Category Archives: project-0


13 Jan 2013

This is Meng Shi! I am a tangible interaction design master student. Prior to CMU, I majored in industrial design. I used to design user interface, design and prototype product, make gadgets, and build a formula car in team.

Now I want in exploring different interactions.  I take this course because I want to use digital media to express my thoughts and emotion, and to work with cool kids like you : )

This is my story: Rabbitman and Humanbot.

We made humanoids. We make robots according to human feature, because we want more natural communication experience with robots. Usually ,we make commands, while robots listen. But this is not communication. It is a one way communication about passive control.

I wonder if there is a more emotional way to communicate with man-made creatures. So I make an interaction prototype which is about adding a roboccessory to human. When you approach the rabbitman, s/he will be shy while your ears will spin. It was built with sensors and Arduino.



13 Jan 2013

My name is Elwin Lee, from the Netherlands, and I’m currently a 2nd year master student at the Entertainment Technology department. I have a background in Industrial Design and I’m very interested in designing games and interactive products/systems.

Twitter: @BlueSpiritbox

Space Invaders on 8×8 LED Matrix
Last year I took the class Gadgets, Sensors and Activity Recognition at the HCI department given by Scott Hudson. The first project was to design an game for an 8×8 LED Matrix display using an Arduino. I thought it would be interesting to create a mini-sized Space Invaders game for the LED display. To build the game, I used an Arduino Nano, a potentiometer for moving left and right, a button to fire missiles, and a piezo speaker for some very basic sound effects.

The game consists of 3 levels, each level increasing in difficulty (static enemies; moving enemies; boss fight). There’s a win and lose state condition, missile firing mechanism with collision detection, and the enemies move in a pre-determined pattern and will fire at you randomly.


My name is Josh Lopez-Binder. I am studying mechanical engineering and art.  I am interested in kinetic art, sculpture, the immense power of computational methods, bloopy things, and biology.  I hope to learn more about programming and its applications, and I want to simulate the growth of coral and other colonial organisms.

twitter account:

github account:


Over break I got curious about four bar linkages (simple mechanical linkage for producing various motions).  I made a simple simulation in processing so that I could fiddle with the ratios of the linkage and see what kind of paths would result.  Kinda like a spirograph.  So far I have just played with different configuration of points that trace paths.  Next I am going to overlay a bunch of slightly different linkages with the same point tracing a path (relative to each linkage).


13 Jan 2013

I’m Kyna, a junior in BCSA. I’m really interested in game design/interactive software, and taxidermy. I don’t know how those two things work together yet, and I don’t really have much experience in either. Hopefully this class will allow me to explore one of these in more depth, or even find a way to cohesively combine them.



Last semester, I worked on a project called Drink Bot.



It’s a twitterbot, written in processing, that when executed searches for tweets containing the phrase ‘i need a drink,’ compiles a random drink from a database of ingredients, creates an image of it and tweets the image at the user who made the post.

It’s currently in its second incarnation, because retweeting images very quickly tends to result in immediate banning. It’s currently dormant for reference purposes, but I can run the program to start it up again whenever I choose.


13 Jan 2013

My name is Keqin Dou. I’m from China. I’m the first year MTID student. My undergraduate background is computer science. I want to make cool things to help people’s life or influence people. It’s a long road for me to learn and make.

Here are my Twitter and Github links.

Twitter: @doukoooo



This is my first tangible user interface research project. It’s a tangible storytelling system for children. Story-Cube is a storytelling system which has good benefits for the improvement of children’s language, cognitive and social abilities. Many tangible storytelling systems have been developed in the past few years. We proposed a storytelling system that integrate tangbile user interface into the software.

This is the video


Wall-f is a Facebook Robot. I used Facebook API to update status on your Robot page. People always express their emotion by things around. And different action usually represents different emotion. So when you’re very angry today and sit in the front of the computer. When you see your robot, you may hit it heavily. And then the Robot will update a status which is “Master is angry, I must careful about what I say.” After a period time, you will check the robot page and see your mood in this period of time. Then you can make some changes on it.



