turning dreams into reality

The Final Project – What To Do?

I have been sitting at my computer for the past few days simply staring at the screen.  I honestly have no idea what I want to do for the final project.  One thing is for certain though and that is the fact that I absolutely want to work with at least one or two of my classmates.  Laura and I were very successful on our midterm because we both had different skills to bring to the table, and I would expect nothing less when matched with anyone from our class.  I guess another aspect that I would like to avoid is using p5 in any final concept.  I know that physical computing has been difficult for me, but p5 has been an absolute disaster.  If I can create something that does not rely on p5, then I will be one happy dude!

As for ideas, I have two that are so preliminary that it will be difficult to fully express what is going on inside my head. However, here goes:

  • Voice-Activated Candy Dispenser:  In an earlier post for fabrication, I wrote about my infatuation with candy.  It is ridiculous how much candy I consume especially considering that I have a strict diet for everything else that I eat.  I may be 33 years old, but I am still a kid at heart.  There are tons of motion controlled candy dispensers on the market such as this one sold by Brookstone:


  • However, I have never actually seen a candy dispenser that is voice controlled.  I envision taking it a step further and having three different candies that can be controlled by voice recognition and a switch.  I am still not sure how it would look from a physical standpoint, but my mind is definitely brewing with ideas.


  • For a second idea (and this one is still quite mirky), I have always wanted to find a way to read books to my niece (9 years old) and nephew (6 years old) since moving so far away from them for school.  One of my favorite things to do was read some of their favorite books before they went to bed.  But now with the time distance and their inability to sit still during FaceTime, it has proved too difficult.  I have even tried recording voicemails and then sending them to my brother, but that did not work either.  What if they had a physical book where they could choose stories that have been prerecorded at the touch of a button?  I feel like there can be more to it to make it even more interactive, but still not sure what that could be.  I could see this being valuable for families where the spouse is away for work or in the military.  Just hearing the sound of the parent or other family member is not only soothing for a young child, but helps to continue and foster a growing relationship that can easily become distant with less and less exposure.  Could multiple family members read the same book thus giving a variety of variations of the same story?  Having spent almost ten years in early childhood education, I can say without question that young children can listen to the same story over and over again.  Why not find a way to hear it from the people closest to them, who also happen to be physically far away from them?at-christmastime-and-always-i-love-you-recordable-storybook-root-1kob1076_1470_1

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Final Project == 4.0

Well, the day has finally come.  Alex, Katie and I have spent the past couple of weeks working together on what seemed like an inconceivable idea considering our collective aptitude in physical computing and processing, but we finally crossed the finish line.  Alex and I are set to present tomorrow and we will be in the winter show over the weekend.  While there are still a few bugs to adjust in the interim, we are confident that we will have those fixed by the time it will be shown to the world (or at least whoever comes to the show on Sunday and Monday).

Unity Dancing

This was my first experiment with Unity and I must say that I actually really enjoyed it.  While obviously there is still a lot to learn, I was amazed how quickly I was able to grasp everything at a basic level.  This may not be the most graceful video ever made, but I am controlling the three movements with different key strokes.

Dancing in a meadow below: