Monday, December 5, 2011

KHMAY.SS.CLASS.Final Prototype Module

 signal splitting (analog 4 and 5 for 5 BlinkMs per module)
soldered boards for analog signals

Base connectors T's

Pin connections at base of polycarbonate tube

Sandblasted acrylic end caps

Pin connections to base and through-wiring

BlinkMs at stalk tip

Activated BlinkMs

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Failure of the 1/16" wall polycarbonate tubing
BlinkM prototyping and addressing 

Lighting test (sandblasted P/C, acrylic ect.)

Monday, November 7, 2011


The initial design of simply embedding the PVC in concrete proved to be quite resistant to bending force however it was clear that the stalk PVC could be deformed enough at the base that would lead to material failure.  These tests were also completed during around 45 degrees. Assuming the conditions could be half this temperature, the PVC would be more brittle, less elastic, and more prone to bending failure.  To counter the lever arm force apparent at the base, we introduced a hinge joint (or something closer to it) to prevent failure from bending.  There is an internal sleeve of rubber conduit that connects two pieces of PVC tubing at the base. This allows the stalk to connect to the base via a more flexible material (rubber conduit).   

The rubber conduit (grey colored material) has a tendency to curve due to its packaging, this gives the stalks a slight angle coming out of the base which coincides with our intention of avoiding repeatative  

And I apologize for Blogger's inability to format and display photos.  See my better blog @ 

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Version 1 design of the smartFence uses opaque rigid tube stock for the base stalk and a clear or translucent tube stock for the tip that holds an embedded super bright LED.   The tubes are mounted to conduit pipe and sealed in a concrete slab to provide structural support and theft proof system.  Shorter rigid stalks hold sealed PIR sensors.  All wiring travels back to an accessible unit that contains the microcontroller and associated hardware. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Week 4 I worked on team 1, which had morphed into a lighting installation.  We took the idea and translated it into an idea for an interactive fence.  I spent most of my time working on getting the model working.  We used 5 PIR sensors that we controlling a series of LEDs plugged into fiber optic strands.  

 The fiber optics are an interesting approach to weather proofing and theft.  Our idea is that fiber optics can be embedded in a slab of concrete where the light source is buried, leaving the majority of the hardware underground. 
The powerHouse: an interesting building that has been disconnected from city power.  It is still unclear as to what their long term goal is for their work and how it coincides with our installation. We do know they have a new metal roof and put a new south facing window in their attic. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Week 3 Development
Week 3's task, for me, was to build and program the solar tracking device (for mounting PV). It consisted of two servos dedicated to controlling 2 axis.  The arduino uses 5 photo-resistors to average a position relative to light intensity.  One problem I had was zero'ing out the servos, as in, understanding from where they're starting and what original (or left) data it uses to position itself.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


The "expensive venetian blind" looks to mitigate radiant heat transfer into a room through a window.  The sliding blinds consist of 2 materials, one to reflect heat/light and one to absorb heat/light. Each louver rotates and slides to different positions.  An operative example would be to reflect direct sunlight out during the day when it's warm then absorb late day light, rotate the blinds to face inward after sunset, and radiate the absorbed heat into the room. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

KHMAY.SS CLASS Group 4 Diagram

for heat mitigation

  • smart shading device:
    • hybrid design to address issues of passive solar heating/cooling technique and human interaction/occupancy
    • constructed from panels/tessellations
    • absorb and radiate sunlight (heat) in winter (black absorbent material)
    • reflect and block heat in summer (white reflective material)
    • block direct sunlight at any time of year
    • configuration of sliding shade/panel/tessellation changes with time, temperature, occupancy, privacy
    • uses 2 types of sensors: Proximity (interior space monitoring), Light sensor (exterior)
    • illumination component uses 1 temperature sensor to control RGB LED
    • here is a link to the diagrams i made for todays meeting

(it has references to explain basics of passive solar heating/cooling strategies for buildings as well as current technologies)

"In the context of passive solar building design the aim of the designer is normally to maximize solar gain within the building in the winter (to reduce space heating demand), and to control it in summer (to minimize cooling requirements)"

Smart surface Precedent: 
programmable shading device
interactive surface 

General Education on Passive Solar energy strategies 
Embedded Luver Window Wall Systems
Solar Space Heaters

Friday, September 9, 2011

KHMAY.SS CLASS smartSurfaces1.1-2


1.1 The first smart surfaces class introduced the Arduino starter kit and a simple wiring task: blink an led via pin13 and the provided script. I helped others try not to fry their boards. 
1.2 We formed groups and began project 1– model a design for a smart surface based on the variables provided (hourly folding water).  We began our discussion and managed to present a cardboard mockup of something.  We were unable to determine the problem to which the surface was reacting.  The discussion was difficult and dominated mostly by those who weren't listening to group.