13 Jan 2013

Hey everyone!

I’m Robb. I’m a Junior in Art.

I like making complex gizmos.

Twitter: robbgodshaw (occasional)

GitHub: Robbbb (totally empty)

Website: (not bad)

The Cryoscope is a Tactile Weather Vane.

Instead of reading a weather forecast, the Cryoscope allows you to feel it.

It allows for simple understanding of temperature through your natural ability to determine hot and cold. No more trying to imagine what 35 degrees is.

The metal slab is simply heated or cooled to the desired temperature.

The device has two main modes of operation.

The first is a thermal time shift – The device will convey future temperatures for any location you specify. This allows you to use the Cryoscope as a weather vane in your morning clothing choices.

The second mode is a thermal space shift – The device will convey the current temperature of anywhere you specify. Use this mode to stay connected to your childhood home, or the current city of your significant other. The device has a space mode, where the Cryoscope becomes very cold.

Forgive copypasta. :-)


13 Jan 2013

Hey Everyone!

My name is Nathan Lee Trevino and I hail from a small shipping city in South Texas called Corpus Christi. I’m closing in on the end of my Junior year here in CMU’s Art School. I love to build installations and mechanical sculpture and combine it with video/performance. My work is a little “lite on code” but I feel I use it to add the extra layer to some of my pieces that is so important in the Art world.

Twitter : @nathanlt0


Website: (currently updating to put all of last semester’s things up)

A project that I am going to link to is Batteries for My Father. Repayment is a deed as old as the human civilization and I tried to tackle this as I realized I see my choice of artist as one of a kind of narrator of our current culture. Using some video in combination with the small machine, I attempt to give light to my repayment and the feelings that permeate such a simple gesture.

Screen Shot 2013-01-13 at 10.26.15 AM

Click the picture above to access the video part of the installation.


12 Jan 2013

Hello everybody and happy spring semester! My name is Marlena Abraham and I’m a sophomore in computer science. I like to build things, particularly if the end product turns out to be useful in some way (mechanically, communicatively, instructionally, deliciously). I’d love to use this semester  both to acquire some new technical skills and to create works that serve the dual purpose of fulfilling a task and making their users think.

Here are my Twitter and Github links. I hope to have more interesting content on both by the time the semester is over.

Twitter: @MarlenaAbraham

I have two projects to share with you. The first is a work in progress that I began during my internship with Uncorked Studios last summer during a lull in my assignments. The development of this iPhone app called Strongbox began with my complete inability to budget my money effectively. I began working on it with the goal of making a simple, intuitive app through which I could record my spending, budget money in different piggy banks, and at any given time be able to glance at it and know how much I’d been spending recently and on what. Since I wanted to be able to input each transaction by hand to increase my spending awareness, I needed it to be sleek and easily accesible. Below is a screenshot of the app at a recent checkpoint–it has a scrolling menu on the right, and on this screen a scrolling list of budgets.

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 11.10.26 PM


This project was a lot of fun in that I was able to design everything about it–I was able to tweak the code and the visuals as I had new ideas or if I realized that the interaction was wrong. It was also a good experience in that I learned a lot about iterating my work: I would write a prototype and work with it for a week or three before deciding that the structure was wrong and starting over with what I had learned. I also learned a lot about testing, user input, and asking questions both of my mentors and of the internet. On the other hand, the project was a large undertaking and not something that I could continue working on with any dedication after the summer ended. Probably the most important thing that I learned from this project was to work towards a functional skeleton before considering other features–I lost a lot of work time to too much planning for parts of the app that I couldn’t even start until the base was complete. I hope that at some point I can get the chance to pick up somewhere close to where I left off and finish the app.

