More specifically, I think that if I was able to reflect more effectively, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble relating to the audio feedback. Reflection could have evaluated the significance of previous (unsuccessful) feedback forms, called for earlier user testing and settled upon a more appropriate feedback form well before the appraisals.
Nevertheless, I think reflection is a skill that is mastered with consistent practice. So, here's hoping that reflection is continued far beyond my designing endeavours
Finally, this is the last post for my journal in this course. It has been a hard time for everyone but we survived well enough till the end.
The exhibition was running smooth. Even though some of my friends from another country had a problem with limited internet so they could not watch the live demo. But they commented that our projects are cool based on our websites. Don't forget to come to my website too on https://ixd-2020.uqcloud.net/lumombo/
I had a good experience with my product. We spend times together till two hours before the exhibitions. Even though I found many problems, that was because of the brain too tired. I could not see simple mistakes, for example: forget to attach the code to the objects that would affect the result. So tips for everyone, do not forget to rest your mind and heart. Give them a break.
Based on that, take a nice holiday before next semester for everyone still on the way to the graduation day. Also, congratulations to everyone who finish your study.
The online exhibit has been successfully holding on this Wednesday night. It was really great and exciting to all the works that have been done in this course bi either individual or team. And the whole online format of the exhibition was also surprisingly fun. Because we can quickly join and check other people's work and demonstrations without any physical restriction and extra waiting time by just join the team channel. In this aspect, the online exhibition has its own strength.
There were several crises when I prepared for the online exhibit. First, when I did the final testing of the code to check it every function works well. The servo was falling down from the stand. I quickly found a glue gun, heated it up, and trying to glue the servo back to the stand as soon as possible. After I managed to put the servo back to the stand and make the drop-down and lift-up function finally working. Then the LED lights just stopped working. After a quick check of the breadboard, I figured out it was because the cable of the LED lights connected to the breadboard has been broken. It might happen when I try the glue the servo, cause I kind of twist the stand a bit too much. So I quickly peeled off another 1cm of the cable's coat to make enough room for it to connect to the breadboard. Believe it or not, when I fixed all the hardware parts, my Arduino software on my laptop crashed. I attempted to restart and reinstall the software, but it still didn't work. It was just 15 minutes before the exhibition started. I finally borrowed another laptop and install the software to make sure the prototype working alright. So here's another lesson I learned from the exhibition, always prepared for the unexpected situation happen and always prepared to solve the urgent issues calmly and quickly.
When looking back at the design process step by step of what I have been done throughout the past 13+1 weeks. I feel really grateful that I got so much support and helps from the teaching team and friends from this course. Indeed it is definitely not easy to work on a physical project like this at home without professional tools and equipment. But we tried our best to get all the material by posting, online shopping, and DIYing. That was a challenging and exciting journey for me.
In the end, I want to wish everyone all the best with either uni study or the next new stage of life after graduation. It was great to meet you all in this course! See you!
Project Adjustment for Exhibition
Ryan O'Shea - Sun 14 June 2020, 6:55 pm Modified: Sun 14 June 2020, 6:55 pm
Gesture Based Research
For the gestures that I want to use in my robotic hand, first I need to make sure that none of them offend people. Therefore, to quickly gather some data I asked several people around the target market base of 18 -30 years old what gestures offended them, and in what context. Many of these gestures were deemed offensive but required more of the human body than just one hand like my robot. With a lack of body and other hand, many of these gestures are impossible or if attempted don’t look the same and aren’t offensive. For those gestures that can be done only two were an issue, with flipping the bird and using two fingers to represent ‘up yours’ were deemed offensive by some, however the context was when the gesture was directed at them by others, especially those they don’t know or when in an argument this gesture would insult them if done with intent. After asking whether these gestures done by a disembodied robotic arm would be as offensive, most participants responded with no, rather it would be humorous or novel to see, not offensive. There was nobody in my research group who would want a robot to not do these basic gestures due to a caused offense in this group.
Use of Research
Overall this showed me that it would be okay to use seemingly offensive gestures for my robot as they don’t come from a harmful place and is rather a novel method of interaction and shouldn’t offend anyone in the user group. The only potential issue is with second-hand viewers like children, however the nature of the concept doesn’t mix well with kids as the moving parts and many wires make the product fragile and susceptible to being broken, therefore in my project these gestures will be used to convey aggressive intent by the robot.
