Maximus is showing the ITP Spring Show 2009. More information at the micro site


Galvanic Skin Response

Galvanic Sking Response is basically the resistance of your body. And it could be measure as easily as connecting two copper plates. One copper plate is attached to a power supply and the other one is connected to the microcontroller that measures the resistance of the body when you touch them with your finger tips.

The GSR is highly sensitive to emotions in some people. Fear, anger, startle response, orienting response and sexual feelings are all among the emotions which may produce similar GSR responses. There is also a direct response between how relaxed or tensed you are to your body resistance.

Then the project was extended to measure the GSR over a period of time. For this, I madetwo GSR sensors and hooked up each of them to myself and my wife, while watching a movie. I figured the best way to get good responses of interest or boredom would be by watching a movie.

The graph below shows the GSR input over a period of 2 hours.

It was really interesting to see how our responses were very different at times, but also very similar at other times during the movie. It would be really great to see what was exactly going on when the rises and falls happened in the graph.

I also created another application that would layer the two graphs over each other so that, I know where I was more interested and where I was not with respect to my wife.

The image below shows a few parts of that graph.

RoboLamp – Physical Computing Final Project

Robolamp was my final project for the physical computing class at ITP.

The idea behind the project was to put life into the regular day inanimate objects around us and make the interactions with them more interesting. So here the user can control or rather direct the position of the lamp by moving his/her hands around it.

The image below shows the first prototype, which had two degrees of freedom, and was manually commanded to move to specific positions.

The image below shows the final working prototype of Robolamp. The user gently moves his/her hand around the lamp to position it.

On the technical side it is equipped with four range sensors, one of each side of the head, which detect the presence of a persons hand around it and command the servo motors to move the lamp in the other direction. Its equipped with one servo motor in the bottom, for left-right movement and two in the arms for up-down movement, making it possible to place the head of the lamp almost anywhere.

The video below show the final working prototype.

Movolight – Physical Computing Midterm Project

For my physical computing midterm project I decided to play around with servo motors, as they are easy to control and fun to work with. The concept here is that of an interactive chandelier. The chandelier in this case consists of 9 cubes. The cubes can be switched on and off individually through a computer interface. Depending on the number of the cubes that are switched on, they divided the vertical height between them equally. So if only one of the cubes were to be switched on it would go the full distance. Then if another one is switched on, one would be at full displacement the second one at half distance, so on and so forth. Thus the cubes moved in vertical direction and arrange themselves every time a new cube is switched on or off creating new and interesting lighting patterns.

On the technical side, the main controller here is an atmel168 chip on the arduino development board. The controller serially talks to processing running on a PC for the user interface. On the other side the arduino controls 9 servos and 9 LEDs which make the chandelier. The LEDs can be dimmed using the PWM signal from the arduino. The servos and LEDs are connected by daisy chaining two 8 bit shift registers.

Heres the setup:


The arduino with all the messy wiring 😉


Cubes lit in different formations:




And heres the movie :