Course: Physical Interaction

Course: Physical Interaction

Course: Physical Interaction

Course: Physical Interaction

Designing an Interactive Mesh

Designing an Interactive Mesh

Designing an
Interactive Mesh

Designing an Interactive Mesh

Interaction Design & Physical Interaction

Interaction Design

Interaction Design

Interaction Design

Triangles

Building a shapeshifter

Building a shapeshifter

Building a shapeshifter

For our course on Physical Interaction, we were briefed to build an interactive installation that would be able to change its shape. Our project aimed to create a grid consisting of interactive and interconnected elements, which would respond in a cryptic way to the interaction with its users. As it will be able to change its shape and appearance, my project mates and I decided to call it ‘Interactive-Mesh’.

For our course on Physical Interaction, we were briefed to build an interactive installation that would be able to change its shape. Our project aimed to create a grid consisting of interactive and interconnected elements, which would respond in a cryptic way to the interaction with its users. As it will be able to change its shape and appearance, my project mates and I decided to call it ‘Interactive-Mesh’.

For our course on Physical Interaction, we were briefed to build an interactive installation that would be able to change its shape. Our project aimed to create a grid consisting of interactive and interconnected elements, which would respond in a cryptic way to the interaction with its users. As it will be able to change its shape and appearance, my project mates and I decided to call it ‘Interactive-Mesh’.

For our course on Physical Interaction, we were briefed to build an interactive installation that would be able to change its shape. Our project aimed to create a grid consisting of interactive and interconnected elements, which would respond in a cryptic way to the interaction with its users. As it will be able to change its shape and appearance, my project mates and I decided to call it ‘Interactive-Mesh’.

First prototypes

First

prototypes

First prototypes

First Prototypes

First Prototypes

For experimentation, we created a simple prototype out of tape and cardboard. We used it to discover the strengths and weaknesses for possible interaction for this modular-design in various scenarios and configurations.

For experimentation, we created a simple prototype out of tape and cardboard. We used it to discover the strengths and weaknesses for possible interaction for this modular-design in various scenarios and configurations.

For experimentation, we created a simple prototype out of tape and cardboard. We used it to discover the strengths and weaknesses for possible interaction for this modular-design in various scenarios and configurations.

Initially, we were thinking about designing a device that could be wrapped around any surface and make it interactive.

During the testing, we realized that by hanging the artifact, we could create expressive movements as well.

We decided to continue with the hanging configuration. Subsequently, we had to decide what type of sensors we should implement and how we would register the user input.

We decided to implement Capacitive Sensing. The primary benefit of this sensor-type is the capability of hiding it from sight, as it can be placed behind the surface that you want to make interactive. Furthermore, they can cover a relatively large surface area, making them ideal for this project. Finally, the sensors themselves happen to be inexpensive: we manufactured our own using only a few resistors and few sheets of aluminum foil.

We decided to continue with the hanging configuration. Subsequently, we had to decide what type of sensors we should implement and how we would register the user input.

We decided to implement Capacitive Sensing. The primary benefit of this sensor-type is the capability of hiding it from sight, as it can be placed behind the surface that you want to make interactive. Furthermore, they can cover a relatively large surface area, making them ideal for this project. Finally, the sensors themselves happen to be inexpensive: we manufactured our own using only a few resistors and few sheets of aluminum foil.

We decided to continue with the hanging configuration. Subsequently, we had to decide what type of sensors we should implement and how we would register the user input.

We decided to implement Capacitive Sensing. The primary benefit of this sensor-type is the capability of hiding it from sight, as it can be placed behind the surface that you want to make interactive. Furthermore, they can cover a relatively large surface area, making them ideal for this project. Finally, the sensors themselves happen to be inexpensive: we manufactured our own using only a few resistors and few sheets of aluminum foil.

For our first iteration, we made a laser-cut triangular frame, in which we placed a LEDs on the inner side. This early-prototype was mainly used to play around with the light-based interactions.

With the purpose of measuring interaction, we decided to make use of capacitive sensing. In this experiment, the servo motor moves depending on the proximity of the hand to the capacitive sensor.

It was decided to start our second prototype with only one triangle for the feasibility test. The material selected for the final design was wood. In the process of making this triangle, and installing the required hardware inside of it, we deduced where and how we could make optimization steps in the design. Additionally, we started experimenting by using dedicated hardware-boards for scaling up our ability for capacitive measuring.

Besides movement-based interactions, we decided to make the triangles change their appearance by switching their colors. We achieved this by using LEDs on the inside of the triangles. To diffuse the light and make it appear evenly distributed, white-acrylic was placed in front of the LEDs.

It was decided to start our second prototype with only one triangle for the feasibility test. The material selected for the final design was wood. In the process of making this triangle, and installing the required hardware inside of it, we deduced where and how we could make optimization steps in the design. Additionally, we started experimenting by using dedicated hardware-boards for scaling up our ability for capacitive measuring.

Besides movement-based interactions, we decided to make the triangles change their appearance by switching their colors. We achieved this by using LEDs on the inside of the triangles. To diffuse the light and make it appear evenly distributed, white-acrylic was placed in front of the LEDs.