Update to Research
It is now week 13 and Lorna has just notified me that using the middle finger emoji in my branding of ‘hand signs’ for my portfolio could be unsuitable as school kids are attending the online exhibition. While the kids themselves might revel in the included ‘vulgar’ gestures, their parents would less than enthused. Rather than risk the concern, these gestures will be censored and not used in the robot, and more simple emoji notices will be used in the design (from middle finger to thumbs down on the site) in order to reduce the risk of possible offense to parents or guardians of the attending kids.
On Monday, I filmed the demonstration video of my project, in which showed the brief introduction, design motivation, the physical form and interaction means of my concept. In order to avoid some misunderstanding of my explanation in the video, I also added the subtitles to my video (English is my second language :) ) Also, I identified two primary success criteria used for gathering audience’s feedback on my prototype on the exhibition, which was:
Providing users with intuitive practice feedback
Offering users playful (gamified) practice guidance
On Tuesday, I conducted a test run of my prototype with my roommate to ensure all the functions work for the upcoming exhibition. Also, I revised and practiced the 1-min pitch for introducing my concept on the exhibit. It is:
Are you still struggling with the lack of breath when singing? Let’s try the ‘Breathing Tree’! It’s a tree-shaped device can help you practice the abdominal breathing technique used for singing. It aims to help young singing-lovers practice breathing in an intuitive and playful way by providing them with multi-sensory engaging feedback. It will provide both auditory and visual feedback by detecting users’ abdomen movement and their breathing length respectively. By using this device, you will get rid of practicing the breathing technique in the tedious and less intuitive way, instead, it will give you playful instructions to practice that in the correct and interesting manner.
During the final exhibit, the audience interacts with my final product both in an online manner (via Discord) and in person. My engagement with each participant commenced with introducing my concept, and then I showed the functions and user experience (if online) or asked them to interact with the prototype to practice the abdominal breathing technique. Finally, for people interacted with my prototype in person, I also conducted informal user testing with them by using the semi-structured interview and observations.
Overall, users gave positive feedback on the physical form and the interaction means of my concept and believed that the final product met the theme of the course, which is designing playful interaction for everyday life. Some of the participants were interested in why our team chose the design space of breathing. My response was as follows:
Many people think they have mastered the basic breathing skills an even don’t know there are different types of breathing techniques that can be used for different activities. So, our team thought it would be interesting to explore how we could use the parts of the body that people use for breathing as playful controllers of interactions. Also, it will be meaningful to combine novel interactions with seemingly simple things in our daily life.
In addition, participants’ feedback also proved that my final product has met the success criteria mentioned above. First, they reported multi-sensory feedback makes it is easier for learners to practice this breathing technique, and the qualified lighting up effect enhances the intuitiveness of interaction. Also, by providing users with gamified exercises, users also thought that they were able to get playful practice guidance.
Also, Wally, Paula, and John presented their concepts at home, and some participants jumped in our team channel to chat with us.
During the exhibition, I also experienced other team’s prototype in person and via Discord, which was also a great opportunity for me to get to know some interesting designs.
Through the development and design of my project, I got a better understanding both for the broad domain and our team design topic. First, for the Body as Controller, a lot of existing devices in this domain mainly use the hand gesture, hands, or feet as the part of controller, but they less focus on other parts of users’ bodies. Our team’s exploration proved that it is interesting and worth exploring that combining different parts of users’ body to trigger the interaction, which can further provide more design possibilities in this domain. Furthermore, for the Breathing for Wellness, when learning and practicing the breathing, it is valuable to have some interesting ways to visualise abstract breathing activities into concrete interactions (for me, I visualised that by the number of LED lights on the breathing tree).
Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the teaching team. Thanks for all you guys’ help and support for the completion of my final project in my degree. All of you are very adaptative and supportive for helping me get through this tough semester. Also, I’m very grateful to my peers in this course, especially my teammates, thanks for the help and encouragement. Guys, see you again (alright, I’m gonna sing on Queen Street with my microphone)!
And just like that the whole course has finished! I feel like this has been the longest semester but has also gone by so quickly. I'm really proud with what I have been able to achieve given these difficult conditions we were required to work in. I was really anxious at the start when the project moved from being in a team to being by myself but there has been some benefits that I didn't think about. I'm not going to lie and say I preferred doing it alone but it has meant that I have been able to work on every aspect and go way out of my comfort zone. I feel as though I could have easily just focused on the aspects I found comfortable, being design and the physical build, but by working alone I've had to problem solve through various electronic and programming issues that I would have never really had to do had I been in a team.
