Translating Image to movement

First idea (for accessibility):

Currently, I am painting my sculptures. The problem is, though, that I have a limited amount of ventilation in the studio space because I am currently working in my room, so the paint doesn’t dry as it should. And that is a big problem for me because the paint I use is toxic to the human lungs, which means that when I smell it, it is already too late.

So I have designed a fan with LCD, one of the gas sensors from my last project, and an RGB sensor that interacts with my work and space. So the LCD screen will display the value of gas from the paint. If it is in a high range, it will activate the fan. Also, the RGB sensor will detect the color difference on the sculpture. It will compare the colour value of before and after, and using millis function after a certain amount of time has passed, it will activate the fan. The fan will not only help me with ventilation but also speed up the drying process.

Second idea (for myself):

As a sculpture artist, I always wondered installations kinetically interacting with the audience. What I am imagining to design in this is expected to be used in my future project of expressing the mob pressure.

After some mapping, the arduino RGB sensor gives the frequency of each RGB value. Therefore, one could set a range for each RGB value and make each servo motor move differently in angle. For example, when each value falls from 0-20, each assigned servo motor could move. Therefore, when each servomotor senses certain colors of clothes or shoes, it will turn towards them.

The more effective/accurate version would be using the PIR sensor I used before. When someone approaches and PIR sensor value turns to 1, the servo motors can turn towards the person at the same time. Or have each PIR sensor for each servo motor, so when a person gets closer to one motor, each motor can look away from the person to deliver a more excluded feel.

They all turn towards you when the PIR sensor senses the movement

I guess it is kind of like a reversed mirror, just that it doesn’t show you your reflection, but it reflects your movement.

Or even it will be nice to have wheels attached so they follow you. That will be extra creepy.


Make it So reading

As the author of Make it so explains, technology has an unattachable relationship with science fiction. I feel like back in the days, to the general public, high-tech was something that was very unfamiliar, and very few people had access to. Therefore, science fiction had to contain something that appeared to be “high-tech” for a long time, which included the jewel-like buttons and unfriendly user interface. (As a lot of people still say “beep boop” when they explain high-tech in a jokingly way). The interface had to appear very complex and unfriendly because that way the general audience will watch and think that,  “Wow, Captain Kirk is amazing–how does he memorize all the roles of those buttons?”.  The interfaces’ role is very big in any technology; it is like a representative that you speak to at customer services. It has to be as literal, straightforward, and user-friendly. From that perspective, anthropomorphism might seem inevitable in its existence. Because if anything for technology to appear friendly to humans, it would have human-like characteristics. However, the interesting part is that anthropomorphism actually evokes an unfriendly feeling to humans such as an uncanny valley. If people preferred something resembles that of a human being, the camera would look like an eye, or a mouse would be in the shape of a hand. Rather than anthropomorphism, what really appeals to humans that resembles one’s physique would be ergonomics. Its beauty does not come from mimicking one’s physique but rather interacts with it. On the other hand, anthropomorphism may not be an appeal in an interface, but it is in communication. A great example would be emojis. It has ambiguous human-like traits so that anyone can see themselves in those emojis and express themselves. No matter how much people try to make objects look more human, it only intensifies the uncanny valley; for humans, those objects that have direct contacts with humans are better to be ergonomic and those express humans are better to be anthropomorphic.

Privacy for cats

For cats, the litter box is not only a place to do one’s duty; it is also a safe space. Never stare at your cat when one’s in the litter box. Either they are there to use the toilet or for a safe space, cats feel the extreme emotional pressure when humans stare at them while they are in the litterbox.

My cat Nala is the shiest cat you will ever meet. She hides inside the litter box from Ginger, our other cat, when she gets chased. After having many occasions where we tried to look for Nala and found her in the litterbox and unintentionally interrupting her privacy, I decided to come up with a device.

This device shows you if the litterbox is occupied, and it also tells you when it needs to be emptied.

Default screen

It includes two sensors: the PIR sensor and a methane gas sensor. The PIR sensor will be placed inside the litterbox to tell one if it is occupied. The gas detector detects various types of gases that create an odor, but methane gas mainly. It tells you when the box has to be emptied.

When the gas detector detects the methane gas

When the litterbox needs to be emptied, the red LED turns on and it displays the message “Empty the box!”. Through various range testing, the adequate value that corresponded with times of the toilet being used was “110.”

