December 2, 2008

Ping pong photos (troubleshooting stages)

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp — Tags: , — *aly* @ 11:41 pm

Arty Ping Pong


November 30, 2008

spooky slots (the buttons in action)

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp,My Favorites — Tags: , — *aly* @ 5:36 pm

Here is a video of the spooky slots in action, complete with candy-dispensing skull, teeny-tiny coffin, and spider buttons:

spooky slots (the animation in action)

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp — *aly* @ 2:36 pm

Here are a few examples of the processing animation in action. A few things to note: the frog sound starts the game because the physical start button was a squishy frog. The “boing” sounds correspond to the spider tiles that appear on reels one, three, and five (from left to right). When a player gets all three spiders, the bonus spider game appears. Each character on a tile has its own winning animation and sound.

Here is an example of winning lines with witches and skulls:
witch_skull win

November 20, 2008

the saga of the 5940tn daisy chain

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp — Tags: , — *aly* @ 10:50 pm

Our first foray into daisy chaining the Texas Instruments TLC5940tn led driver and using the arduino library ( was unsuccessful. The LEDs from the first chip worked correctly, but the second half of the LEDs on the second chip stayed solidly on and the first four LEDs lit up in a pattern paralleling the first chip. After much troubleshooting (we tested the chip, the LEDs, the wires, the code) we met with Tom who gave us a quick tutorial on Arduino libraries. As it turns out, our wiring and hardware was all fine. This library uses a variable for the number of TLC chips that is defined in the config file and must be changed there (the same erratic behavior described above still happens if the particular variable is redefined in the regular code). AND when the config  file is edited, the file in the library with the .o extension must be deleted for the change to be effective which is the step we were missing.

And so, without further explanation, our three chips daisychained:

November 12, 2008

spooky slots (pretty pictures et al)

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp — Tags: , — *aly* @ 7:10 pm

slot machine… full view finishedOnce installed in the ITP hallway, our spooky slots attracted a lot of attention. (Yes, it really does help when candy is involved.) And, best of all, Hall of the Mountain King was getting hummed unconsciously by a lot of people. We successfully added some Halloween spirit to the floor!


October 23, 2008

DC motor lab (part 2)

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp — Tags: — *aly* @ 3:47 pm

DC motor with H-bridgeWe set up the H-bridge and the ~5V DC motor using an external 5V power supply to power the motor and breadboard. Used the code from the lab and added serial.println to verify the high and low states of the digital switch. The switch worked fine, but the motor did not turn. Moved the motor off the H-bridge to verify that the breadboard was powered and off the H-bridge, the motor worked fine.

October 19, 2008

spooky slots project summary

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp,My Favorites — Tags: — *aly* @ 11:06 pm

small animated countOur goal is to redesign a slot machine: making it possible for group play, adding the potential for skilled play, and providing a candy reward. Given the season, it will be Halloween themed (making it fun for us and for the player). We intend to make it engaging and to encourage continuous use as it is a fun game rather than an addiction-feeding vice. Our experience of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and various simple computer games tells us that the addictive tendencies of humans will make this repetitive task compelling for the user. (Even while under construction, our project has received attention and we have had many willing players/testers). After extensive observation of people obsessively gambling at slot machines, it is obvious that the tolerance of inconvenience and discomfort is greater when the perceived chance for winning is high.  In our design, the challenge of the play, the ubiquitous design of a slot-machine, and the chance to win a prize all contribute to its ease and desirability of use.

slot machine … the dispenser saga pt. 2

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp — Tags: — *aly* @ 10:42 pm

This post is a continuation of the documentation of our experiments to make a functioning candy dispenser for our spooky slots. Our previous experimentation showed us that the difficulty of turning the knob to release candy was due in part to the seal created by the soft rubber star-shaped part of the dispenser. We decided to replace this with something easier to turn, to see if we could make it automated.

October 9, 2008

slot machine … the dispenser saga pt. 1

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp — Tags: — *aly* @ 10:00 pm

candy corn/ cereal dispenserThe first physical piece of the slot machine interface that we tackled was the candy dispenser. We started with a cereal dispenser filled with candy corn. The dispenser has a knob on the front that is attached to a star-shaped wheel that fits on the underside of the candy reservoir. Upon turning the knob, the wheel rotates and lets a small portion of candy drop out.

October 2, 2008

serial lab and multiple serial lab

Filed under: Intro to Phys Comp — Tags: — *aly* @ 5:55 pm

processing graph of pot[part 1] I connected a potentiometer to my breadboard and uploaded the code to the arduino so that it outputs the analog read (divided by four) in BYTE format via the serial port. I then used the mac  terminal to display that data. Lots of ascii on the screen. pretty neat. Then I set up processing to graph that information (using pretty colors). I added one line of code to the lab’s processing example to get a pretty picture since I couldn’t hit shift+apple+3 while moving the pot:

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