The exhibit was surprisingly very fun! I think having the physical exhibit would have, of course been better but it was quite fun being able to just pop into people's channels and quickly see their work before jumping back into ours when we had a guest. It was really cool to see everyone's final prototype and everyone was so supportive!! It was really cool to see all my team members' Emily's and how we approached things similarly and differently. I definitely think as a team we would've been able to create something amazing, but alone I still think we have all achieved really cool final prototypes! I was also really surprised by the number of guests we had and how many random people were genuinely interested in our work! I think the whole night was very successful and was a great finish to the course.
I was really sad when I found out this course was moving online but through our weekly zoom calls and very entertaining podcasts, this subject has to be one of my favourites yet. The teaching staff have done an amazing job to keep us all engaged and connected so I just want to say THANK YOU!! I'm very excited to come back and attend the exhibit in future semesters!
Now I just have to finish the team report and critical reflection essay and (fingers crossed) I will be an official graduate!
Week 13 - Documentation & Reflection
Lucy Davidson - Sun 14 June 2020, 5:14 pm Modified: Mon 22 June 2020, 11:53 am
It’s the final week! I feel like I have so much I could still be working on for my project but I need to focus on what we spoke about in our studio this week: "If you had a magic wand and could wave it over your project, what would you want it to do?". My response to this question was, "that Emily knows when the air conditioner or heater is on, make the logic for acceptable temperatures a lot easier". A lot of the feedback I got on the Miro board and in person testing was that users were concerned about how the temperature was deemed inefficient. To be honest, I had been putting this off for a while but as this is the main data being collected to effect Emily's outputs, I know it needed to be well thought out. I did some research into what the government have suggested as the ideal temperature and decided that this relied a lot on knowing if an appliance was on. I decided I should add more to my simulation aspects (the outdoor temperature dial) and add two switches to simulate turning on and off the air conditioner. I spent a bit of time making a laser cut box for this too and I'm really happy with how it turned out!
Earlier this week I had some technical difficulties with my prototype.. I was putting it all together to take some photos to give to the media team, and the whole prototype stopped working. I was very stressed as the exhibit was coming up in less than a week and started panicking. I pulled everything off the board (thanking myself that I used connectors instead of soldering everything directly onto the board) and testing each component one by one. I ended up figuring out that the problem was that there wasn't enough power supplied to power all the different components. I did some research and spoke to some of my friends who are much more experienced in electronics and they suggested that I bypass the on-board power regulator and power externally using a 5V supply directly from a USB power supply. They also suggested I use a power shifter to convert the 5V back down to 3.3V that the board required. This fixed everything and I was so excited when it all started working again! This was a massive relief but also pushed back all my work by a few days as I did have to unsolder and then solder a few components. I decided to not get too stressed and just focus on getting through the next week, even though it did end up with a few nights finishing at 6am… I definitely learnt from this experience how important it is to put the extra time into making good connectors so that I can pull everything off the board if I need to.
I've found that the touch pins aren't as reliable as I expected so I decided to change them to buttons. Although this doesn't have the same feeling of holding Emily's arms as though you are working as a team to save the environment, I still think it will work well for the target user group. It is still easily understood by all age groups and difficult enough to be annoying but easy enough to integrate into their everyday lives. Overall, I don't think this change will have a large effect on the interaction with Emily.
I'm mostly very excited for the exhibit! I am a little unsure of what to expect and hope I don't get asked too many difficult questions but I'm trying to stay positive! I know we're all in a very uncertain time and I think everyone will be feeling a similar way. I'm really glad I'll have my team there with me in case anything goes wrong!
Work To Do
It's now Sunday and I'm pretty happy with what I have been able to achieve! I just have a few final things to finish and then I can put everything together! I have all the components mostly working when they should but I do have a bit more programming to do to ensure she advances her state when she is meant to.
I have finished the template for my website and mostly filled in the content. I just have to record some videos and finish up the portfolio once the prototype is completed. I kind of wished I left more time between finishing the prototype and submitting the portfolio but I think I've done the best I could have with all the other assessment I've had on! My website can be seen at https://ixd-2020.uqcloud.net/davidson/
The long awaited journey has finally come to end. With the exhibition this week, we have finally reached the end of weird yet amusing online classes. Before the farewell, let me take you through the week.
