Group Experiment 4

Group members: Antonio Guimaraes, Ayal rosenberg, Nick Wallace, and Vince Kim.

Our group set out to create different sensations like poking, scratching, and tickling to the back of the neck. We decided to attach pipe cleaners of differing shapes to servos, then attach the servos to the head. We included a servo with sand paper attached as well for a total of three head-mounted ticklers.

Haptics 6

We played a bit with how running and poking around with the pipe cleaners would feel, and tried imagining ways to fix the pipe cleaners to the servo, and the servo to the head. We were provided with some 3d-printed servo mounts, and it wasn’t hard to get the pipe cleaners, and sand paper woven to or taped to the mounts.

Haptics 1

Haptics 3

Our experimentation with different materials on different parts of the body produced different sensations. For instance, Antonio felt a more sensual feeling with the pipe cleaner rubbing on the side of the neck, just below the ear, but something between a tickle and a chill one the cleaner was dragged across the back of the neck.

Haptics 2

Nick observed using the sand paper servo behind the neck felt like you’re getting a buzz haircut.

Putting it on the ear had a feeling of a stiff brush bristle like a shoe-shining brush. running the sand paper around the front of the neck felt pretty rough.

Haptics 7

The servos were attached to an Arduino running the servo sketch to control the range and angle of the arm mounted to the servo.

Our head mount consisted of a hose cut to size, and taped to create a circumference around and above the forehead. The servo mount was held to the head mount with pipe cleaner and tape.

We found it challenging to mount the servos to the body at the same angles as we had organically holding them with our hands at the beginning of the experiment. The hand can hold the servo at an angle further away from the target, while the band is affixed to the target, ie, the neck.

We also realized this device would not work as intended for people with long hair. We didn’t have any women as part of our team, nor a guy wearing long hair to test it out on, so we turned the mount around to the nose during the class try out period.

Group Experiments 1 through 3

Group members: Antonio Guimaraes and Noah Pivnick.

Experiment 1 introduced us to the ERM haptics motor with a breadboard and Arduino. Our motor was soldered to male pins which we connected to a small breadboard. We connected pin 13 on the Arduino to power the motor, and ran a wire from the cathode of the motor to ground on the Arduino. 

Arduino Leonardo on the left, power and ground jumper cables connected to mini breadboard on the right, small button vibe motor with short leads soldered to header pins on the breadboard.

Arduino Leonardo on the left, mini breadboard with button vibe motor on the right, close up of Noah's hand holding button vibe motor between thumb and pointer finger.

We noticed the following when taping the motor to our board and touching the board to different parts of the body:

Antonio holding mini breadboard with button vibe motor to back of hand.

Antonio holding mini breadboard with button vibe motor to inner forearm, closeup.

Touching a finger to the board gives a strong sense of haptic vibration.

Touching the breadboard to the back of the hand gives a lighter vibration feeling, but still a pretty significant one.

Touching the breadboard to the lower part of the forearm give a similar sensation to the back of the hand.

Touching the motor to the bak of the earlobe produces a strong sense of vibration. Noah feels like it gives a less sharp sensation, because of fatty tissue and no bone in the earlobe.

If you need to feel something for sure, the earlobe would be a great place to put it. And the motor remains inconspicuous to others.

Using the Arduino blink sketch to activate the haptics motor, we tested the difference in a vibration lasting 50 ms. and one lasting 200 ms. We made the vibrations 2 seconds apart.

We made the following observations:

At 200 ms. felt pretty strong vibrations in the tip of the finger.

At 50 ms. felt more subtle, Antonio says more tolerable, vibrations.

placing the motor to the back of the proximal phalange of the middle finger produced a feeling similar to the intensity from that of tip of finger, at 50 ms

Still at 50 ms. we applied some pressure to the motor with the tip of the finger. The pressure made the vibrations undetectable at this rate. We could feel the vibrations when applying pressure and changing the vibrations to 300 ms.

We also noted a tingling sensation a few seconds after letting go of the motor at 300 ms.

