Check Out Our Physical Computing Midterm Projects! Student Blog

by Alexander F. November 21, 2016

Welcome to the first week of the apocalypse. Excuse me…the Trump era. I can think of no better distraction than looking at these awesome Physical Computing midterm projects. Some are practical, others are completely wild. Here’s a summary of the different prototypes:

Full body (and multi-body) game controller

Most insane controller ever. I can’t believe that it works, but it works. It uses a bunch of different switches and sensors as input to move left/right, sprint and jump. Three players need to work together to move Mario the always crowd pleasing World 1-1.

Full body game controller

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Sound sandbox

Cover the “hotspots” with sand and it makes sounds. How neat is that? The sandbox uses photocells to detect when sand is covering areas of the acrylic and warps and adjusts the different sounds accordingly. 

Sound sandbox

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High tech blind stick

Water detection and LEDs to tell other “non-blindeys” that you’re going to run into them. The LED gets brighter when the stick is tapped on the ground and the stick will vibrate when it detects water.

Food “ripeness” detector

Get texts on your phone so you can eat those bananas before they’re rotten. The box uses a CO2 sensor–CO2 levels increase as the fruit ripens and eventually becomes rotten. It should be noted that the bananas used in the demo were so rotten they could not be removed from their containing plastic bag.

“Bells and Yells”

Would you get out of the way if a screaming monkey was headed your way on a bicycle? This device uses an IR sensor to detect when objects are in a bicycle’s path and a speaker to kindly (sleigh bell sound) or not so kindly (screaming monkey sound) alert anyone in your way. 

Bells and Yells

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The Drone Zone

Drone obstacle course. I happened to have worked on this one and I also happen to be a big fan. We use a laser diode and bounce the beam off two mirrors to create a laser mesh. We detect drones through the gate by identifying when the beam is broken.

Drone Zone

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Meditative meditation timer

The timer uses a capacitive sensor to detect when a user is touching the gong which “charges up” and initiates the timer. A relaxing gong is automatically rung when the meditation is over. They also get the award for “Best slow motion fabrication video”.  

Chime - Making Prototype 3

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This post courtesy of our student blogging team.

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