The higher you fly, the harder you fall!

Project Description:

This is a kinetic art installation which emotes the feeling of elevation with pride.  This indulges in an extended non-verbal communication from the user to his surroundings. Three capacitive touchpads and a do-it-yourself switch are coded to activate the NeoPixels and wings respectively. This project is a surreal mix of fantasy and feelings in terms of the forms, it has been constructed upon. The golden wings represent ‘a feeling of flight’ (ambitious), the braided garland with the Adafruit Playground circuit framed with a golden fabric is created to resemble a medal to convey the idea of someone who flies on the Cloud 9, proud of his/her achievements, snobbish and has a sense of superiority complex. The DIY switch (Golden Steel wool) can be used to pause the wings which function via two servo motors attached on the back. The three capacitive touchpads are coded in rising levels of intensities, in terms of audio and light emissions. The first A1 represents pride with the least intensity and A3 representing the highest intensity of all. Arduino Nano 33 IoT to activate the golden wings and Adafruit Playground Circuit activates the music and lighting play. Indigo, golden yellow and creme white and magenta colour palette have been chosen to make the installation aristocratic, grand and royal. Glass jewel stickers and strings lights are included for additional aesthetic appeal.

Final photos: 

received_2574070766142584 received_2976419402379843 received_3077629205603273

Parts List: 

For the Garland (Front) 

  1. Adafruit Playground Circuit, Creatron Inc.
  2. String Lights, Michaels
  3. Steel Wool, Tools cupboard, Digital Futures Studio
  4. Conductive Fabric, distributed in class
  5. Net Fabric, Michaels ( shared from a friend)
  6. Felt Fabric – Dollarama
  7. Fur Shawl, Dollarama
  8. Jewel stickers, Dollarama

For the Wings (Back)

  1. Servo Motors, Creatron. Inc
  2. Arduino Playground Circuit, Creatron. Inc
  3. Alligator Clips, Creatron. Inc
  4. Conductive thread, Creatron. Inc
  5. USB Cord
  6. BreadBoard, Creatron Inc.
  7. Golden sheets, Dollarama
  8. Acrylics, scraps from past projects
  9. 3D printed mounts to attach servos

Schematic Diagram:

Adafruit playground Circuit

Aduino Nano 33 IoT


Activating The NeoPixels – Adafruit Circuit Playground

Activating the Golden Wings with Servo

Process photos and notes:

20200225_174541 20200226_012811
img-20200226-wa0006 img-20200226-wa0031 received_836670073426724 received_1223332791189234

I chose classy and dark colours for an aristocratic and rich look. The fur shawl is stitched together in the middle to give it a majestic form. The wings are made using the knowledge of Origami – Japanese art of folding paper. I have used steel wood for the first time because of its conductivity and complimentary appearance that gets added to my project’s overall aesthetics or else I could have used any other conductive material. The net fabric is very flimsy, so I had to layer it up & braid the cloth fabric to add weight (preventing it from flying off). I had a difficult time pasting and mounting the servos on the back. For attaching it with the wings, I had to provide hard acrylics for supporting its edges. The acrylics were doubled taped from every side for stability and easy movement of the wings.

Lessons learnt:

  1. Steel Wool: For the 1st time, I used it for its aesthetic value and conductivity. But it is difficult to shape this wool as it gets easily breakable and needs careful attending while handling.
  2. Microsoft Make Code Software: Block-based programming which is very good for quick lighting interactions, easy navigation and fun to use. I used this for its flexibility to create musical notes and cool lighting animations. But it is very limited in terms of library usage, servo motor coding and defining specific colour outside its given gamut. Also, very few projects are done using this, seems to be relatively new software.
  3. Use a power bank, it is more reliable than batteries.



Flapping Wings, Does not Fly (Close-Up)

Flapping Wings, Does not Fly (Establishing Shot)

Project Context


The idea of humans flying has fascinated several famous individuals like Leonardo Da Vinci or Daedalus (craftsman in Greek Mythology) since history.

