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Archive for the ‘Sociable Objects’

Observation Assignment with Mike

March 26, 2010 By: Asli Category: Sociable Objects

Go for a walk.  At each intersection, flip a coin to decide which direction to walk.  Observe things around you, go into buildings you walk past.  Record your observations.

E8th and Broadway

The guys on the window washing crane aren’t cleaning the windows of a 20 story building, they are painting over all the windows with white primer
Rafiqi’s halal cart in front of B of A has been upgraded to a brand new red van.

Mercer and Waverly

We are spotting lots of construction.
The crane/cherry picker is bright blue, it make Asli smile.
The italian place looks closed.  The door says they are closed because of “technical difficulties”
Alsi notes a bike that looks like it is melting into the ground.

Mercer and next block

Corner is pretty boring.  The facade of the building kitty-corner to our position is ornate and nice to look at.  Going inside to investigate the building

Inside building

Department of Economics, the outside of the building looks old but the inside looks modern with nice chairs.
There are still a few old ornate pillars from the original building decor.
The interior of the building is as big as the block.  It didn’t seem that way from the outside.
Mike realizes that he has been in this building before - for the Future of Infrastructure final presentations.
We walked a block inside the building without flipping a coin.
The guards are much happier in this building.

On Broadway and West 4th.

Everything is about construction in New York.
The scaffolding has a big first level then lots of tiny upper levels.
Notice a water tower on a distant building, it looks old and like it is about to fall over.

We notice Todd trying to sneak up on us.  After we see him, he looks confused and runs in the opposite direction. Amazing.

Inside leather shoe store on Broadway

Too many colors
Too many shoes.

Mike likes “kid” mini green cowboy boots.
Asli likes the pink Doc Martens and the fact that there is no loud music playing in the store.
There is nothing much.

Crazy flame shoes with huge buckles.

Back on Broadway

We notice that there are water tanks on almost every roof we see.
We also notice one roof with plants on the top.


Ugly more modern brick building.  Is it NYU dorms, I think so.
A lot of cool looking buildings
Guy with a shaved head and cool looking beard
Tiny graffiti on top of a building
First cobblestone street
Yellow balloons outside and around a clothing store: Why?

Alley on Bond Street

Inside a dirty alley, no one’s here
5 cars parked back to back, blocking each other
Lots of fire escapes
Windows with metal shutters that look like old dungeon doors
Lots of unused dead space in New York that artist could use as studio space
Pieces of trash bags and caution tape stuck between thorns of old barb wire
2 people come inside the alley and we leave

Blick Art store

Things on sale
Little boxes of different toys. Mike plays with one and gets the ball inside a tiny bucket inside the box
Book: Ice-cream; Contemporary Art and Culture, lip magnets, (fake) puzzle clock, Make your own comic kit
A little overwhelming
Giant foam core
Lots and lots of art supplies and stationary
Tiny little plastic containers for storage and projects
Mike gets metal lids to do laser etching on them
Book: Designing Sustainable Packaging
Lots of magazines

Bond and Lafayatte

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapelle rip off mural (Creation of Adam)
Gold surrealistic sculptures on the fire escape of a theater company building
Giant add with LeBron James

Lafayette and Bleecker

Very busy corner with subway stop
Girls with super bright turquoise tights. Shoes have holes that made it look like she had matching shoes.
Hardware store

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Romantic Light Sensor

February 24, 2010 By: Asli Category: Sociable Objects

Sarah and I worked on this week’s assignment together and oh boy, did we run into problems! At the end it worked because we had a lot of debugging help from Rob. Here is a short list of things that went well:

  1. We paired our XBees and were able to chat, hurray!
  2. We realized our first photocell was broken.

We spent 4 hours on our own to debug the rest but with no success. During office hours on Monday, we sat down with Rob and tried a ton of things to debug the project. Here is a long list of what went wrong:

  1. Sarah’s XBee breakout board had two pins soldered together.
  2. Although I was using two 1.5 volt batteries to power up my breadboard, I was using this step-up battery holder and actually giving 5 volts to the XBee! Which of course meant that my radio wasn’t sending anything the whole time.
  3. Sarah’s XBee wasn’t configured properly on the API mode.
  4. I had configured an extra digital pin for the LED, thinking that it was the main problem.. Well I was wrong. If you send an extra packet that the other XBee is not expecting on the other end, then it gets confused and it doesn’t accept any packet.
  5. Our voltage divider was not set up properly. We were using a 10 ohm resistor, but after we tested with a multimeter, it turned out that I had to use 200k resistors.

One and a half hours of later, our Romantic Light Sensor worked! Mind you, none of the problems we had were code-related; all were caused by a problem related to either electronics or configuration. After we completed the first project, it was a smooth ride to getting the Romantic Light Sensor with Feedback working.

Conclusion: XBees are not easy creatures.

Here are some not-so-great pictures:

When the photocell is receiving light, the LEDs are off. Not romantic enough.

When the photocell is receiving light, the red LEDs are off. Not romantic enough.

When the photocell is covered both the romantic and the feedback lights turn on.

When the photocell is covered both the romantic and the feedback lights turn on.

Doorbell Project with Adi & Liangjie

February 16, 2010 By: Asli Category: Sociable Objects

For this week’s assignment, we had to make a buzzer that only works with a secret code, which works only if you press 5 times consecutively. Here is the video:

Doorbell for insistent visitors from My Journey on Vimeo.

For the creative part, we made a laptop thief alarm! The buzzer goes off when you leave your laptop alone and someone tries to steal it! The laptop sits on a custom pressure sensor, so it sets the buzzer off, which you carry with you, when it’s lifted up. Here is the video:

Mac Attack Buzzer from My Journey on Vimeo.

Imagining Sociable Objects with Adam

February 06, 2010 By: Asli Category: Sociable Objects