Tag Archives: Zoe Romano

Terrors of the Breakfast Table

Currently on display at the Hamilton Art Gallery, Terrors of the Breakfast Table is described as an experimental video that “invites participation.” According to curator Melissa Bennett, the story follows a boy on a contemplative journey about life and death.

“Heavily symbolic, it unfolds in an impressionistic way, with interludes of brilliant cinematography and atmospheric sound,” she explains.

“The story is also a dreamscape, as the boy weaves in and out of consciousness, visualizing memories, familiar landscapes and symbolic environments. The piece ruminates on the elusiveness of the mind and body, and the functions of the body—such as breathing—that seem to be invisible.”

Interestingly, Tekatch designed the video installation so that the visitor’s breath causes changes to the visuals and sound. More specifically, subtle technologies sense a viewer’s breath, triggering thought-provoking interactive elements. These include a dream montage, the pace of a scene, ambient sound and the brightness of the visuals.

As Arduino reports, Tyler Tekatch and Kyle Duffield created the interactive video installation using a combination of cameras to shoot the project and capture a number of the super slow motion shots. The film was edited in FCP7, graded in DaVinci Resolve, with effects added in Cinema 4d and 3ds Max.

“For the interactive elements, they used Max 6 for all of the programming, including the Arduino library, AHarker Externals library, Ambisonics Externals from ICST and externals from Jamoma. They [also] experimented with a number of different approaches to the sensor, including sound analysis, but finally settled on an anemometer designed especially for breath by the company Modern Device,” writes Romano.

“The sensor was paired with an [Atmel-based] Arduino Uno (ATmega328 MCU), to which they also added LEDs in order to illuminate the sensor housing sculpture – which were mapped to the viewer’s breath.”

Interested in learning more about Terrors of the Breakfast Table? You can check out the project’s official page here.


Video: Building a multitouch music controller

Amanda Ghassaei – creator of the Glitchbox and Vocal Effect Box – recently published a detailed list of build instructions for an Atmel-based (Duemilanova or Uno), Arduino-powered infrared touchscreen/coffee-table interface.

According to Zoe Romano of the official Arduino blog, Ghassaei has been using the multitouch platform to control various music and graphics applications on her PC.

So, how does the platform work?

“The touchscreen uses infrared (IR) sensing to detect fingers and other objects on the screen, [while] an IR laser at each corner shines IR light across the surface of the screen,” Ghassaei explained.

“When a finger or other object touches the surface, it causes the IR light to scatter in many directions. Some of this light is directed down into the screen, towards an array of 64 IR sensors. By scanning through the sensors, you can determine the x and y position of the touch event(s) and use this to control a variety of apps.”

Interested in learning more about the Arduino-powered multitouch music controller? You can check out the project’s Instructables page here.

Video: Atmel-based Arduinos in a semi-auto production line

Alexander Kozusyev from Kiev recently contacted the official Arduino blog to describe how he integrated Atmel-based boards into a semi-auto production line designed to cast polyurethane foam.

According to Ardunio’s Zoe Romano, Kozusyev is using an Arduino Mega (ATmega2560) to read RFID codes and control a number of components, along with an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) (+ firmware GRBL version 0.9) to control the CNC.

“[The] production line has two independent CNC 3-axis manipulator. The first [is] spraying of [a] release agent. [The] second [is the] automatic pouring [of] polyurethane into the mold,” Kozusyev explained.

“Before spraying or pouring, [the system] reads RFID unique code for the mold, and then loads the G-CODE from the database server based MySQL. After pouring, the mold is moved to the waiting area.”

Designing an open source baby monitor

Earlier this year, a team of researchers from FabLab Pisa and the University of Pisa’s Center for Bioengineering and Robotics kicked off an exciting new project known as OS4BME, or Open Source for Biomedical Engineering.

The project’s goal? Introducing the medical device world to a DIY & Makers philosophy. Indeed, OS4BME wants to help facilitate the development of simple, low-cost and high-impact biomedical devices such as neonatal baby monitors.

The course took take place at Kenyatta University (Nairobi) and involved a number of staggered tracks, including configuring a 3D printing system, developing a neonatal monitoring device, using open source and designing solar-powered electronics based on the Atmel-powered Arduino platform.

In July, Arduino announced its official support for the project, sending the research team a number of UNO boards (ATmega328), along with Wi-Fi and GSM shields used during the course. The components were subsequently donated to the Kenyatta University and Fablab Nairobi.

Arti Ahluwalia (Professor of Bioengineering), Daniele Mazzei and Carmelo De Maria (Biomedical Engineers, co-founders of FabLab Pisa and researchers at the Center) have since returned to Italy where they were recently interviewed by Arduino’s Zoe Romano.

“We decided to use open source tools to design and prototype the baby monitor because we believe economic barriers can’t stop the creative process. Our results will be the starting point for future projects, following the open source philosophy,” the FabLab Pisa team told Romano.

“[Our] baby monitor [was] composed by a 3D-printed mechanical frame, an electronic board and a control software. Thus, in order, we used FreeCAD for mechanical design, MeshLab to analyze the quality of the mesh, Slic3r to generate the machine code, Pronterface to send commands to a Prusa Mendel RepRap. The brain of the baby monitor, electronic and software, is based on Arduino. ”

According to FabLab Pisa, the project was an “immediate” success, if even most students and staff were initially unaware of the existence of tools such as Arduino, FreeCad, Slicer and Media Wiki.

“The course was instrumental in bringing this knowledge to the participants, and their keen interest throughout the introductory part, particularly on 3D printing and rapid prototyping was apparent,” the FabLab team added. “[Currently], the University of Pisa is working with the ABEC and Boston University to raise funds for further courses and student and staff exchange.”