When I was a child, my mom narrated me the story of Icarius – who got his wings made from wax & feathers by his father to escape from the prison. His father, Daedalus warned him not to fly towards the sun as it will meth the wax and the feathers will come apart. But Icarius did not listen to his father, became ambitious and flew towards the Sun to possess it. Unfortunately, his father could not stop him, the wax melted and Icarus fell to his death into the sea. This story creates a perfect epitome of the proverb – ‘Pride comes before the fall’.  I wanted to represent this concept – an individual who is overproud and blinded by his achievements is headed to his/her great fall. The higher one rises, the harder they fall.  When I saw Monarch V2


I tried making the wings with different widths of paper, with 70 gsm (copier paper sheets), the wings fell off & got torn easily. And with higher paper gsm, the paper would not fold and the servos were unable to more it. Finally, I got the right gsm & created my perfect golden wings. But to place it, I needed to tape it from both the side for stability and firmness. The servos were mounted on the 3D print out mounts. But still, I had to stitch them for assurance that it would not fall while flapping the wings. 

Then for making the garland, I wanted to use the net fabric but since it gets spread & creases easily, I planned to braid it to prevent it from falling from the chest of the Judy mannequin. To stuck the Adafruit Playground Circuit, I stitched it on top of a circular yellow felt fabric so that it resembles a golden medal. The garland symbolically represents the achievement of the wearer.  


I tried 180-degree coding at first, but it got stuck, then I tried with 90-degree where it did not look aesthetically pleasing. So I tried coding it from 120-140 degrees. This served the purpose very well and visually communicated my concept. For coding the Adafruit playground Circuit, I use Microsoft MadeCode Adafruit which is fun, easy but limited in terms of attributing specific colours. I composed some of my musical notes. I used the jewel stickers on the fur shawl for a royal touch.

I used steel wool for the first time as a conductive switch, as it can be shaped like a digital button which turned on & off the wings. But I do not suggest to use it as it is highly unreliable and easily breakable. It needs to be handled very carefully with the maximum attention one can devote.



For final assemblage, I tied strings lights around the Judy mannequin for additional beauty and intensity. I tried using a darker room since I had incorporated a play of the NeoPixels but the wings were invisible. Since darker room defeats the purpose of communicating the message, I finalise to showcase my work in a well-lit room.



  1. Hartman, K., Knipping, A., Kourtoukov, B., Colpitts-Campbell, I. and Lewis, E. (n.d.). Monarch V2. [online] SOCIAL BODY LAB. Available at: [Accessed 22 Feb. 2020]. An interesting project which gave me the idea to explore kinetic wearables and how wings could be attached to the shoulders. Monarch V2. It expands and contracts according to the muscle movements of the wearer. maxresdefault
  2. Wipprecht, A. (2020). Anouk Wipprecht FashionTech. [online] Anouk Wipprecht FashionTech. Available at: [Accessed 2 Mar. 2020].I read about the famous ‘robotic Spider dress’ in the ‘Design Framework For Social Wearables.pdf’ shared by Kate. But I further researched about it and how it marks the personal space of the user. It is attached with proximity and respiration sensors, thus extends out its 6 legs when another person walks towards it.


Eternal Forms

Experiment 5: Proposal


Catherine Reyto, Jun Li, Rittika Basu, Sananda Dutta, Jevonne Peters

Project Description

“Eternal Forms” is an interactive artwork incorporating geometric elements in motion. The forms accelerate their rotating speeds when a user interacts from ranging proximities. The construction of the elements is highly precise along with accurate measurements to generate an optical illusion of constant collision. The framework establishes from a circular grid system, which is designed by several interlinking ellipses running across a common circumference of the centre ellipse. 