Experiment 2

This experiment made use of the haptic motor driver, with chip DRV2065L.

We had a chip soldered to a haptics ERM motor, the same one we used for experiment 1.

Arduino Uno at top of frame, power, ground, and two signal jumper cables wired to mini breadboard toward bottom of frame, Adafruit DRV2605L Haptic Motor Controller on mini breadboard.

We connected the chip to the breadboard, and wired it properly, then ran a sketch that ran quickly through about 120 different haptic vibrations. These pulsed, hummed, clicked, and were each supposed to give a distinct feeling from the motor. However, after cycling through 123 different options of vibration, we could not differentiate between many of them, because the code moved through them very quickly.

Running through these presets did not feel very satisfying. We were not able to get results we wanted, or to find something very useful from the presets, and that we feel we could apply right away.

Maybe the sensations would be more distinguishable if the motor were loose from the chip and breadboard, and placed in the hand. At any rate, we feel the interval between each vibration in this example could be increased, so we could tell where one vibration ended, and the next one started.

Experiment 3

In this experiment, we worked with 3 of the same haptics motors as before. We taped 3 of them on the table from top to bottom, ran them through the breadboard, connecting them to pins 1, 2, and 3 on the Arduino.

Arduino Uno in upper left corner of frame, power, ground, and three output jumper cables to long breadboard in center of frame, three button vibe motors approximately 1.5 inches apart taped to the surface of the table on the right side of the frame.

We modified the blink sketch to create a pattern with these 3 motors. 

The pattern is to vibrate motor 1 and 3 together, then motor 2 alone. 

We noticed a phenomenon called sensory funnel when two motors in close proximity vibrated against the forearm. Sensory funnel is when two vibrating motors in some proximity to one another against the skin feel like they are in the same location, or feel like just one vibrating motor.


  The first assignment for Intro to Fabrication is to make a flashlight of my own. I began this project with a trip to the junk shelf right after class on Thursday. There, I found the end piece to a vacuum cleaner I thought would make a good casing for my flashlight. There is no other flashlight in I know of made from the end piece of a vacuum, so this one should have some character to it when finished.

I visited the professor on Monday and got some tips about making the flashlight. One of the things I would use is a super bright LED so I am able to see the end result with just light perception.

Here’s how you can build a flashlight from scratch. I had a lab assistant throughout the assignment to help me solder things, since I know of no way of doing that blind without getting burned. 


9 volt battery.

9 volt battery connector.

Female plug for the 9 volt battery connector.

A switch.



330 ohm. resistor.

A super bright yellow LED.

A vacuum cleaner part as the casing.

Soldering iron.

Hand drill.


Part I

1) Strip a red wire, and a black wire.

2) Screw one end of the red wire to the female plug of the female plug for the battery connector marked with a plus sign.

3) Screw one end of the black wire to the female plug of the female plug for the battery connector marked with a minus sign.

4) Insert the other end of the red wire to power on the breadboard.

5) Insert the other end of the black wire to ground on the breadboard.

6) Run the resistor from the power column to one of the rows on the breadboard.

7) Run the LED from the same row you just plugged the resistor into over to the ground column on the breadboard.

8) Plug one end of the 9 volt battery connector into the battery, and the other to the female plug for the 9 volt battery connector. This will power the LED.

Breadboard with lit LED


Part II

Steps 1 to 3 in part II are the same as these steps in part I. I am repeating them assuming starting from a point when nothing is connected.

1) Strip a red wire, and a black wire.

2)  Screw one end of the red wire to the female plug of the female plug for the battery connector marked with a plus sign.

3) Screw one end of the black wire to the female plug of the female plug for the battery connector marked with a minus sign.

4) Solder the other end of the red wire to one of the side plugs of the switch.

The switch has three prongs, with the middle one being the ground pin, and the pins to the right and left of that for power.

4) Solder a small wire to the middle pin on the switch, then solder the other end of that wire to the resistor.

5) Solder the resistor to the super bright LED.