Online Exhibit (Whaaaaaaaat?) -
Alright, everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. While preparing for the online exhibit, me and the team arrived 3 hours before exhibit begins so, we decided to test if everything worked. Plugged the prototype in, uploaded the code and everything broke. We fixed them eventually but there were three problems we had to solve -
Numero Uno, Arduino IDE failure: Unfortunately & funnily, the new arduino update on the day our exhibit was due screwed up. We were unable to even open up the IDE. Fortunately with a simple fix on internet, we were back on track. Even some other students there faced the same problem.
Numero Dos, burning arduino: After uploading the code, we took 10 min break and when we came back, smoke was coming out of arduino. The problem was related to voltage and too many parts connected to one 5V pin. We had IR sensors, 3 Neopixel Strips, DFmini Player & speaker connected to one power source. Following this, we took out individual parts and made each host on different arduinos. This did meant we had to simualte the individual aspects working together.
Numero Tres, Sensor failure - The potentiometer stopped working. I had hot glued all the parts but still, it broke. I was getting same reading even when I was turning the potentiometer. So, I borrowed a spare one for Lab and thankfully the prototype was fixed.
Overall, once the exhibit started everything went well. We presented and got good feedback along with interesting questions and future development suggestions. Though we weren't able to give viewers the same experience due to the exhibit being online, still seeing the responses, I would say that we were able to get the concept across successfully.
We built website for the exhibit which can be found here - https://anshsama.github.io/SassMobile/
I know there are tons of improvements that can be made but if you would like to review the website and suggest me improvements, it would be appreciated.
I know the course isn't over and there's still one assessment left but still it feels like over (I will probably post another update on the last assessment). Anyway Arigato & Sayonara
Well, this week was definitely a crazy one! On Wednesday, we had our exhibition which meant our portfolio and the final product had to be completed. It was a very busy few days continuously adding more to the website and to Emily herself.
Once I had completed and finalised my functionality within the Arduino, I taped together any cables I could or swapped out loose jumper cables for fresh ones to make a nice and neat environment.
I created the nose for the snowman out of ProtoPutty which actually worked perfectly. I made multiple noses to try out and then glued the one I liked the most to Emily's head. I then made my arms out of straws which were really fun to do! It was nice to feel crafty and to work purely with my eyes and judgement (and scissors of course). Once I was happy with them, I glued them on and added eyes with a marker and also glued the rest of the materials together. Then Emily was a completed snowman!
I was quite happy with the physical outcome of my project however I could have definitely done more to improve. I would have liked to glue together the bowls instead of taping however I needed to ensure constant access was available to the Arduino components in case one became loose as it was not soldered or permanently placed. I would have also loved to explore other means such as resin printing, 3D printing or laser printing but with limited access to resources, I chose the path of more household materials. This allowed me to be more creative with what I could find a use for. With my physical product complete, I was able to create my videos and take photos of such. I was then able to finish the content needed for the portfolio and add it all together.
The exhibition was on Wednesday the 10th and went from 4-7. Whilst we had a slow, lonely beginning, time actually went really fast. The day of the exhibition was an eventful one for me with an unforeseen family emergency but thankfully things worked out and I was able to attend. Between having guests in our channel, our team would visit other channels to see their final products. It was really nice to see the other teams as we have seen their constant progress through the contact sessions this semester. I love how different ideas can evolve within the teams and within different themes. Receiving feedback from people who have only seen the final product and not the entire progress was great! They come in with a fresh mind and can give you different kinds of feedback. This got me thinking about why exactly I did things. Sometimes I didn't even really know my reasoning behind small little things, such as why we chose the name "Emily". Whilst I decided to incorporate a temperature and light sensor, I feel like I should have focused on one feature. This would have dedicated more of my time to improving just one sensor rather than trying to jump between the two continuously.
I enjoyed working with my theme and my team however there are a few things I would have changed/hoped for differently. I really wished we were able to take the course as it was intended and work as a team. I know we could have produced a pretty cool product with all of us together but it was not viable with COVID-19. The course was really fun and hands-on and quite intense but was a great final course to take before graduation.
I really loved my other team members' projects and to see which direction they went with and how it ended up. It was really great to see the differences and I think they all did an amazing job. If I were to re-do my product, there is a lot of inspiration from their "Emily"s I would find very beneficial to incorporate into my own project. This again makes me think of the results we could have produced an amazing product with all four minds put together.
All that is now left to do is to write my critical reflection and then the course is over!
