Shutterthyme's Blog

May 16, 2013

Eye Robot

Filed under: Electronics and Experimental Systems — Mia @ 7:04 pm

Mac G5 computer parts that processed images, videos, and music programs since 2004 are now components of an Electronics and Experimental Systems assignment, “Into the Uncanny Valley.” This is information from our assignment:

“The uncanny valley draws on the philosophy of the uncanny that was first made popular by Sigmund Freud in his 1919 essay Das Unheimliche, where he proposes that the uncanny is not something wholly uknown or alien but rather is something that is strangely familiar.

In electromechanically driven kinetic art, there is often a tendency to react to the work much in the way that one would react to the uncanny—whether because of how it moves, in the motor and mechanism chosen, or why it moves, in the data-driven, sensor-based interactivity, or other programmatic behaviors.”

I plan to build on this project for my Senior Thesis and May, 2014 gallery installation. I would like to add a vertical component to the eye movement and a pair of eyelids. Each portion of the project worked well (servo and linkage for horizontal movement, servo and linkage for vertical movement, and solenoid to blink eyelids) but combining the hardware and C++ code was problematic. Over the summer, I’m learning C++ and working on a way to fit eyelids over moving clevis connections.


May 13, 2013

Mac G5 Transformation

Filed under: Electronics and Experimental Systems — Mia @ 1:04 am

G5 computer with the cover off

Mac G5 computer logic board that has been removed from the case

empty G5 computer case

empty computer case

computer parts on a table

a table of G5 computer parts

Tech-Optics animatronic dark blue eyes

filling the computer case with animatronic eyes

two pairs of animatronic eyes in a G5 case

May 12, 2013

Final Project Plans

Filed under: Electronics and Experimental Systems — Mia @ 8:25 pm

The final Electronics and Experimental Systems project was to use servos or motors to relate a sense of the uncanny—something close enough to reality that it is a bit uncomfortable or creepy. I chose my obsolete G5 computer case to house two pairs of Tech-Optics eyes. The animatronic eyes housed LEDs that became brighter as the ambient light dimmed. The second pair of eyes, in acrylic hemispheres, moved from side to side, according to motion detection in the room. The eyes were guided by Parallax infrared sensors that communicated with an Arduino UNO R3 microcontroller. Planning steps included wiring diagrams, support structure plans, and power supply placement for the primary components: Micro-controllers, LEDs (light-emitting diodes), PIR (passive infrared) sensors, servos, and solenoid (to blink the eyelids). This is the first version of the Fritzing wiring diagram. If you want to see a larger version, just click on the image.

a Fritzing wire diagram of the project

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