2.4. Tech Demo 1: Single-Input Single-Output

Each Technical Demo is a small challenge to be developed outside class hours. These are intended to demonstrate individual expertise in applying the skills learned in the exercises. We prefer that you focus on the technology but still pay a little heed to the human application.

The primary deliverable is a brief (less than 1 minute) video documenting the function of the demo, posted via the 16-223 student site. Please observe the Lateness Policy and Fall 2016 Calendar. Please add your post to the ‘Demos’ category.

Please note there is no formal proposal process for this demo; we simply expect you to build it and post a video by the deadline. If you have questions about scope or feasibility, please ask.

Also, IDeATe has committed to exhibiting at the Google Geek Street Fair on October 7, so we will be looking for projects which could be developed into a demo.

2.4.1. Objectives

The simplest processes we can use involve just a single transformed signal. For this project, we are asking you to create a single-input single-output system (SISO).

We are also asking that the input and output inhabit different sensory domains, e.g. a sound input creates a light output, or a light input creates a mechanical movement, etc. This reflects our emphasis on embodiment and transformation. We will interpret this objective liberally; if you are concerned an idea doesn’t fit, just ask us.

The demo simply has to map information from one physical domain to another, but you may also wish to think how it could be applied, and we welcome seeing some bit of narrative or context.

2.4.2. Criteria

Please observe the following:

  1. Stick to exactly one input and output.
  2. The device should actually work; no faking.
  3. Note the upcoming exercises introduce actuation; the hobby servo or a speaker make excellent output channels.
  4. Please focus your attention on the analog and digital signal process rather than physical structure, e.g., if you need to make a form, cardboard and paper are perfectly acceptable.
  5. We have additional sensors and actuators in the lab inventory beyond those in your kit.
  6. The video should clearly show a relationship between input and output. If the relationship is complex, please include voiceover, narration, or subtitles explaining your intent. Please observe the one minute time limit, and ideally keep it shorter.
  7. It’s fine to shoot with a cellphone or in a single take, as long as the idea is clear. However, please observe some minimal production quality rules so the videos are watchable:
    • shoot landscape, not portrait
    • include ambient sound, but be mindful of excess background noise
    • use a Magic Arm or brace your camera to avoid excessive handheld shake
    • use an editor to trim irrelevant leader and trailer
  8. Using the Arduino is not strictly necessary, but it probably more interesting than a purely analog process, unless you are very clever.
  9. Your video should be posted in a blog post and categorized under ‘Demos’. Very short videos may be uploaded as media, or it may be convenient to upload your video to a third-party hosting service and then link it into your blog post.
  10. Please observe the deadline.

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