It was decided to start our second prototype with only one triangle for the feasibility test. The material selected for the final design was wood. In the process of making this triangle, and installing the required hardware inside of it, we deduced where and how we could make optimization steps in the design. Additionally, we started experimenting by using dedicated hardware-boards for scaling up our ability for capacitive measuring.

Besides movement-based interactions, we decided to make the triangles change their appearance by switching their colors. We achieved this by using LEDs on the inside of the triangles. To diffuse the light and make it appear evenly distributed, white-acrylic was placed in front of the LEDs.

It was decided to start our second prototype with only one triangle for the feasibility test. The material selected for the final design was wood. In the process of making this triangle, and installing the required hardware inside of it, we deduced where and how we could make optimization steps in the design. Additionally, we started experimenting by using dedicated hardware-boards for scaling up our ability for capacitive measuring.

Besides movement-based interactions, we decided to make the triangles change their appearance by switching their colors. We achieved this by using LEDs on the inside of the triangles. To diffuse the light and make it appear evenly distributed, white-acrylic was placed in front of the LEDs.

To counter the drawbacks of having only one wooden-triangle, we added the cardboard prototype to experiment with the combination of movement and lights.

By configuring the hardware used for Capacitive Sensing, we were able to utilize them as both distance and touch sensors simultaneously.

Scaling up

Scaling Up

Scaling Up

We aimed to build the wooden version of the Interactive-Mesh as big as our initial cardboard prototype. This meant that we had to create up to 20 wooden triangles in total.

We aimed to build the wooden version of the Interactive-Mesh as big as our initial cardboard prototype. This meant that we had to create up to 20 wooden triangles in total.

We aimed to build the wooden version of the Interactive-Mesh as big as our initial cardboard prototype. This meant that we had to create up to 20 wooden triangles in total.

laser cutting

We made use of a laser-cutter to manufacture the triangles. This allowed us to create the parts we needed to finalize our project quickly.

laser_cut_results

The design of the triangles was optimized so that they could be assembled by stacking individual parts together.

After we assembled all the triangles, a textile sheet was placed behind them. By using textile, we recreated the same effects we observed previously by using tape in the cardboard prototype: the triangles would be able to change their angles to one another.

Additionally, we created a mounting-piece from which we could hang the device. On the platform, we installed the remaining hardware, such as an Arduino, the required break-out boards and a strong power supply.

After we assembled all the triangles, a textile sheet was placed behind them. By using textile, we recreated the same effects we observed previously by using tape in the cardboard prototype: the triangles would be able to change their angles to one another.

Additionally, we created a mounting-piece from which we could hang the device. On the platform, we installed the remaining hardware, such as an Arduino, the required break-out boards and a strong power supply.

After we assembled all the triangles, a textile sheet was placed behind them. By using textile, we recreated the same effects we observed previously by using tape in the cardboard prototype: the triangles would be able to change their angles to one another.

Additionally, we created a mounting-piece from which we could hang the device. On the platform, we installed the remaining hardware, such as an Arduino, the required break-out boards and a strong power supply.

After we assembled all the triangles, a textile sheet was placed behind them. By using textile, we recreated the same effects we observed previously by using tape in the cardboard prototype: the triangles would be able to change their angles to one another.

Additionally, we created a mounting-piece from which we could hang the device. On the platform, we installed the remaining hardware, such as an Arduino, the required break-out boards and a strong power supply.

The triangles were all interconnected by back-side wiring. In total, up to 40 meters of wire was used to connect them.

The slopes that we added manually on the sides of the triangles ensured that the triangles were able to bend in- and outwards.

Basestation

The mounting-piece without the triangles connected to it. You can see the hardware such as the Arduino, the break-out boards and the power supply on the right.

basestationwires

The mounting-piece with all the triangles connected to it. Cable management was a serious undertaking during this project :-)

Designing the interactions

Designing the interactions

Designing the interactions

Designing the interactions

After completing the setup and assembly, it was time to finalize the design by implementing the interactive features.

After completing the setup and assembly, it was time to finalize the design by implementing the interactive features.

After completing the setup and assembly, it was time to finalize the design by implementing the interactive features.

When a participant moves near the Interactive Mesh, the individual triangles will 'shy away' from the user once they get close.

To make a triangle move and change its angle, the servomotor on its backside spins around pulls on the ropes connected to its neighboring triangles.

Our goal was to make the Interactive-Mesh appear as lively as possible. We made it appear as if the triangles became extremely active upon touch, but would become oversensitive over time.

firstencounterdark

In its neutral state - with no interaction - the triangles will exhibit a colorful gradient that slowly shifts across the Interactive-Mesh.

The sensitivity of the Interactive-Mesh increases during the interaction. When the sensitivity is high, the Mesh responds to virtually everything. During periods of no interaction, it slowly decays back to normal.

In its active state - when the user gets close enough to a triangle - the triangle, and its neighbors will light up brightly. Additionally, the speed at which the gradient shifts across the Interactive-Mesh increases.

Other selected work

Other selected work

Other selected work

Copyright © 2019, Max Meijer.

Copyright © 2019, Max Meijer.

Copyright © 2019, Max Meijer.

Copyright © 2019, Max Meijer.