Sheryl Shen - Sat 13 June 2020, 4:27 pm Modified: Sat 13 June 2020, 4:34 pm
Overall, the exhibition went smoothly as the team collaborated well to deliver our project to the audience. At the beginning of the exhibition, the team was not familiar with the delivery form and was quite unsure what to do at first when the guests came to our chat room. However, we managed to get used to it and started to develop our own project delivery approach. I have received several feedback either from the guests or my teammates.
Interesting way to present the concept and the prototype is well-designed.
The prototype perfectly presents the concept and the logic of it is really clear.
One of the classmates like the idea of the team getting the same teddy bear so that the visitors can easily see that the prototype comes from the same concept
The audio feedback itself is distracted thus, is not clear enough to be presented through the video and the user may not be able to understand clearly
The tone of the audio is not friendly enough and the use of word is too complex for the target age group
Interesting to see the how the prototype is building in the bear
This week, I have completed the prototype by incorporating the speaker to it. The Arduino board is then put into the bear to simulate the user interactions. The four leds are placed on the tummy, so that the users can clearly see the colour lighting, the speaker and the pressure sensor are put on the right ear and the mouth respectively for a better user experience, and 4 patches with buttons implemented are the children’s main interaction which are placed on the bears palm and sole.
As the game begin, the bear will welcome the user and briefly introduce how to play the game and then, the users will press any of the patches to start. When the user enter the sequences correctly, the system will output ‘Great job, you have successfully memorised 5 lights’ to encourage the users and notifying them about the progress. If the user insert incorrect value, the system will output ‘you are so close, try again!’ in a friendly tone. I chose the female voice for the audio output since i personally think that the tone is softer and is closer to the the mother’s image.
This week, I was rushing to finish the prototype and start filming the demo. Building the Arduino into the bear took me a lot of efforts since it was relatively hard to stick the components on the fluffy surface and to put the materials in the right position. I have used a cardboard to place the four leds on and use a needle and thread to attach to the bear. Instant glue for rest of the components
The demo went well, however, the video was a bit long due to the long gaming time. The video demonstrated different situations of the product:
Welcome and intro
Instructions to start the game
When the user passed the challenge
When the user failed the challenge
When the user head to the next challenge
When the children squeezed too hard so that they are hurting the toy
When the user completed the game
I have some people testing on my product, and the feedback were mainly positive.
The concept and the delivery method is novel
The patches/buttons are not sensitive enough
The lights are visually engaging as it presents the basic forms of colours and the position within the bear is easy to recognise.
The audio feedback is encouraging, however the tone is flat
This semester is hard for both us and tutors, we were trying to figure out a new way to keep high-quality education in such a suffering situation. Finally I happy with the final outcome I got and the assistance the teaching team provides.
In the whole process of designing, the hardest part is communication with teammates. Since we do not have a chance to meet up in person, so we need to contact with each other remotely. Initially, we found our efficiency of communication is lower than before, so we were trying to find some ways to enhance our efficiency, so we were trying to use some online tools to help us. And the miro is the best one, it can help us to analyze logic efficiently.
Anyway, this is a special semester for us, and we all will remember it.
In this week, I was doing preparation for the final exhibition, I was focusing on the final program, portfolio, and physical block.
Final python program
For the program, we met a problem which is the robot can not send the data of finding a wall to the python program, so Bowen and I were thinking about using a virtual map to achieve that, which means we create a virtual map by creating arrays and labeling the position of road, wall, start, and final. As shown below:
Since this time, we increase the number of blocks to provide more possibilities for the users. But there is a problem which is that it is more difficult for users to pick the block they want among such many blocks. So, I was trying to figure out how to solve the problem. Then I came up with one idea which is to use different colors to classify the code blocks by using different colors, this will help users to pick up blocks more quickly, as shown below:
This week, I finished most of the contents in Word, then I will put it to my website next week, as shown below:
Plan for next week
Next week, I will finish the portfolio website, and I will shoot some demonstration video for portfolio too.
After a week's effort and fixing bugs with the tutor's help, we are able to deliver the final product for the exhibition.
The final product is a mat that contains pressure sensors, when users stand on the mat and start doing fitness exercise, the pressure sensor will start capturing pressure value, these data will be transferred to two components: one is python working with garageband (a music creation studio on Mac with a complete sound library that includes instruments, presets for guitar and voice, and an incredible selection of session drummers and percussionists), this will generate music based on input data because the rhythm and loudness of the music is based on pressure value which refers to user’s movement . The other is Unity, linking pressure value to dynamic patterns. We set up different pressure level to match different dynamic patterns, to showcase users’ exercise status. So, the working interactive code is from Arduino to Python and Arduino to Unity. Overall, when users step on the mat, the music and dynamic patterns will start working collaboratively to provide playful interactions for users.
