Week 6

Thomas Saly - Tue 21 April 2020, 7:40 am
Modified: Sun 26 April 2020, 9:34 am

This Week's Class

During this weeks class we did some observational research, I believe the original idea was to do it first-hand, as in going to observe people doing things where they are doing it. However, due to the current restrictions, we instead chose to watch videos on youtube. Although it by that point it's no longer first hand since videos can be filmed and edited in a way to make any point the creator wants, we found it the best way within the time-limit to do the task at hand. This was a very useful exercise and I wished we would do this type of thing more. Doing this in class and talking about everyone's observations and analysis of it would be very useful. Also seeing what kind of observations more experienced people such as tutors and lecturers have could be very useful for developing good practices and skills.

The latter part of the class was dedicated to creating a Miro board of our project, defining a collective mindmap of our project with the team was relatively useful. Although we were all mostly in the same mind space we were able to clarify some points and clear up some misconceptions. Underneath are images of our comprehensive miro board which I feel sums up our project nicely.

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On Friday we ordered parts for all our individual prototypes, we ordered them with express shipping but as it turns out the AUS Postal service is suffering from some substantial delays. This has been very inconvenient since I had plans to work on the prototype for most of the break. On top of that once they arrived last Friday we found out that we had ordered a wrong, which is not compatible with the Arduino. The part is a speaker with a built in amplifier, luckily for us we found out that the speaker can be removed and we'll be able to build a functional speaker from it. The only issue is that we need a transistor and naturally we have no clue what kind/strength to get, we've asked one of the tutors for assistance but have yet to receive a response on slack.

For my own individual part I've been working on recording sound, more details to be posted later this week. I've gotten it to work some of the time but it seems to be very unreliable. Since the Arduino does not really have any real storage space we've opted to use a microSD card. I've followed a guide using a library to make the Arduino read and save the sounds from the microphone, however, thus far it works about 25% of the time and I have no clue as to why it sometimes works and why not, it's been incredibly frustrating and it's at these times I really feel the disadvantage of not being able to receive direct help. Of course this would not have been possible during the break, but the fact that you can't just sit down with people and work through a problem does make things a lot harder. Below are some images of my current setup, it's not pretty or anything close to how it would look later on but everything is hooked up in a way so that changes can easily be made whenever needed.


That said, however, although the recording of sound will be crucial in later prototypes it's not for this iteration. This means that I can focus on making the crucial part for the prototype throughout the week, conduct some testing and worry about the recording bit later on once I have the rest figured out. That said I have been able to rig up a bend sensor and am currently figuring out exactly how I'm going to fasten it inside of my ball and will be calibrating my ball so that when it is squeezed it will record sound, or at least at this stage, pretend to do so.