Project 3 – The Magic Jungle – Klaudia Rainie Han – Paula Aguirre G – Anna Sun


Can you imagine that you could be transformed into a tree, have the possibility to fly with your own wings and play with animals?

Magic Jungle creates an interactive experience which allowing audience to explore the jungle life by utilizing the most recent advanced technology.  The virtual jungle world would generate sounds and shapes while you interact in it, tracking your physical movements.

Why a jungle?

The jungle is magic and enchanted by itself.

In the project you can see how you will be transformed into a whole new and unique creature, almost magically. That’s why, in this search we come out with the jungle.

The sounds, the colors, the lights and shadows, the animals, and all the elements in the jungle works together to give you and amazing immersion while you are in this place.

That is the reason of why a jungle and not another space, because we want to make use of the feeling of experimenting in a magical world that only the jungle can produce.


We want to share with the audience a little bit of the jungle in order to promote the care of it. That’s why we are bringing the jungle into the city, we want to make conscience about the importance of the natural world for our survival and let the people know the magic that nature has always have.


We wanted to create a project that gives the audience the chance to interact in a magical, fun and interesting way. That’s why when we were thinking about what to do, we remembered an installation that took place a year ago at the NY MOMA.

This installation was called “Shadow Monsters”, designed by the interaction designer Philip Worthington.  On it, the fantasy was seeing monsters materializing from the shadows of the audience.


Philip Worthington. Shadow Monsters. 2004–ongoing. Java, Processing,

BlobDetection, SoNIA, and Physics software.

What will you experiment?

For how long have you been stuck in the city?  Have you ever think about escaping from the city and exploring the jungle life? Welcome to our Magic Jungle! Our project offers the audience unique experiences to interact with animals and plants in the jungle through physical movements and sounds. In our magical world, you are going to be transformed into a tree, a magic creature with wings and have also the opportunity of play with jungle animals. You would hear the sound of wind by touching the branches on the tree.  Our magic frog would even talk to you if you pad on its back. Help yourselves to explore the magic in the jungle!

How does it work?

The interaction with Magic Jungle is so simple that you will love it!

You need to be in front of the Kinect so it can detect you.

When it detects you, you can start making movements to see how, from your own body, will start appearing new shapes attached to it, creating new and magical jungle creatures. On the same space you will also find jungle animals, and if you make the right move, you will hear them talk.

To make Magic Jungle we used Arduino and processing together.

Body detection will be able through Kinect and Processing.

You need to be in front of the kinect so it can detect you and start the interaction. It will detect your shape and will show it to you in the screen like a shadow. If you move, it will start modifying your actual body shadow to a new one.  You can see in real time how you are been transformed into a new and magical jungle’s creature.

Flex sensors works together with the jungle creatures’ toys on Arduino. You can interact with a frog and a tree.

Each flex sensor is calibrated; at the moment of interacting with the jungle creatures, the serial monitor will received data, when it reaches a specific number (defined according to the range the sensor showed), it will send a signal to processing. Processing will received the signal and will play a different sound for each different jungle character.


– Input

  1. Frog (Flex Sensor)
  2. Tree (Flex Sensor)
  3. People (Motion Detection)

– Output

  1. Sound
  2. Images & Shapes

– Function

  • When the user presses the frog, Processing will generate sound and also a shape on the screen.
  • The user will shake the tree and Processing will generate a sound.
  • When the user opens their arms, Processing will generate wings on their figure.
  • When the user put their arms up, Processing will generate trees on their hands.
  • When the user do monkey movements Processing will generate a monkey face on their figure.

Go Wireless

In order to improve the flexibility of setting the project in a large space, we decide to make the Arduino device go wireless.  We adopted it utilizing two XBee Modules, one LilyPad XBee, one XBee Explorer and the CoolTerm application to configured the XBee modules and in this way achieves this goal. Firstly we installed CoolTerm to help us with the configuration of the two XBee modules.  The “B” XBee module, which is attached with the LilyPad XBee, is connected to the Arduino LilyPad after the configuration. The “A” XBee Module is attached with the XBee Explore and directly connected to the computer. After the installation, we send the data (code) from the computer to the Arduino LilyPad and save it for further wireless use. Once the setup is done, the two XBee modules are ready to communicate with each other, and allow the circuit to work wirelessly.

  1. Jungle Creatures: Each of one have a flex sensor connected to the Arduino LilyPad Board
  2. LilyPad Board: Connected to the XBee “B”
  3. XBee “B” wireless communicates with XBee “A”
  4. XBee “A” it’s connected to the computer (Processing)
  5. Computer connected to the Kinect
  6. Kinect connected to a projector
  7. Projector allows users to interact with Magic Jungle.



Circuit Diagrams




Code link

Pictures about the Project

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Project video

Related Projects and Research

–       Philip Worthington. Shadow Monsters. 2004

–       Amnon Owed. CAN Kinect Physics Tutorial. 2012

–       Lisa Dalhuijsen and Lieven van Velthoven.  Shadow Creatures. 2009

–       Theo Watson. Interactive puppet.  2010


–       Arduino. Getting Started with LilyPad.

–       Enrique Ramos Melgar and Ciriaco Castro Diez. Arduino and Kinect Projects; design, build, blow their minds. Apress. First edition.



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