Parts/materials/ technology list 

  • Servo
  • Distance sensor
  • Pulley
  • Acrylic
  • Wood
  • Arduino – distance sensor and servo motor based coding
  • Laser Cutting

Work Plan

Base Circular Grid – Sets the basis of the design constructions.
Design Explorations
  • 24th Nov (Sun): Pattern exploration and design created based on the finalized patterns
  • 25th Nov (Mon): Design a network of connected illusions using the finalized patterns. Also, try out prototype laser cuts of the final pieces. Check out the weight and scaling optimizations.
  • 26th Nov (Tue): Work on the code – Arduino side. Also, try the servo functioning with the prototype model.
  • 27th Nov (Wed): Combine the servo and the sensor part of the experiment and check code functioning.
  • 28th Nov (Thu):  Create the final design laser cuts with the materials finalized – acrylic or wood or both. Additionally, creating the mounting piece that needs to go up on the wall.
  • 29th Nov (Fri): Iterate and work on creating multiple kinetic sculptures and make them interactive. Also, work on the display set-up of the installation.
  • 30th Nov (Sat): Trouble-shooting
  • 1st Dec (Sun): Trouble-shooting
  • 2nd Dec (Mon): Trouble-shooting
  • 3rd Dec (Tue): Final Presentation

Physical installation details

They will be multiple interactive artworks mounted on walls where the user can observe the changing rotating speed based on distance proximities. These artworks will be animated by Servo Motors.

Resource List

10 Nails and hammer – For mounting the artwork.

Extension Cord

Power Plug

Wall space of 5ft x 3ft to mount the piece.


  1. Kvande, Ryan. “Sculpture 40″ – Award Winning Optical Illusion Sculptures”. Spunwheel, 2019,
  2. Whitaker, Lyman. “Whitaker Studio”. Whitakerstudio.Com, 2019,

Tête-à-Tête <3

Rittika Basu

Project Description: ‘Tête-à-Tête’ <3 is a private-dating platform. The term, ‘Tête-à-Tête’ (French origin) refers to a secret one-to-one conversation between two people. The communication is encrypted through the use of ‘Cupid Cryptic Codes’ that gets transmitted through the playing of the mini piano keys. The objective is to have an ‘ongoing secret chat’ while being camouflaged as a piano player. There are ten piano keys in total which generate the Solfège/Solfa – an educational technique to teach musical notes and sight-reading skills and familiar beginners with lyrical patterns. For example, ‘A’ is denoted with one Red blink and generated the musical note of ‘Do’. Similar to an actual piano, the first eight mini piano keys produces Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti & Do consecutively. The last 2 keys, produces ‘Beep’ sounds denoting to set of odd and even numbers. The code syntax incorporates Alphabets, numbers, several punctuations in addition to a few emojis.






Attaching Alligator wires to the mini piano keys DIY buttons
Wiring the Arduino with the Mini Piano strings

Final Images:

cover-page setting-images 73420315_471938793422400_4582641864728903680_n background-4

Interactive Video:

Question: Guess what Neo is encrypting?

Answer: coffee?

Project Context:


I started observing ideas post observing the Mud Tub, Massage Me and Giant Joystick. One day, I came across an article on ‘Secret Dating’ and its reasons. Foremostly, its a common practise among the LGBT community as non-heterosexual forms of expressing love is a taboo in several regions of the world. In many Asian and African countries disclosure of such relationships might end up tragic incidents where the partners would be jailed, penalised, killed by relatives or chemically castrated. One of the reasons could be that the unconventional relationships are perceived as an act of humiliation and shame in society. Thus, homosexual lovers are often forced to pursue relationships in secrecy.

Being from India (one of the largest populous country), I have witnessed how dating, kissing or any form of displaying affection is publicly scowled. Whereas molestation, on the other hand, is ignored blatantly many times. Instead of teaching children on lessons of communal friendships in additions to having healthy relationships, parents wrongly depicts romantic intimacies as vile and inappropriate for youngsters. For example, during my 12th grade, my best friend’s mother told her that making boyfriend is indecent and girls who date boys will always perform poorly in academia.  This was because her parents considered ‘teenage love’ as a distraction and feared that their daughter might be engaged in pre-marital coitus.

Developing a new language – Cupid Codes:

Contemplating on the notion of secret dating, the idea of having a secret system of communication struck my mind during the next week. I commenced reading about cryptic messaging and cypher networking which had interested me since childhood. Inspired by ‘Morse Code’ and ‘Tap Code’, I attempted being an amateur cryptanalyst and created my own set of cryptic codes using LEDs blinking.


