Making Furniture Interactive

September 12, 2007

Voodoo Processing

Filed under: Exercise 2: Add a Switch,Tiago Rorke — Tiago Rorke @ 12:17 am

I wanted to create an toy that could be used as an interface for processing, and wanted to play with the conductive properties of metal filings.

I stitched a doll together out of some black felt and stuffed him/her with some aluminum filings and schwarf from the ece machine shop floor.

The stuffing ended up being a good combination of aluminum and wood/plastic shavings that gave it somewhat low conductivity.

This meant that when pins were inserted into the doll, if they were close together there was little resistance between them, whilst were they far apart the resistance was high.

The pins were connected to the analogIn pins 0, 1 and 2, and also to 5V, each in series with a 2.2Kohm resistor.

A photo sensor was also attached to the doll to let give him/her a bit of atmospheric responsiveness, this was connected between ground and analogIn pin5, and a 10Kohm resistor was put between pin5 and 5v.

The legs of the photo sensor were shielded with some wire sleeving, and was connected to the board via some header pins.

I am still trying to get the hang of importing the values from the pins into processing, but i hope to make a program based on the traer.Physics library cloud example ( where the cloud would form different shapes depending on the arrangement of the pins, and change color depending on the photo sensor.















  1. this is super-cute, but it’s really not a voodoo doll. a voodoo doll traditionally represents an enemy or someone you’d like to harm. the horrible things you do to the doll then happen to your enemy. for example, if you stick a needle in the doll’s eye, your enemy would lose an eye or become blind.

    as far as i can tell, your doll is not meant to hurt anybody! but maybe i’m being too literal – i am a taurus.

    Comment by jilblu — December 12, 2007 @ 1:18 am | Reply

  2. Haha ’tis a fair call. I guess it is not a voodoo doll in the traditional sense of the word, but it does embody some of the mysteriousness of “voodoo magic” in the way the readings fluctuate depending on how you stab/squeeze the doll.

    Comment by tiagororke — December 12, 2007 @ 12:25 pm | Reply

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