All posts by Yashodha Deshpande

Hope: The bird comes alive as you approach



My project is a bird which reacts to human presence & evokes, triggers a certain emotion in humans.

Inspiration: We everyday see birds around us but we hardly notice them or stop &think about how they feel. what they think, etc. The main motive of  this project is to make people realize the beautiful environment around them. When we try to control the environment, it affects the creatures living in it. Thus the cage is a symbol, it is a metaphor used depict how we all have knowingly or unknowingly control the environment surrounding us.


Interaction Model:

Stage 1:  when no one is around, the bird shivers & looks around for someone to rescue it.

Stage 2: as a person starts approaching, the bird starts flapping its wings & neck happily with the hope that it is going to be rescued.

Stage 3: when he departs the bird is again sad &awaits for someone to approach him again.

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I basically tried to capture the natural movement of a bird. The way it reacts when it is happy, frightened, sad, etc. There were 3 movements involved:both the wings & the neck. hence, 3 servos were controlled by a sonar sensor.



The most difficult challenge was crafting a bird. the look had to be very natural & beautiful, eye pleasing to evoke an emotion in the user. The bird cannot have a rusty, grunge look. The most difficult was to hide the 3 servos & still control the movement. It should not be fragile but it should look delicate.

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I crafted the complete bird in pure white foam board with joining the pieces thus making it stylized. The cage was purposely black & dark to create a contrast &evoke an emotion.

Taking this forward, I would like to add more gestures & movements in my bird which will make it more realistic. Sound will add more to it. The neck can move even up & down with the addition of one more servo. So my next steps would be to explore & try out new possibilities to make my project better.

The project was really inspiring since this required all the 3 skills- observation, articulation & execution.

Thank You.

Daily Devices-Hand Dryer

I started with idea of washing machine having three aspects to it, water level, rinse & dry. But it was too complex to incorporate all the aspects in one. The next attempt was crane, but finally I built up a hand dryer.


A hand dryer is built with an IR sensor but I have used an ultrasonic sensor to trace the distance.  When a person is not within the vicinity, the hand dryer is in ‘Switch Off’ mode. A red led on the Hand Dryer indicates that. When you come near, the green led glows & the steady fan starts rotating. The voltage output of the green led & fan are connected to each other, which makes both of them work at the same time.

Circuit Diagram:





Click here to see the video


#define trigPin 13
#define echoPin 12
#define led 11
#define led2 10

void setup() {
Serial.begin (9600);
pinMode(trigPin, OUTPUT);
pinMode(echoPin, INPUT);
pinMode(led, OUTPUT);
pinMode(led2, OUTPUT);

void loop() {
long duration, distance;
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW); // Added this line
delayMicroseconds(2); // Added this line
digitalWrite(trigPin, HIGH);
// delayMicroseconds(1000); – Removed this line
delayMicroseconds(10); // Added this line
digitalWrite(trigPin, LOW);
duration = pulseIn(echoPin, HIGH);
distance = (duration/2) / 29.1;
if (distance < 15) { // This is where the LED On/Off happens
digitalWrite(led,HIGH); // When the Red condition is met, the Green LED should turn off
else {
if (distance >= 200 || distance <= 0){
Serial.println(“Out of range”);
else {
Serial.println(” cm”);