Interactive Device Project2: Skitzie the Cat

Skitzie the Cat is just your average black cat that likes to hang out on your shoulder. They are curious and like to people watch while you do your stuff. But Skitzie is very shy, hence pretends to be a scarf when anyone comes too close.

(insert hooman wearable sketch)

About Skitzie the Cat

Skitzie is a guardian for those who are not to aware of their surroundings. In a sense Skitzie’s ‘hasty retreat’ to become a scarf is a warning that there are on coming people approaching.

For this project, I had imagined Skitzie to be able to move their head and their ears to see the world. Skitzie is also envisioned to be able to ‘blink’ through LEDs and hum through a speaker. I wanted there to be sound or light as an indicator to the person who is wearing Skitzie to know very clearly when Skitzie is a cat and when they are pretending to be a scarf. The Warning has to be distinct enough to catch people’s notice.

Skitzie’s hardware

Skitzis is a combination of servo motors and a sharp

  1. Testing the Servo Motor:

Website Reference:

2. Testing the Proximity sensor

Sharp ir arduino 0

Website Reference:

I combine the circuits and then made a head.

Testing out the Eyes circuit, it works. Turns off and on depending on the closeness.

For Some odd reason though when i add the ears, the eyes disappeared.

Then it got fixed (connections are problematic, check everythingggg).

This is the body, that I made around the head servo motor.

All Assembled.


Honestly the aesthetic of Skitzie didnt come out right, which I am a little bit disappointed by. Subsequently the head keeps falling off if left for too long, so I need to fix that in future. Hopefully we will see the return f a better Skitzie in future.





Final Project: Trio

One musician makes a Solo.

Two musicians make a Duet.

Three musicians make a Trio.

So lets make a Trio.

Three is a weird number, we only have two hands after all, so to have three sensors you would need at least another person to make sure all sensors are occupied to control the sound that is made (of course the preferable number is three, but I do so wish to see two people flailing around).

Why did I create trio? I guess it was more along the lines of finding a project that seems fun to interact with, but at the same time you struggle to make it work for you. At the end of the day the device is really just a commentary of how sometimes in life while you are trying your best to make something work, the end result does not bear fruit, or even better, bears fruit but there is not really a take away to this situation now is there?

In summary, let me waste your time.

The Circuit:

Life update:

Initially in the previous post I had made my code entirely out of Piezzo Buzzers and ultrasonic sensors, made to beep in a set tempo. Which, to be honest, is not really what I wanted. I want the tempo to be set by removing the object in front of the sensors face. But after editing the code I realise a major issue: the ultrasonic sensor is kind of being influenced by the buzzer it self.

(insert confused noises) It was steady before? But that was when the ultrasonic sensor only needed to play one tone with an interval in between, hence meaning it was not reading the environment every second hence it does not get influenced before.

So at this point it was time to consider changing my components.

Sharp ir arduino 0

Image taken from:

So I tried out the Sharp infrared/proximity? sensor. It goes by distance sensor at Continental.

Putting the entire circuit together, a single Piezzo buzzer and an Arduino together, the circuit works.

However, duplicating the code becomes a bit more troublesome. As it turns out, you cannot fit 3 piezzo buzzers to a single Arduino and expect them to ‘sound’ at the same time (Trouble shooting this the night before and realising you have to duplicate the circuit and not the code is really bad for your health by the way).

I did not account for this tripling of the space needed to store my three Arduinos, three distance sensors, three piezzo buzzers and three power packs. It is a super tight fit, mind you. By right I can squeeze everything into the box,. But by left squeezing very thing in the night before the showcase and then snapping something is not an ideal situation.

Piecing them together:

From the last post I showed that I laser cut, filed and spray painted my pieces, accordingly:

Since that time, I had to redo the black pieces, to fit the Sharp Infrared Sensor instead of the Ultrasonic sensor. Hence cut a rectangular piece instead.

I have also cut some wedges to support the structure.

