Making Furniture Interactive

December 17, 2007

Final Project: Pinwheels

Filed under: Final Project,Joe Iloreta — jilore @ 4:38 pm


A kinetic object responds to movement both across its face as well as towards and away from it. Like a simple mechanical pet or a sunflower, it reacts to a body along a path, following one longingly as it passes; it may even show excitement when approached.

With this project I sought to build on skills learned over the semester, and elaborate on the four-state machine practiced earlier in the year, engaging the possibilities of passive, casual movement as interaction with an artifact.

Each pinwheel possesses two ultrasonic rangefinders in order to determine the presence of an object in its field of vision calculating distance of passing objects through each rangefinder, thus allowing it to calculate the angle at which the pinwheel pivots towards the movement.

Poster here



October 30, 2007

Final Project Proposal

Filed under: Final Project,Joe Iloreta,Proposals — jilore @ 6:18 am

I would like to explore the intricacies and subtleties of movement with this final project, translating one simple movement into a graceful series of movements. I propose a wall installation that senses linear movement, and translates it to the rotating speeds of discs in a pinwheels-like manner. It seeks to create kinetic, behavioral secondary motion out of simple movement of the human body along a path, like ripples in a pond, or wind across a field. Using pinwheels of different radius, I also want to create a mechanical and kinetic display of ratios – spinning certain wheels according to intensity and speed of movement of a passer-by along the length of the installation.. The variations of spinning I hope also create a rich texture of sound as materials spin against each other.


October 21, 2007

mechanical sketch gears

Filed under: Exercise 5: Mechanical Movement,Joe Iloreta — jilore @ 11:22 pm

I created two gears, one with a piston action turning circular rotation into a vertical and front back oscillating motions like a piston.

From that motion I turned it back into a back and forth linear motion with another assembly of gears on the post of the piston.

To test the movements I initially modeled them in 2D, and then moved to 3D space, learning a lot about precision in the process.

October 3, 2007

frenzy box

Filed under: Exercise 4: Four State Machines,Joe Iloreta — jilore @ 11:42 pm

I put my LED contraption into an translucent box, and tried to make the LED sequences a little more behavior-like.

Sleep = fade in/out

Arouse = knock sensed by piezo

Attract = frenzy of lights that continue blinking until…

Reward = placing hand closer and closer to top (photocell) will put the box back to sleep

September 19, 2007

Exercise 3: Light Box

Filed under: Exercise 3: Four States,Joe Iloreta — jilore @ 1:28 am

Its not exactly a piece of furniture yet, but I tried to look at how the play of light could tell one how to behave with this object and its four states.

LEDs are placed on two sides of a plane that divide a small box out of which light projects. I vary the pulse of the light as well as location along the four states, using a piezo transducer and photocell as sensors.

Sleep is the well-understood fade-in/out.

Arouse is achieved by knocking (piezo code) near the box and waking it up.

Attract and Reward was supposed to be achieved by 1) blinking yellow lights that formed a “runway” for someone to put a pen in (btw now the box is a pen holder) and 2) placing the pen in the box and switching on a bright light below triggered by a photocell. The yellow LEDs that blink towards the slot for the pen do not show up on the video.

I didn’t achieve quite the lifelike quality that I wanted and it wasn’t quite as dramatic as I liked but has given me direction in terms of how to make this a little more interesting, suprising or dynamic in terms of lighting different hues in space. Like that game “Simon” but not quite.

September 12, 2007

Note-holding indicator

Filed under: Exercise 2: Add a Switch,Joe Iloreta — jilore @ 1:06 am

I elaborated on the the previous lamp exercise to make the lighting-up reactive to the interactions with the note-holding portion of the paper weight.

Part One:
By putting together the simple “button” code and “fading” code explored previously, I used two switches on each of the note-holders to activate an LED when something is placed inbetween.

Part 2:
Once a note is placed in each noteholder, I coded the arduino to begin fading each paper weight one LED after the other so that it seems the two separate paper weights can sense when notes have been placed in each one.

Create a free website or blog at