Ideation – Creating a ‘Cryptic Messaging System’

It was a struggle in the beginning as I had to conceive how to implement this transmission via serial communication within a limited set of 12 digital pins. In the fullness of time, after innumerable trials and errors, I came up with ‘Cupid Codes’ and strategise a systematic table to remember the new language. These set of multi-coloured blinks on Processing screen will help to transmit messages between two lovers secretly. While the other people surrounding the environment will assume that the participants or lovers are actually engaged in playing the Mini piano because the codes are conveyed through the playing (audio and visual output) from the piano keys.

Tap Code

Creation of a new language – Cupid Code (usage of multi-coloured blinks with different timings and syntaxes)


Rapid Prototyping:

Utilising the knowledge of DIY switches from Kate’s class 12, I tried to make the mini Piano keys wrapped with Aluminium foil to test the conductivity of electricity. However, this prototype’s form turned out to be very childish and juvenile. Hence, I had to reserve this one as a kid’s version because of its bright colours and playful mechanism.


After referring videos of DIY mini piano on YouTube and instructional images from Pinterest, I began implementing the gathered knowledge in developing my own little piano. Creating the piano switches as the DIY switches were intensive and tedious. Afterwards, I soldered the jumper wires, resistors with the copper strips attached on the piano keys. The idea was that, when these piano keys will be pressed, it completes the whole circuit and emits musical audio. There are 10 piano keys that are colour coded in Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue & Green. The 2 green-coloured keys are for odd and even numbers respectively. But rest of the eight keys are to represent Alphabets, emojis, phrases and punctuation in different combinations. Every 10 keys emit 10 different musical notes ie. the Solfège or Solfeggio, a.k.a. Sol-fa, Solfa, Solfeo, which follows as Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do and Beep sounds.

Access from GitHub (Codes + Audio + Image + Typeface) :

The coding is simple and derived from the file shared by Kate and Nick’s Github page,  titled ‘Experiment_3_-_Arduino_Processing_ASCII_Digital_values.ino’ (Arduino file) and ‘Experiment_3__Arduino_Processing_ASCII.pde (Processing file)’. 

In Arduino: Arduino Code for Experiment 3: Tête-à-Tête <3

In Processing: Processing Code for Experiment 3: Tête-à-Tête <3

Supporting Files: Audio, background image and typeface


Replacing Aluminium with Copper because not only Cu is a better conductor of electricity and its strips are harder than Al foil. Cryptic communication language was developed involving of colour blinks that appeared on the screen at different timings which are to be used and exchanged between the participants or partners for flirting, messaging and calling each other. Every piano key generates different sounds making the messaging activity seems like playing of a musical note. Since, this instrument functions like a real piano, non-participants surrounding both the partners will assume them as piano players while they can happily date their lovers in peace and privacy. 


Research + Coding Tutorials
  1. Kremer, B. (2019). Best Codes. from
  2. Hartman, K. (2019). Exp3_Lab1_ArduinotoProcessing_ASCII_3DigitalValues/. Lecture, OCAD University.
  3. curtis’s channel. (2016). processing: playing and using sound files [Video]. Retrieved from
  4. Engel, M. (2014). Adding and using fonts in processing [Video]. Retrieved from
  5. Blum, J. (2011). Tutorial 06 for Arduino: Serial Communication and Processing [Image]. Retrieved from
  6. Rudder, C. (2014). Seven secrets of dating from the experts at OkCupid. Retrieved, from
  7. Elford, E. (2018). HuffPost is now a part of Verizon Media. Retrieved from
  1. Rodgers & Hammerstein. (1965). “Do-Re-Mi” – THE SOUND OF MUSIC [Video]. Retrieved from
  2. Jaz_the_MAN_2. (2015). Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do – DO stretched.wav [MP3 file]. Retrieved from
  3.  Jaz_the_MAN_2. (2015).  Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do – RE stretched.wav [Online]. Retrieved from
  4.  Jaz_the_MAN_2. (2015).  Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do – MI.wav [WAV file]. Retrieved from
  5.  Jaz_the_MAN_2. (2015). Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do. – FA stretched.wav [WAV file]. Retrieved from
  6. Katy (2007).  Solfege – So.wav [Online]. Retrieved from
  7. Jaz_the_MAN_2. (2015). LA.wav [Online]. Retrieved from
  8. Katy (2007).  Solfege – Ti.wav [Online]. Retrieved from
  9. austin1234575 (2014).  Beep 1 sec [Online]. Retrieved from
  10. cheesepuff (2010).  a soothing music.mp3. [Online] Retrieved from





Experiment 2: Pro Yoga!

