A reminder. Remember how to enjoy your own company.
I know I’ve posted something similar before, but I really needed to hear this again.
Here is the first semi-successful attempt at animating one of the Morphoids – Nephropoleon.
And a little about Nephropoleon. As you can see, the awkwardness is appropriate, but I am still debating whether or not I will attempt to make the movement more efficient. It could be more efficient, but right now, I’m not totally sure it’s worth the effort. The nice thing about working with Nephropoleon (and Arduino, actually), is that I have more than one, so could make a second version without destroying this one. Arduinos are infinitely re-programmable, so I can tweak as much as I need, and re-use the ones I no longer need for another morphoid, or another project.
This particular part of the project has taken me some considerable effort, even though it may not look like it. I needed to figure out how to build a sufficient structure to hold the mechanical parts so that they would work the best they can. I had to figure out how to program the Arduino to control the servos to move as they should, in the range and timing that they should, and how to get it to pause the program when there is not enough light- as in, when someone approaches the morphoid. (This is not evident in the video, but it’s an important part of the project.) Also, how to deal with seemingly simple things, such as how to turn the power on and battery changes. It is important that there’s not an obvious opening on the outside, so I’ve actually sewn the battery packs right inside, and needed to come up with a way to have access to the power switch (and be able to find it!) without it being really obvious from the outside. Also, a big challenge with these is the fact that they’re stuffed- the stuffing interferes with the mechanics on the inside- the resistance is enough to overpower the servos. I had to rig up a few different ‘guards’ to keep stuffing away from places it might cause problems. I also went through a couple of days of frustration when I kept having a problem where one of the servos wouldn’t work- trying everything, replacing hardware, reprogramming, redoing the circuit, etc. All the components seemed good, and nothing helped. I only got past it when I started over from scratch, although I still have no idea what the problem was, so hopefully it doesn’t return.
I am learning a lot.
I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before, but Matthew Borgatti, over at Har.ms has been working on making soft robots. I wish I had the facilities to look into doing something like this for the Animatronics Project, but I think even if I could, the components would take up way too much room to fit inside a Morphoid, even a large one. A girl can dream.
I am making slow progress in my own way, hopefully I’ll have something to post about that soon. (Essentially right now I’ve got parts of things, mechanics and code, all in pieces all over the place, but not lined up and working properly yet. I’ll share when I’ve got something that will be easy to see what I’m doing, rather than all this research and pieces of things and code that probably looks like gibberish to most people.)
Every day I was there, I took a photo of the studio from the little window in the extra bedroom at the Gushul Studio. It functions as an interesting diary of my time there. I did miss a few days at the beginning, and a couple days when I wasn’t there.
While cleaning out some old boxes, I found some interesting stuff from my childhood. Maybe I should start a new blog: Bad Teenage Poetry. Ok, maybe just a blog section.
Here’s the first entry, dated February 9, 1998. I would have been fifteen.
For your entertainment.Walls Thunder rumbles in the distance My walls shudder around me Lightning flashes Blinding the sky The walls quiver as I watch All my life, I’ve built these walls Made from stone and working hands My need for protection The storm presses against the stones I feel the pressure building My walls shudder again In vain I try to keep them up But these walls took years to build And seconds to destroy I try to block out the impending storm But winds whip around me Throwing me like a leaf in the fall breeze My hands cover my terrified face As I realize I’ve no protection The storm can have me now As walls are never sturdy enough- Pushing walls, they seem solid But there is always something stronger. I stand tall; proud When the walls hold me up But now I try to hide from the storm. Lightning misses me, I crumble more Rain pelts me, tiny stones from a deafening sky The storm has come back, Stronger than walls. These walls fall again What good are falling walls?
Journal 30: This Side Up (Side Down)
Journal 34: The Other Side of Fear
And just for a giggle…. Kermit on Strombo!
I’ve posted a few short videos of flipthroughs of some of my journals on Youtube.
Journal 25: Brain Damage:
Journal #28: Glimpse: