Final Project – Interactive Blinds – Arthur Dunne and Alex Duden

16 Dec

Sine Wave PatternLight Sensorgrasshopper screen shotFinal Project - Interactive Blinds - Arthur Dunne and Alex Duden

We designed a system of interactive blinds that reacted to light sensors, an OSC Touch on the iphone, and a sine wave animation that we created in Grasshopper. A projector was also included in our display to provide color, so this was added for only aesthetics. We started by building a frame out of two-by-fours, which held everything together. Next, we constructed the blinds out of thin balsa wood and attached wooden dowels to the ends of each blind, so that they could pivot around 180 degrees. We borrowed a pre-wired rail of servo motors from Justin, that we used to rotate the wooden blinds and was connected to an Arduino. All in all, we were able to build this on a low budget, because we already had the light sensors, grasshopper, breadboard, computer, projector, Arduino, and iphone. The only costs were the OSC Touch app for $5, and $15 worth of balsa wood.

After everything was wired to the Arduino, we uploaded the Firefly Firmata to the Arduino. We used Firefly as a way to link the Arduino to Grasshopper, and created all of our variations through this visual programming software. It took us a little while to troubleshoot the OSC Touch, because it had to be on the right channel, and share the same IP address as the computer, but the result was great. The OSC Touch allows the user to control the blinds’ position from an iphone, which could be useful in any kind of building or house.

Next, we experimented with the light sensors, and we were able to get the blinds in an open position when the light was shining on the sensor, and a closed position when it was dark. Our intention was to simulate the sun’s rays shining on the window of a house during the day, and how the blinds would respond by opening. This would allow a room to utilize the sun as a source of heating and lighting during the day and trap the heat in as the sun sets.

Finally, we created sine wave animations on Grasshopper, and connected each of them to a separate servo motor. Each sine wave animation had a different speed and degree of rotation, so that it would generate a gradual wave across the blinds. This was purely an aesthetic display as well as the projector that projected different colors onto the blinds for each application.


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