Names: Liam Clarke, Rittika Basu & Katlin Walsh

Project Description: 

Project “Pro Yoga” blends the idea of fun and fitness for everyone. It’s a fascinating installation for exercising where both the body and the mind are engaged for physical, mental and spiritual upliftment through the art of Asanas. This interactive training set-up can be utilized by any fitness center, yoga studios and at home. The goal of this activity is to make the tri-colored sets of LEDs activate at various heights by stretching out one’s limbs towards the Ultrasonic Range Finders through different Yoga positions. The goals will be set by the verbal instructions from a yoga instructor in the prototype, while the next generation would be a virtual instructor. The activity of making the LEDs activate functions as an indicator to let the participant know they are in the correct position. For example, the instructor might ask the participant to make the blue LED (placed in front at height 5’2 ft), red LED (placed on the right side at ground level) and green LED (placed behind at height 5’2 ft) light up together. The user’s objective is to stretch out his/her arms and legs to make the specified LEDs activate, hold that pose steady for a set amount of time before the next pose.  


Work-in-Progress Images:

Setting the Ultrasonic Range Finder at different heights and orientations for testing the LED’s blinking functions from various ranges of distance.





Final Images:





Interaction Video:

Project Context:



Our brainstorming of ideas started with sketching possible concepts while exploring various functions of servos and LEDs. We also discussed the various projects created by Arduino software accessible from online platforms like Pinterest, Design Boom Magazine and Arduino Project Hub, YouTube, etc. 

Several ideas involved in creating a space for performing arts and divergent forms of physical activities. The first involved a dance contest, where a ‘Thumbs Signal Sticker’ could be attached to the servo. Essentially a multiplanar Dance Dance Revolution, LEDs are triggered by the distance sensor. The servo attachments can rotate the ‘Thumps-Up’ (180° – indicating a good grade) or as a ‘Thumbs-Down’ (0° – indicating a bad grade) or if the performance gets undetected it turns into a ‘Thumps in the Middle’ (90° – indicating an average grade). 

Multiplanar DDR led to a ‘Body Twister Game’ where the LEDs will blink according to the movements of contestants. We planned to create groups of 2-3 and follow the rules of the original ‘Twister’ game, where contestants would get tangled through trying to activate LEDs. In this version of the game, sensors would be placed at three points around the user to create a common area where the sensors converged. Players would need to be mindful of all body parts present in order to trigger and maintain colors for a specified period of time.

Post several trials and deciding earlier ideas were lacking without a further developed interface, we worked our project into a ‘Health and Fitness System’. We decided on an interactive installation that would be enjoyable and healthy, a gamified home yoga center. In this version, a user becomes more mindful of the space in which they are occupying, allowing them to return to a meditative state while engaging in their practice. Through the use of changing colors, harnessing spiritual meditation and mindfulness of one’s body through a guided practice can be encouraged without interrupting a user’s thoughts. 



Creating and Prototyping:

We further refined our brainchild into ‘Yoga-Training equipment’ where three of the Ultrasonic Range Finder -LV-MaxSonar-EZ0 would be placed in a triadic arrangement. Each section is accompanied by three LEDs of different colors, ie. Red, Blue and Green. Each one of these sections is placed at a different height, orientation and the code is calibrated differently depending on the target limb used on that particular sensor.

The idea is to activate the ‘Blinking’ functions with the aid of Yoga Postures. While calibrating within the code, we had to keep physiology and the body motions of yoga in mind as they relate to the distance sensors.

Initially, we tested the prototype by using one LED and observing how it blinks with input data from the distance sensor. Adding on more sensor/LED setups, we experimented with orientations, lengths and heights of the three sensors.

