Lab

We prototype things for agencies, brands, entertainment companies,

businesses, special events and ourselves. So always on the move, on something.

We create production in mind and this feed shows the curiosity.

6
December
2014
Lab Post : Signal Flare

Dealing with led balloons are harder then it seems

When we started playing with led’s we had two things in mind, led as light source and interacting with multiple light sources according to an input. So as a light source it is occasionally okay to see the source itself naked eye specially when talking about strips. Diffusing it with frosted materials way to go. But when it comes to balloons you realize you have to choose either wired connection with impossible knots or closed connection with battery for a limited time.

With this in mind we looked for the best cheapest balloons. Only option we found is Latex which can be inflated around 1.5 meters diameter. It is good in size and price ($10/each) but obviously it is easy to blow up. The next best balloon we found is made of PVC, it is definitely much more durable and functional nad way more expensive. It has to be sewed and sealed. That is the production material but for now we have to stay in the budget.

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As we were just looking for simple solutions, deflating the balloon everytime we need to update the code on Arduino wasn’t that convenient. Even we placed a radio transmitter, battery fact was there. Wired connection is hard depending on the led’s in use. Some of them has 6 pins which makes it just a mess. Because you have to get the led inside the balloon with some cables and return with the same amount of cables to the next balloon as it multiplies by two.

So we tried three or four different chips and decided on WS2811 because of the 3 pin connectivity and libraries. But after sometime we experienced some technical issues with the WS2811. We couldn’t figure out why but sometimes the first led burns and so the rest of the strip loses the connection. After a while as updated version WS2812B was released. We have been using it so far and no problems with it.

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We were looking for input options to change the colors in balloons. We tried tilt sensors inside to react a push or a kick but it was insufficent. The more collision point moves away from the sensor the less feedback you get. Tilt sensor is still may be the best and cheap to use but there was multiple variables that could affect it’s stability so we turned to accelerometers.

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After a while we wanted to just disconnect the balloon from usb port of the computer which was feeding the power it needs. We found a Sony portable battery and wrapped it with Arduino Micro with the software compiled into it and an accelerometer. Results were more than great. Next thing would be to get a well housed balloon produced for more stable and durable testings.

5
December
2014
Lab Post : Workshop Projects

Simple projects for explaining basic input/output

We were invited by Medina Turgul DDB for an electronics workshop covering Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable technologies. It was generally an introduction to the technology, tools, concepts, Arduino prototyping environment and some remarkable projects around the world. We prepared simple project before the workshop to explain basic input/output concepts and make sure everybody gets what a person can do with a microcontroller, some flex sensors, a liquid pump, a pulse sensor, a color sensor, a temprature sensor, a thermal printer and of course some led’s.

FSR Sensor

This includes two FSR sensors one on the back one on the sitting and a buzzer connected to an Arduino. It buzzes when a person sits in a wrong posture.

Wearable Technologies

Small strip of led’s lights up realtime when pulse detected by the Pulse Sensor. Finger pressure must be balanced to ensure connectivity although we are open for suggestions.

Flora Color Sensor

Used Adafruit’s Flora Color Sensor to detect object color and light the led’s with the data coming from input.

Internet of Things

Listens to Twitter hashtags to water the plant. Liquid pumps are great when you need to move liquids from a to b. The motor came with it is only 5000 rpm, we upgraded it to get a bit more faster pace..

Internet of Things

We love thermal printers. Our instagram printer also uses a thermal inkless printers. This one is much like Qmatic style. Delivers black and white, printed outputs. Is listens to a specific hashtag and prints it out when a tweet comes to it. There is really no purpose of doing this, just an example, but with this in mind a lot of useful ideas may become functional.

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We call it natural loop or it pretends to be one. There is a LM35 temprature sensor and a pc fan connected to an Arduino. If the setted temprature rises to specific level, pc fan starts to cool it, when cools down fan stops.

3
September
2014
Lab Post : Custom Giant Hub Horn

Multiple ends on single servo motor

We were looking for ways to reduce the motor count we need in order to make a multiple end grid of motors. For example if you put up a grid of 30 motors you will have 30 ends on each. But if you can attach three seperate ends to a single motor you may end up using only 10 motors. So mechanical solutions were needed. We also had to draw the ends as long as we could. So radial movement with a radial hub wasn’t convinient enough. An inch of diameter servo hub wouldn’t let us to draw the end around 70 cm to 1 meter. We were looking for longer distances but the bigger hub you have, longer the distance you get.

Servo motor

As we moved forward this second option looked more cheap to produce. Because hubs we made before were plexiglass and requires laser cutting while leaving a lot of scrap thus costs expensive. We tried our chances with aluminum tube. It has it’s own dynamics of course. A lot of load generated on the motor so we needed a higher torque. Tried six may be seven different HiTec Servo motors. It needs to be well balanced, when this achieved an array of parented ends may have a beautiful shifted motion.