After the final product was built, I think we have achieved most of the intended concept, mostly by translating the physical variable pressure into music, and users can instantly “hear” the efforts they have put on exercising. The interactions including music and dynamic patterns are fulfilled, and LED strip is included to enhance users’ perception. Though vibration is considered less obvious, so we didn’t include that feature in the final product. What we didn’t achieve, comparing to the ideal concept, is that the mat can only hold one person’s weight rather than multiple people, thus, lower the social interactions. Also, the overall look of the mat is still rough and not flexible enough to carry around, and aesthetic design still needs to be improved to provide a good-looking packaged product. One of the regrets is that we didn’t have time to purchase a larger pressure sensor, so the activated area on the mat is limited and thus, lower the sensitivity. If the time was allowed for shipping, we will overcome this.
Overall, I think our project succeed in bringing joyful experiences in fitness exercise by involving instant gratification and additional playful interactions and thus, promote people to keep fit through exercising. We involved a small scale of users to test our final product and they enjoyed playing with this device and had fun, mostly from the interactions with dynamic music which attract their attentions. Of course, there are still a lot of space for improvements for this product, our team will keep working on that in the future.
Can't wait to show our final product. All things went well in the exhibition. I’m super satisfied with the final product and cooperation in team work. Basically we fully realized the intended ideal product, and it satisfied others as well. Although the project was under the restrictions of epidemic, teamwork can also be carried out efficiently and orderly. Through this project and course DECO7385, I learned a lot about team work, my problem domain, project progressing, Arduino amd Uity 3D coding skills.
As for the team work, to guarantee the effectiveness, the first thing is to form a team with members good at all the skills that would be needed in the future work. It would also be easier when assigning the work load. After allocating the work in each step, it’s important to set a deadline within the team, or it might cause delay of progress,which happened in our earlier progress. Timely communication is also important, we have to make sure that every member is working on the right track, and provide support for each other.
As for our problem domain, i believe it’s very meaningful. It motivated me to keep going whenever i met trouble. We hope our game can help train visually impaired people’s hearing ability, i also found a meaningful insights in this game. I can replace the zombie’s attack sound with some important daily sound, like the car horn, and replace the interference sound in the game with some noise in daily environment. In this way, it can help them get more familiar with the real life.
To ensure the project progress smoothly, breaking down the project is a important step. At the earlier stage of this project, i had no idea what we should do specifically until we learned how to break down the project during the course. By breaking down the project in details of every aspect, we can clear know what should we do step by step.
The major work for me is to develop Arduino devices, Unity 3D coding and to connect them. I improved these skills a lot through this project. Especially the communication between Unity and Arduino, thanks to consultation with Ben, i learned a lot how to analyse problem and dig out where the problem is in the codes.
Thanks you all. Thank you Lorna, all our tutors, peers. I really appreciate all your work, teaching, supporting and inspiring, i really learned a lot from all of you.
Peiquan Li - Fri 12 June 2020, 10:31 pm Modified: Fri 12 June 2020, 10:38 pm
Get back on track
After last week's failed attempts, we have to go back to mechanical solutions, to try to use structural design to match the detect range of the FSR and the weight of people. And that’s how we deliver for the final product.
The main component of this product is the mat with two pressure sensors. The mat is built up by a PVC board as a panel and 4* 600mm steel shelves support under the panel, we use glue to bond steel bars and the panel. Two pressure sensors are placed on the two-foot extensions (from Wii Balance Board), which are close to the PVC board. There are two protrusions on each foot extension that allows force from the panel to act directly on the pressure sensor. Note that each sensor’s pressure measuring range is from 20g to 6kg, and we use some mechanical design to overcome this, now the mat can hold an adult’s weight and the pressure sensor works within range.
Connect Arduino to Unity
Arduino is used to read analog from pressure sensor and set up into two levels for Unity to catch signals. Unity will keep monitoring serial’s signal and discarding data from the serial driver's receive buffer to lower communication’s delay. The signal will be used to control patterns’ play and stop.
Connect Arduino with LED strips
The pressure sensor is also used to control LED strips, each time when user step on the pressure sensor, the LED will change its light randomly.