The code is relatively simple, it involves activating specific LEDs based on input data from the distance sensor. The only issue was trying to find the best-suited range from input data to make holding the pose difficult while not impossible.


Moving beyond the context of this project, the use of RGB LEDs, battery packs, and additional sensors would be investigated to create a product that is more compact, and able to be placed in a room without wires being shown. This would only require small changes to the code framework, in addition to some hardware upgrades to swap LED types.


Data Collection: Researching on Yoga and Asanas:



While selecting the yoga posture for our installation, we had to consider various factors. We shortlisted simple postures that could be carried by beginners, elderly individuals and even kids. These are enjoyable, healthy and easily integrates with our Arduino installation. They are listed below as: 

  1. Mountain Pose/Tadasana 
  2. Warrior 1 & 2 Pose/Virabhadrasana Pose ( Referred to in our experiment)
  3. Triangle Forward Pose/Trikonasana
  4. Raining Hands in Lotus Pose/Padmasana

Execution: An example of an experiment scenario

Step-by-Step instructions for training the participant to perform the Tadasana Asana or the Warrior Yoga Pose

  1. Welcome to the Pro Yoga experience.
  2. Kindly, step-up on the yoga mat.
  3. We will start by the Mountain pose/Tadasana – Standing Asana that forms the foundation of other standing Yoga poses. 
  4. Keep breathing in and out slowly throughout the whole process.
  5. Bend your left leg forward, try to turn the Red LED on (its blinking function may be positioned from 700mm – 1000mm & placed at the ground level height). Here the participant is expected to bend her leg and stress on the knee in the forward position as long as the specified LED doesn’t blink. 
  6. Stretch out your left hand, maintain the arm at your shoulder level and try to turn the Green LED on (its blinking function may be positioned from 300mm – 500mm & placed at the height of 5’2). Here the participant is expected to stretch out her left hand towards the sensor maintaining the joints at 180 degrees, as long as the specified LED doesn’t blink.
  7. Now, extend your right hand straight in the opposite direction, maintain the arm at your shoulder level and try to turn the Blue LED on (its blinking function may be positioned from 600mm – 800mm & placed at the height of 5’2). Here the participant is expected to stretch out her right hand towards the sensor maintaining the joints at 180 degrees, as long as the specified LED doesn’t blink.
  8. Finally, the participant is expected to hold the performed Yoga posture (Warrior Pose here) for 10-30 seconds and then relax before executing the next Asana/Yoga pose.


This project involves a YogAI, (Yoga Instructor)who focuses on and guiding the user through the workout. It extracts anatomical key points to detect the posture configuration and give continuous feedback on posture correction. Our project derives from this idea in the sense of having a user-guide throughout his/her training session. But Pro Yoga focuses more on easy and universal poses in addition to special focus on the stretching of the limbs along with positive reinforcement (LEDs blinking).

1.“YogAI: Smart Personal Trainer”. Arduino Project Hub, 2019

2. “Change Your Meditation With Colors Spirituality”. Yogi Times, 2015

3. “New Energy Geographies: A Case Study of Yoga, Meditation, and Healthfulness”. Journal of Medical Humanities, 2015

4. “E-traces creates visual sensations from ballerinas” Arduino Blog, 2014

5. This project involves an LED that changes color according to the movement of one’s hand towards the four directions. We were referring to its set-up and coding for our project development.

Motion Controlled Color Changer!“. Arduino Project Hub, 2016

6. We referred to various images of Yoga and Asana positions for studying, comprehending and shortlisting postures that can be used in our project. We went for simple poses that could be carried by beginners, elderly individuals and even kids. 

6.1 Top Ten Yoga Positions For Beginners. 2019

6.2  Fitwirr. Fitwirr 24 Yoga Poses For Beginners – Yoga Kids (Laminated Poster) – Kids Yoga Poses – Yoga Children – Yoga For Kids -Yoga Wall Arts – Yoga Poster. 2019

7. Puckett, Nicholas. October 4 – Videos I Creation & Computation 001. 2019

8. Puckett, Nicholas. October 8 – Videos I Creation & Computation 001. 2019