My second project was completed as an assignment for EMSII last semester with the prompt to create an interesting video game controller using a combination of an Arduino and Processing. I liked the idea of exploring an area with a sense that typically benefits from the use of sight so I decided to take inspiration from the SCP Foundation post “Pipe Nightmare” ( and created a game in which the user is trapped in a tangle of pipes and must follow the visual instructions on the screen to escape. He or she must reach a hand into a wooden box (pictured below) somewhere in which there is a knob to turn, or a loose gear to put on a pressure plate, or a switch to flip. The user is shown a visual of what they are looking for with an accompanying animation of what they should do to trigger it and then must blindly search for that item in a mass of pipes, wiring, metal, and various other textured materials to find it and progress to the next level.

What I loved about making this project was the range of what I got to create for the finished product; there were the visuals on the screen to take photos for and Photoshop together, the processing code to write, the Arduino to wire, and finally the box to fill (the box itself was built for me by my friend Ethan Gladding). It was a ton of fun just to gather materials for and build the box because I was constantly on the hunt for items that would be interesting not for their visual but for their tactile sensation. I ended up not being as happy with it as I could have been–I hadn’t had a lot of previous experience building things for the express purpose of touching them and so the finished product felt messier than I intended. If I was to do it again I’d want to create a more finished product and probably add more levels to the game along with moving parts to create the illusion that the user was encountering a new puzzle box with each level.


12 Jan 2013

Hi everyone, my name is Dev Gurjar and I am a senior ECE student. I spent most of my first half at CMU taking technical courses in computer science and computer engineering. Midway through I decided to try out a couple of HCI courses to see how to apply programming in a more creative/user-centric manner. I fell in love, and decided to focus more on that end in my final semesters here. Naturally, I am very excited to take this class. Being a gamer I would love to explore anything in that realm.

I use dgurjar for both Twitter and GitHub. I don’t use Twitter much, but I do have some content in my GitHub.

Something neat I worked on in the past was my embedded systems capstone project, Twerty. The idea was that since the advent of tablets, there is an increasing need for keyboards on the go. The problem with physical keyboards however is that they take up space, so if you are on a plane for example, you might not have enough room for the keyboard, your tablet, and your beverage.

Twerty conceptual diagram

Twerty is a pair of gloves that is able to capture finger positions and clicks (via buttons on the fingertips) to capture key-presses from a touch-typing user. Unlike using the onscreen keyboard, Twerty lets you optimally use your screen real estate and provides tactile feedback. You can see the video for a brief overview, or visit for more details and media. Credits to my team members: Prerak Patel, Daniel Jacobs, and Ben Wasserman who also made contributions to this project.

Overall I think that the project was a successful prototype – which was the purpose of the course. We demonstrated the technical feasibility of a glove keyboard. The glove also exposed a lot of its components, which made it easy for us to communicate its functionality.

On the down side our project fell short from being a polished ready-for-market product by a lot. Although it worked, it didn’t convince anyone that glove typing can be done gracefully. There were many limitations wit the physical nature of the glove as well. The buttons attached to the fingertips would often fall or fail to click, and our sewing (wearable electronics was new to us!) was quite bad. All in all, it was very evident that the idea needed several iterations – something we couldn’t do back then with our time budget.

Hello and Stream

Hi everyone, my name is Sam Gruber. I’m a BCSA Architecture junior and President of the Computer Club here at CMU. I’m interested in machine intelligence, realtime graphics demos and interface design. In my spare time, I have also been sighted both playing and running tabletop role-playing games.



When working on my tabletop games, I’ve often used wikis to organize all of the information related to the stories I’m trying to tell. However, I found that at the early stages of this process, even a wiki has excessive structure in terms of building up the cross-links.

That led me to develop Stream. Stream builds links between ideas for you, and doesn’t get in the way when you’re just beginning to work on the idea. You can keep jotting down ideas as they come to you, and Stream will fit the pieces together as you go.

Stream - Droplet Stream - Stream

Right now, Stream does more or less what I envisioned it doing: providing a quick tool for getting out ideas before moving on to something with more structure. It is however, still pretty rough around the edges: no way to save/export, no multi-word titles, punctuation can trip it up.

Stream was written in Ruby using the Shoes GUI toolkit. You can have a look at the source on Github.