Week07 - lamp for night-owl phone addict

The original idea of my lamp is playing with shadow. How ever, I failed to create a satisfied clear shadow when I was using a AC 15w led corn bulb. Maybe it's too bright... Then I had this alternative idea of a lamp for people who can't help playing his phone for a long time before sleep. At that moment, normal lamp is too bright to have a sleepy mood, and no light is too dark to protect eyes from screen. So I made this lamp.

I made this by cutting an led strip and re-soldering them as a matrix, and using 5mm fiber optic to hide the light source but create enough soft brightness in 3D dimension.

Because it has a quite bright top creating by fiber optic end, I also want to make this as a clock by changing the light up part and color. I planed to make it 12x12 which is more reasonable as a clock, but I don't have enough led and the fiber, so...

But since it changes brightness and color based on time of a day, maybe I should do the clock part for the next assignment.

Midterm: Music Painter

The Music Painter is a music installation that not only let musician visualize their music by drawing unusual notes on paper, but also let normal people without music background create music when they try to draw on this installation.

Hayeon Hwang and I built the installation together as our PhysComp class midterm project. 


1. Concept building

2. Prototyping

1) Painting part - plan A: solenoid pen - not strong enough

2) Painting part - plan B: servo motor pen - not stable enough

3) Painting part - plan C: mechanism pen

4) Piano part

5) Paper part

6) Screen part


This Music Painter makes very beautiful paper drawing which amazed us a lot. Then we realized this is a good way of data collection on user actions.

But there are still a lot of problems on this project about:

1. User experience:

1) Based on the design now, there is a huge delay when users see the corresponding painting appears after they press the piano key, which makes the experience a little confusing and less pleasure.

2) Users can not adjust the speed of paper rolling.

3) Because we use the buttons to trigger the sounds, if users press the piano key not strong enough, there will be no sound came out. Also it can not sense the pressure of key press.

2. Circuit:

1) We used two arduino boards to control different parts of this project, which is not efficient.

2) We used three power suppliers in this project.

3) The stepper motor goes hot when it's running.

3. Mechanism:

1) The pen's drawing generates more friction which will make the paper rolling stop. Maybe we need more powerful stepper motor and better pens.

2) The pens are drawing bad. Maybe a real brush tip one will work better.

The last and most important, thanks for my great partner - Hayley, who is a great maker, thinker and practitioner, who has responsibility and a warm heart, who knows a lot of knowledges which I don't know and always patiently explains all the questions to me, working hard and finishing this great project with me.