February 25, 2020

The project I have chosen to pursue is the Story Vending Machine. I have been researching the parts I need as well as how the system may function. In this process, I have come up with a flow chart of the possible system I want to create. So far out of the diagram. I have set up an LCD screen to print text. The next step is to start adding buttons that trigger responses.

In terms of style, I want it to be very delicate in its essence. I have looked at pastel colors and cute images. I want the stories to be carefully framed in beautiful wrapping. While looking online for inspiration, I came across Cristina Coli’s origami envelopes. If I go for this style, I want around 60 envelopes created.

The list of items I am looking at getting are:

  • micro limit switch
  • push button switch or round button switch
  • IR proximity sensor
  • stepper motor (7 bipolar 40 mm)
  • 360 degree continuous rotation servo motor
  • speaker
  • A4988 stepper motor driver
  • 3 mm thick metal wire
  • MDF boards
  • acrylic glass
  • ribbon
  • flowers
  • decorative paper
  • string

Proposal 1: The Clubbing Purse

Everyone loves to have a good time. However, what do you do when you are dancing the night away in the club and need something from your purse but cannot find what you want? It is a pain to pull out a phone and makes you look just a little less cool to your friends as you fumble through your purse in the middle of the dance floor. So why not bring the club to your purse? The Clubbing Purse is a handmade purse that activates a party of lights when the bag is open. As soon as the bag closes, the lights shut down until the next time. In terms of the mechanics, the lights are triggered when either the zipper is pulled open all of the way or the metal magnets that hold the purse together are pulled a part. As soon as the purse opens, a series of lights that have random colors begin to glow and change. From the outside of the purse, a light response is also triggered making the Plexi glass side panels glow. This will be designed as an over the shoulder purse that uses leather and lace with a select color palette that is not just rainbow. The colors of fabric with lights is meant to have an aesthetic that is trendy and wearable while being fun and practical. 

Proposal 2Dance of Spring

Being half-Korean, I have always been fascinated with Korean culture. However, being in the United States access to certain aspects of the culture is very limited. Hanboks are the traditional clothing worn in Korea, and are known for their vibrant colors and intricate and soft lines and shapes. Hanboks in the past have been a strong indication of societal status, and today, hanboks can represent, age, gender, and time and be used for special holidays or events. Robotics often times take on the form of very heavy, metallic, and sharp forms. I want to integrate these two aspects to create something that lends itself to the beauty of the hanbok and continues to display respect towards the culture. The dress design utilizes both LED strips and button lights that can be sown on the bottom of the skirt and into the top. A sensor is to be placed in the ribbon. Through this sensor, it picks up the color and changes based on what it sees. I want the colors to be within the traditional Korean color scale of red, blue, yellow, white, and black. Because hanboks are so expensive and hard to access from the US, I want to make my own hanbok and embrace the art form behind designing and fabricating. This is also something I have never done in my life. In terms of the mechanics, these colors will not just be simply a thing that is triggered by a simple movement or displaying of the color. I want to incorporate the traditional Korean fan dance into a robotics performance piece. The fans will be made to have four colors total (one color on the front and one on the back). Throughout the dance, the fan movement will be decisively chosen to trigger the change in the dress, which I am hoping is in a gradient and not a sudden flash, as the hanbok is known for its softness in the culture.

Proposal 3: Strike Against the Fashion Industry 

The fashion industry is very much an elitist society. High fashion is for a select few: the skinniest models, the top tier designs, and the extremely wealthy clients. The common man can only view these things in magazines or YouTube. Seeing these designs in person means have special access and immense riches and high investment. High fashion and fashion weeks have been known for some extremely bizarre pieces, and over the past couple years, people like Tommy Hilfiger have created designs that utilize robotics to highlight the extravagant wealth and futuristic goals of the fashion industry. For this project, I am interested in bridging the gap between the high and low culture by hand sewing, painting, and beading a dress with the integration of a light performance into the design that works to make lights that pick up the colors that are behind the dress, like camouflage. This entails things I have never done, like sewing, and presents many risk, but the ultimate goal is looking at can the common man move into the high fashion world without the same financial benefits and cliental. This means I would create a dress from scratch and carefully craft lights into the design that do not look bulky or disturb the main form of the dress. I want the lights to be the main show and creating an elegant addition to the piece.

Proposal 4: The Story Machine

In Japan, there is a place that is known for its wide selection of weird vending machines in a somewhat scary location. In a few of the machines there are these paper packages that have somewhat creepy or perverted stories on them, but when you open it up, all that is there is a box of animal crackers. For this project, I want to create a life size vending machine that requires you to stick a card into the machine to start it and receive a story. In today’s society, it seems that the use of paper books as a medium for story telling has disappeared. It is all digital, and while this is environmentally friendly in many cases, there is something very personal and intimate about the use of paper and books to transfer knowledge. I want to combine robotics and the everyday material like cardboard to create this project. Lights, springs, and some sort of trigger will be used to make this entire system work. There is also potential for sound triggered by a motion sensor. Because I am really inspired by Anne Hamilton’s piece that was at the Wex, I want to make it so audiences will be able to interact and take a piece of the art with them. Participants will be able to take premade cardboard tickets and insert them into the machine to hit a button to vend a story. I am however not sure if I want the vending to shoot out scrolls of paper or balls that contain paper.  From this vending machine, it will also be in Japanese and have a very cute and playful aesthetic.