When the PIR sensor detects the movement

When the cat is inside the box, the blue LED turns on and it graphically displays what the cat is doing inside the box.

When both sensors are on

This is when both sensors are activated.


Video demonstration of how this works:


Now that we  know that it works, it was time to actually get real.

For some reason, my 9V battery was not working; so I had it connect to my computer. It already told me that the box needs to be cleaned.

So I came back after cleaning; the display does not say that it needs to be cleaned anymore, so I needed to get a participant. Nala knew what was going on so I couldn’t get her inside the box, so I tried to get Ginger to be my first participant.

He seemed quite convinced, but he seemed uninterested because he already emptied his stomach before the testing.


The questions might be:

Why the gas detector?

-The commonly used sensor for movements would be the ultrasonic sensor; however, cats are very sensitive to sounds. So I used the PIR sensor that detects the infrared light coming from moving objects with heat.

Why do we need this to be visual?

-I have been working with cats since the introduction to physical computing class. My cat Nala is now 8 years old, so I wanted to do something fun with her and also wanted to make her life better and more convenient because all cats deserve the best life. As much as humans, cats need some privacy as well, and this gets often interrupted when we share the space. Cats can’t say “Hey I need some space”/”I need this to be cleaned” or when you find them in the litter box/private settings, their privacy is already interrupted. So I thought the mutual ground that we have is having things visual.



#include <Wire.h>
#include <LiquidCrystal.h>

//const int rs = 12, en = 11, d4 = 5, d5 = 4, d6 = 3, d7 = 2;
LiquidCrystal lcd(12, 11, 5, 4, 3, 2);

int GasPin = A0; 
int CatPin = 6; 
int LED1 = 8; 
int LED2 = 7;

void setup() {

pinMode(GasPin ,INPUT); 
pinMode(CatPin, INPUT); 
pinMode(LED1, OUTPUT); 
pinMode(LED2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(CatPin, INPUT); 

lcd.print("=^._.^= S");


void loop() {


if (digitalRead(CatPin) == HIGH){ 
lcd.print("O o o");

else { 
lcd.print(" ");

if ((analogRead(GasPin))<190){
digitalWrite(LED2, LOW);
lcd.print(" ");
else {
digitalWrite(LED2, HIGH);
lcd.print("Empty the box!");


Natural Alarm


I do not know why but phone/mechanical alarms tend to give me migraines. (I think it’s because it suddenly creates a loud noise that wakes you up? not sure; but this is why I can’t take naps) So I just wake up corresponding to light. Yet I also sweat a lot, and I have been waking up in a gross state of mind because always wake up to the heat of the sunlight.
So I thought, what if an LED lamp works as an alarm instead of creating a loud sound.
I coded/made a circuit that has an LED that corresponds with the value of a photoresistor.
In real life, the photoresistor would be attached behind the blind so when the sun comes out, the LED lamp will light up without sunlight over heating the room.

Make It So reading comment

After reading Make it so, and about science fiction, I both agree and disagree. Yes, science fiction is loaded with imagination and creativity, and it is rooted in what we have in present; however, I think science fiction became not only predictive but also very cliché. The technology we see and feel from Iron Man may be fascinating, yet the technology from those movies always brushes the mechanism of “how” it works under the rug and shows the sci-fi genius Tony Stark. (and it is always the job of modern-day real engineers to figure out the “how” part.) The depressing part of this, though, is that people just glances and walks pass thinking “meh, I’ve already seen Tony Stark doing it.”
And Make it so also goes over about the interface design and interaction. As great as it seems from the sci-fi movies, it may not be as amazing. For example, those holographic screens that moves with the user’s action. Interaction wise, maybe it’s great that it involves natural interaction, meaning that like Wii from Nintendo, the user naturally figures out because it is in their physical movement. However, the user experience wise, it is not great, indeed, it is very opposite to being friendly. Those hologram panels always appear to be exclusive for those nerdy characters in the movies.
Like I mentioned in my bath buddy presentation, users happen to have some sort of mental model in their minds. The mental model for high-tech panels would be those hologram panels; therefore, the designers present something like a laser keyboard. The thought of it was great, and it perfectly matched the users’ mental model; however, it wasn’t quite successful because the user experience of the keyboard wasn’t a good representation of what people sought for other than looking cool. That is why I think the conceptual model should sometimes look away from people’s expectations because it does not always promise that was exactly what they are looking for.