Rapid prototyping for music, art and design work

The UnExpressiveBrush

The UnExpressiveBrush was built to test the capabilities of the ultrasound and acceleration sensors by Parallax. The intention was to build a system where one could simulate painting with a very wet brush. With it one can paint by sprinkling with vigorous brush movements in front of a canvas. However, we cut a few corners and ended up with a system that was significantly less usable than the original plan. First of all, we did not build a paint sprinkling simulation. Instead we used GIMP and its ready-made brushes for the painting. We also did not use the acceleration information from the brush for anything else except sending a mouse down event whenever a certain threshold was exceeded and a mouse-up when acceleration returned to lower values. As a result we had the ability to sprinkle paint with high acceleration movements along one axis and to spread paint by tilting the brush to one direction. The same movements were used to select colors from the palettes available in GIMP. The laptop keyboard was needed for switching windows.

The UnExpressiveBrush from Poika Isokoski and Harri Rantala.

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The SonarHat

The Sonar Hat consists of a hat with a Parallax Board of Education tied on top. A forward facing PING))) ultrasonic sensor measures distances and a piezo speaker plays a tone based on the distance. The idea was, of course, to see if one could – at least in part – substitute vision by ultrasound navigation akin to what bats do.

The SonarHat from Poika Isokoski on Vimeo.

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