First, I apologize for not posting last week's journal. I got carry away with the final paper in the advanced qualitative inquiry class. It was a pain when I was working on that paper. I am glad I turned it in today. I draw down some notes for the last week's journal, but I didn't get time to post it since I wanted to add images I took during my work process. Instead of posting the journal of the sake of posting, I would rather spend a bit more time to write down what I had done.
Recap of Week11 and week 12
I added the fan to the smoke machine with the paddle sticks I got since I am going to move the smoke machine next to the terrarium. It was a joy process when I was building it. I think I know why because I was able to control the outcome and the process. It was a straight forward decision making I could quickly evaluate any error that might occur. Compared to writing the code, it was much more unpredictable sometimes; it was harder to find the issue and error or the solution to the problems. Yet, the feeling of achievement was unmeasurable when a code is debugged it. This is frustrating and worried me, especially when not much time is remaining for this class. But it is a bit hard to value two of them on the same scale.
I easily measure and cut the length and height I needed to stabilize the fan between the nichrome wire and the battery. I first glued the paddle sticks on the two sides of the fan; then I realized it was not as steady as I thought it would be. So, I added two small paddle sticks between the woods and the fan.
I also searched how to make the water container that would give the water when the servo trigger to open the cup. It was just testing to prove my concept since pipette was all sold out in the Officeworks when I went. I was being told that it was sold out not only in the store but in all other stores and warehouses. Uhmmm…I am wondering why? Did the hospital use this? Anyway, with the call I had with my dad; we came up with the idea of using drip-feeding, by controlling the amount of the air to enter the container to let the water flow through the tube and add water.
The testing was not ideal because I didn't consider the size, shape, and volume of the container. The error was it didn't have a space to stabilize the servo, and a right position let the servo to control the cap to open. Searching on what I had at home, I found a Mentos I had with a cap that was linked to the body. To make it work, I would need to build two extensions; one from the cap and one vertically connected to the previous extension. Below is the image to explain the concept.
I shared my concern during the studio. Lorna shared and found a good example that I would use when I showed what I tried to build. I read it thoroughly after our section. I realized that I didn't have enough water tubes, and the one I got was for the smoke machine. So, I went out to get more airline tube near the pet shop in my house. I also got screwdrivers for the 2-channel relay. I was using my eyebrow plucker XD.
My servo was working fine on Thursday when I was testing, but the next day the servo was not functioning correctly. The servo moved left, and right without I pressed the button, it should be the other way around. Sigh…why it broke? That was the question that came to my mind, and the story didn't end after I bought a new one from Jaycar. The new one I got was a faulty servo, and I had to go back the next day to exchange it. Thankful, up to now, it works perfectly and I hope it wouldn't have any more problems. I guess this might happen to the end of the semester when we overworked with the prototype. I understand how frugal it would be, but this is the last thing that I wanted to face before the exhibition.
So far, I had managed to link the water function, rest, and the countdown timer, and they were all link together in one file. I need to give a big thanks to Liony and Paula to assist me when I ran to a problem in my coding. Both of them spent time and patients helping me solve the issue I had.
Reflecting on doing this project, I have a mixed feeling of whether the decision I made was factual. Did I consider the outcome is doable or not? Will it be easier if I made something that was simpler? Did I thoroughly consider the problem space to demonstrate the intended interactions and the user experience of the concept as a whole? Preferably only to create the smoke-based interaction yet lacking the reason of why the user would need this product. As I kept thinking, The Terrarium is a way of teaching children to have awareness about sustainability and environmental protection. How much would this product help children increase their understanding and knowledge? What would they get out of using it? To be honest, I don't have all the answers at this point. I am kind of giving up thinking about what to do with this project. I don't know how much I can do within the last week of class and our exhibition is at the corner. At this moment, piles of work in my hand and others as well, but I will try my best to do what I can and the best I can.
p.s. I will continue with the reflection in my next post.