And I stacked all my pieces up and glued them together with a glue gun.

Finally I stuck my components inside the surface.


In this case I have achieved what I wanted to in this project, the three sensors play according to the distance of them and the object. However maybe in future I would like to be a bit more ambitious/annoying and make the circuit for more (time to make a symphony for one then).

Of course there are a bit more things I should have accounted for, like the size of the circuit, or the potential increase of the circuit.

Final Project: I tried to be a Musician

Looking at my final project, I was rather sceptical about what it is i wanted to do, as I was out of ideas.

I spent quite a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do, and realised looking for ideas just got me more and more distracted from actually finding an idea. Hence I decided to build on that feeling of wasting time and made a product that ‘wastes other people’s time’.

The entire project ‘I tried to be a musician’ is kind of looking at the idea of people doing things for fun, finding ‘useless’ talents that seem entertaining but at the end of the day, there is not much value added to the experience.

I kind of remembered some people making music videos with Calculators and the squeaky chickens (help, I never realised they are made by the same person). The kind of music videos where you look at them and realise ‘wow, you are so talented’ and immediately after ‘where the heck do you get the time to do this sort of things’.

So I decided lets make a musical instrument too, something easy to understand and grasp and make a jumble of sound, but hard to actually make something decent, to prompt others to try harder to make the product work for them, or give up instantly after understanding that it is going to be a waste of time.

I guess this project is really just to emulate that idea of having fun trying to solve a problem, but at the end of the day, you are just wasting time having fun. (Is that considered wasting time? who knows?)

The Making:

So the components of the project are relatively simple. It is a combination of two simple circuits, one for an ultrasonic sensor, and another for a buzzer:




I found that by using a buzzer I technically can code for the entire keyboard is i find the list of numbers associated with the tone. By allocating a set distance the ultrasonic sensor and my hand, I essentially have a no-touch piano keyboard. Yay.

Taking it a step further, because why not? I duplicated the code by three, splitting them according by octaves. We only have two hands so I wish you luck trying to learn how to play this annoying child >:D


The setup for a single set of buzzer and ultrasonic sensor pair.

The there is the external pieces.

I first laser cut my pattern out:


Then after that i Spray painted the pieces:


So Far there is two:

The range of the sound seems to similar i need to increase the range to make it more interesting.

Device of the Week 2: Iot

Image result for kuri mobile robot

Kuri The Mobile Home Security Robot by Mayfield Robotics:


Kuri is an adorable home companion that acts like a ‘living’ robot. At first I assumed the Kuri was going to function like a google home device on wheels, but Kuri is slightly more than that as they make certain ‘expressions’ that make Kuri feel more alive. Krui has the ability to smile at you, follow you around and ‘speak’ to you. The adorable robot has an inbuilt function to track your motion and look up at you, and respond to its name with beeps and chirps. Subsequently as a home security device, Kuri has tiny cameras located in their ‘eyes’ to capture clips of whatever that goes on at home. Kuri also accting like a home device has the ability to answer certain questions that you ask, like ‘is it going to rain today?’ and they will shake their head with an adorable beep.

Kuri is also described to be a good nanny and entertain the kids, but so far, other then following them around and animating expressions, I am not too sure how kids will find Kuri entertaining.


Microphone: Voice Recognition to answer questions or comply with requests

Speakers: To ‘speak’ in chirps and beeps, to play music and podcasts found on internet.

HD camera: For security footage, and allowing live streaming.

Asynchronous motors: To allow Kuri to move around the house, Kuri also has sensors that will allow them to map the house, and not bump into objects

Capacitive touch sensor: For Kuri to recognise and react to human touch.


  • A mobile security system that patrols your house
  • Companionship
  • Responds to all commands intelligently
  • Adapt to your environment easily and recognize people’s voices, and differentiate people from pets/other Kuri bots.
  • When in need of recharging they automatically returns to their charging station for a power nap.


