For our Masters of Human-Computer Interaction capstone project, my team partnered with Construction Junction, a local reuse store that specializes in home improvement supplies and construction materials. We investigated how technology can help make reuse more convenient. Specifically, we designed and prototyped a tool that donors can use to post donations online. Reuse organizations can then browse available donations and schedule a pick up time that is convenient for both parties.
Creating our Affinity Diagram - Team Closed Loop
This ambient light acts as a reminder for "Cat Feeding Time." As the day progresses, the light becomes more and more red. Once it is time for your cat's dinner, an "alert" sound happens to let you know your cat is hungry. When you feed your cat, you can rub the device's tummy region, which blinks and causes the device to display joy. This tool is great for roommates. You'll never have to ask your roomie, "Did you feed the cats yet??" again!
Uses an arduino, basic speaker, piezo disc, and a BlinkM super bright LED. The cat encasing was 3d printed.
Feed me!: Ambient "Cat Feeding Time" Reminder
The Audio Window is an interactive display placed on the Row House Cinema in PIttsburgh, Pa that reacts to the sound level of the movies playing inside.
The look of the piece became critical once we had decided what to do. We wanted to contrast the brick face but also keep elements of the context as we designed the frame. We used wood, exposed bolts and sheet metal to house the hardware and lights. Within the frame, we used fishing line and orange acrylic tubes filled with water which refracted the light to give a lantern like effect. The tubes were arrayed in a wave formation which remains constant unless there is a sound input. As the sound increases, the wave becomes faster and more violent.
This is a game I made using an 8x8 LED Matrix, an accelerometer, and an arduino. It is a Go/No-Go or "Simon Says" type game. You flip the device when there is a pancake on the screen, and you don't flip it when there is not a pancake. Feedback is provided in the form of smilie and frownie faces.
Whirl takes in energy usage data from Gates Building on Carnegie Mellon University’s campus. This data is then translated into the speed of a whirlpool within a glass container; the higher the energy usage, the faster (and larger) the whirl. This allows viewers to see an abstract representation of the energy usage of the building.
We decided to use a whirlpool because they have a natural randomness that occurs within their form. This mirrors the unpredictability of energy, which is always changing.
We receive the energy usage from API data on CMU’s network. This is then converted to the speed of a computer fan. Two magnets were attached to the fan, creating a spinning magnetic field. When a magnetic stirring bar is placed above the fan, the bar spins. This creates a whirlpool if the bar is placed into a container of water.
My group designed a mobile app for ambulance drivers and EMTs. Accelerate is intended to boost the knowledge of EMTs and other emergency response personnel through friendly competition. Leveraging contestants’ downtime, the app is able to dovetail easily into existing practices of emergency response units. Fun facts and quizzes motivate the personnel to partake in life-long learning.
People tend to think in black and white. (all ... nothing, good... bad) This is similar to binary in computer logics. Sometimes this decision-making extends to three modalities. (yes... no... maybe, small... medium... large, red... green... blue).
Ternary is a representation of the tendency for humans to oversimplify the world around them. Using an Arduino, each pixel in the video feed is converted to red, green, or blue based on the color values. The frequencies are calculated and the most common color prevails. Thus, the whole scene is summarized into one value... red, green, or blue.
And when placed on a mirror, Ternary encourages reflection on the oversimplification of the self...
I led a group that designed a system to deter blind children from ingesting poisonous substances around their homes. Based on the “Mr. Yuk” stickers that help dissuade children from opening bleach, acetone, and other harmful substances, we utilized haptic textures to deter blind children from opening these bottles. We designed and fabricated a variety of textures and researched which textures where the most unappealing.
Scotty Dog Dress Up
I created a simple dress-up game where players can put hats, bows, and other items on a cute Scottish terrier. To play the game, click here.
Gignify was designed at CMU Hack-A-Startup weekend. It is a website that connects musicians with potential venues. Musicians and bands have a difficult time finding gigs. Likewise, restaurants, bars, and cafes need to sort through many local musicians. Gignify allows venues to post gigs, and musicians can apply for the show by posting a bid. The venues can easily sort the bands by genre, rating, and bid. Once a venue finds the perfect match, it can accept the band, and Gignify will receive a small percentage of the transaction.
HeartBeat DMX Light
The audio recording of a heart beat was processed using Matlab. The sound amplitudes were slowed down and converted to the brightness of a DMX lighting fixture. Additionally, the speed of the heart beat can easily be manipulated. Custom heart beat recordings can be entered as well. Each person will have their own unique DMX light pulse.
Pika Population Dashboard
My team designed a dashboard for biodiversity monitoring in the Sierra Nevada. It tracks and displays information about the habitat of the American Pika, a small rabbit-like animal whose populations are dwindling. The dashboard overlays information about the temperature and air quality on a topography. It also displays populations of the Whitebark Pine and the Mountain Pine Beetle, two related species.
Orfeus uses technology to help people illuminate their smoking habits. It was created during CMU's MHCI Hackathon. It connects a smartwatch with a user's phone. When the user performs a "smoking" gesture, the device can learn the person's triggers (coffee shops, time of day, nearby people, etc.). In the future, when the user is near a trigger, the smartwatch/phone attempt to distract the person with websites and applications that the user enjoys.
In my Applied Fabrication class, I learned a variety of fabrication techniques, including 3d printing and laser-cutting. I had the opportunity to build my own 3d printer using a Printrbot kit. You can see the fun I had putting the printer together! Here are a variety of different things that I’ve printed since putting the device together. Additionally, I made the clear acrylic cube by designing and laser-cutting the sides so that they “snap” together without any adhesives or fasteners. I also laser-etched my name into the cube.
Here is a variety of artwork that I’ve created over the years. I enjoy using a variety of mediums, including acrylic, watercolor, and oil pastels.