learning the ropes

things I made at ITP and after: sketches, prototypes, and other documentation

Friday, March 30, 2007

Sensing Experiments

Today we experimented with different strategies for sensing the motion of springs. The first was inspired by electric guitar pickups. I thought we might be able to create an electromagnetic pickup to sense the vibrations in the springs. We tried to create a simple electromagnet out of a nail and some transformer wire…. oh, yes… and a power drill.

Electromagnetic Pickup Experiments  Electromagnetic Pickup Experiments-1

We scrapped the pickup idea after measuring the resistance of the coil to be 0 Ohms. I was concerned it might short something out. Shlomit also thought we would have more creative possibilities if we used sensors rather than capturing the sound of the springs directly.

Returning to a previous sensing idea, we experimented with a flex sensors.

Flex Sensor Experiments

Flex Sensor Experiments-1 Flex Sensor Experiments-2

Flex sensors are not ideal for our application; they only sense motion in one direction and require a fair amount of deflection in order to produce a useful reading. (note for the future… measurement ranges would be useful for documentation purposes)

We also considered mounting the springs on top of a pair of joystick potentiometers to sense X-Y movement. The miniature potentiometer we tried to use for our prototype was too stiff to yield useful results. We wrapped a copper wire around the dial of the potentiometer, hoping that motion of the springs on our installation mockup would move the potetiometer and generate a varying resistance. No luck.

Flex Sensor Experiments-3

posted by Michael at 11:28 pm  

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