  • Kuri cannot climb stairs, sorry landed property folks
  • Kuri also has no way of helping in the case of an emergency (except inform you through messaging)


Kuri really is just a mobile smart home. Since it already has most of the functions of an ordinary smart home device with the added ability to move about. Looking at the funstions that it has other then the surveillance function, the ability to move about is a bit redundant. Subsequently since Kuri is expensive without much additional functions of the usual google home device which is priced at less then $200 roughly it is really not an attractive product, which is the probable reason for the closure of the company last year.

Considering the company was focusing on the ‘animated’ part of Kuri to make them more alive, that is probably where most of their innovation went to. ( I wonder if this is the case, eliminating the animations, if it cheaper, easier and a more viable solution to add a google home device to a roomba. Obviously not as cute, but functionality wise will it sell better? )



Device of the Week: Fitness Tracker

A fitness tracker is a device that you wear on your wrists. It keeps track of multiple things like the number of steps you have taken, your heart rate, your location, etc (depending on the model).

xiaomi mi band 3 review

In this case we will be looking at the MI Band 3, which has the ability to track:

  • exercise in terms of steps taken, distance moved, calories burned
  • sleep, whether deep or light and total sleep
  • heart rate, automatic or manual

The device itself has a long lasting battery, and has a quick charge function, which is very convinent as it is a device that is to be used on a day to day basis. Subsequently it is also affordable, unlike other brands which can cost up to a few hundred in the market.

Mi Band 3

It also functions as a Smart watch.

However, some reviews say that the product cannot compare to other brands, like Fitbit, in terms of competetive analsis and sharing. Also being a China brand it also not compatible with the iPhone (sorry iPhone users no xiaomi for you). Subsequently, the band has most of its functions like a seperate ‘my exercise’ function in built in the app, but not it the phone. Which makes it a bit more tedious in the sense that you have to bring your phone with you when you exercise (ah, first world problems).

Considering this, if the xiaomi wants to be more competetive in the market, the company should first make their products competible with all products (uh, easier said then done huh). Having more apps already in built in the band would also make things more convinient for the lazy consumer, or maybe have a slightly more specialised tracking system that would allow them to differentiate when the wearer is doing one activity or another.

Video References:

Red Box, Blue Box: a Mini Project

Red Box, Blue Box is just the start of a bunch of interactive acrylic boxes that light at the touch of each other.

The idea of Red Box Blue Box was meant to be of boxes of different shapes and sizes with the ability to connect and influence each other at any side. However due to the time restriction of this project Red Box and Blue Box are the only two to make an appearance.

The humble origins of the boxes

The two boxes begin their humble beginnings as a pair of LED strips attempting to light.

At the beginning I never thought of programming an Arduino per Box due to my lack of knowledge. However eventually, I did manage for two.

The starting stages I have used Aluminium foil switches, as I wanted the circuit to touch and be closed, bringing out the idea of contact instead of a button. However there were some ideas of using a pair of magnets instead of aluminium foil, hence I changed the switch to be made of magnets. Hence I prepped the shell of the box to have two holes for where the magnets will be slotted, not wanting to breech the surface for aesthetic reasons.

I drew out a circuit halfway, only to realize later on that is not how a circuit worked. Subsequently, not only the circuit, I realized I was not using the magnet switches properly. It turns out that magnets despite being able to attract its counter part across two 4mm acrylic pieces, does not actually transmit code through (Sad non-physics student Elizabeth learns the hard way, thank you Dan Ning for the physics lesson).

But alas, the first method of testing Aluminium foil actually prove to be the most efficient method of transmitting code. Hence resulting in the final product.

I Started looking for other circuits to reference, one being connecting two arduinos as such:

Picture of How to Connect Them

But I realised the accompanying code was more reliant on one arduino then the other, which is not what I am looking for.

In the end, I was referencing this circuit.

And creating a simple button circuit

I repeated the circuit for six sides of the hexagon.

Red Box Blue Box in action