6) Solder the super bright LED to a black wire, then the other end of that black wire to the first black wire leading to the female plug of the battery connector.

Work space with wires soldered together


Part III: prepare the casing and install the circuit

1) Measure the diameter of the outside part of the button with a caliper. 

Image of a caliper measuring the diameter of the button


2) Select a drill bit, and mount it to the drill.

3) Clamp the casing to firmly to a table.

4 Drill a hole in the casing.

5) Drop the circuit into the casing, LED side first.

6) Push the button through the hole you just drilled in the casing. This was easier to do when there was nothing soldered to the button.

7) Secure the button to the casing with a nut.

8) Tape the battery to the outside of the casing. 

Note: it used to fit inside the casing before we soldered all of the parts together, but now it must live outside.

Final step

Flip the switch, and your flashlight will turn on.Antonio holds the flashlight in his hand


The Longest Five Minutes of My Life

This week’s assignment for Video and Sound was for each assigned group to finalize their five-minute sound walks for everyone’s listening pleasure in class. That listening takes place tomorrow, but my group is ready to go more than 24 hours before the deadline. This is truly relieving.

My memory of time seems a little fuzzy over the last week, but I swear most of my working hours were taken up by editing this sound. I didn’t realize how long it would take to edit a short piece like this one. But once I remembered the professor’s warning not to come to class with a first draft, I knew we were expected to take as long as it might to create something, and re-create it if necessary.

Our group worked well together. I always wonder how a group project like this will go, but we were all serious about learning, following directions about the technical aspects of the assignment, and making an effort to respect and appreciate one another’s ideas and input. I was able to contribute with editing an equitable amount of audio, downloading extra sounds from YouTube using Audio Hijack, contributing to edits and so on.

I used Amadeus Pro to edit my parts of the assignment, while the other two group members used Adobe Audition. We shared our working files on DropBox. And the final product is in Sound Cloud at this link: 

We will be getting into video recording and editing over the weeks to come. I look forward to finding out what challenges will come my way next. Well, sort of.

Sounds Like a Good Start

The first week of my class on video and sound introduced us to the first of two projects we’ll produce during the course of the class, (seven weeks). We are to create a sound walk somewhere in the Tisch building.

My initial idea was to create a tour of all the floors in the building. One group member mentioned we could base our sound walk on the movie Night at the Museum. In that case, objects, furniture, and other things in the building would come alive on the fourth floor at the end of the day, when all the humans leave.

We were split between the two ideas, and decided to get 20 minutes of sound for one idea, and 20 minutes for the other. We headed to the elevators with no great aim in mind except to visit a floor in the building and see where that took us. That ended up being the 11th floor where film production takes place. We met a few people who seemed to run things up there. They had keys, and power, like the power to enter empty studios and to give us a tour.

Our tour guide was Pete, a TA, and senior in the program. We got some good sound, like Pete’s explanation of post-production techniques like foley.

We came back to ITP and decided to go with the footage we have. I think it’s going to work, but we have limited time to fill all the gaps in and create a story. I heard there’s more than one way to skin a cat, so maybe going on the tour, then coming up with a story for it will work. I think next time I do something like this, I’ll try to come up with a story ark earlier in the process.

Well, it’s not too late, and our group is at work to create a story around the sound we gathered before we go and start editing. We’ll need a timeline to follow. After all, we need to fill our time in an engaging way for the assignment to have more meaning and value. See you all next week.

My Achy Breaky WordPress Settings Page

I’ve just set up this WordPress site to document my work as a student at ITP and had to make my first post about accessibility. I am blind, and the world is not always an accessible place, so here it goes:

My Safari is crashing whenever I go over a certain portion of a page with VoiceOver on. This is the settings page under my Dashboard. I’m doing the following after logging on to my dashboard:

1. Click the settings link.

2. With VoiceOver on, navigate over the field that says “Date format.” Safari is sure to crash at that point, going busy, and making me force-quit and start over.

I don’t really need to change, or review, or edit the date format, do I? Not today.