Nature of Code Final

My final was about how we can use specific indicators to better manage our days to become less stresses out. ITP’s floor biggest problem is that 98% of students I have questioned are suffering from some form of anxiety, driven mostly by other student’s anxiety. It’s a perpetual cycle with detrimental side effects, some effects I also too am trying to manage.





Week 3: Data Set – Wine!

It’s that time of year to enjoy a nice, full-bodied glass of deep, ruby red wine on a nice evening.

The data set that I wanted to use is the Wine dataset here. I found it while browsing around looking for good data sets and this one seems simple enough for me to properly learn how to recommend data based on input from the user, sort of like a movie recommendation engine. It’s on the Machine Learning Repository.

Alternatively, has a pretty extensive data set in JSON that I would be able to parse thought. Not sure what would be the best to use.


Enertion: Update 1

I have made a bunch of progress on the project this week. In my research of wearables that you can measure your brain activity, I decided that going with something like the NeuroSky Headset. I have ordered one and will be using it to measure brain activity before, during and after meditation sessions. I have decided against the thermodynamic camera for two reasons, one the price, and two the lack of solid verifiable scientific evidence that it actually works and measures the ‘aura’ around an individual.

I’m developing a method of analysis now to see how I can best measure and discuss energy.



I had a chat with Alex Morrison, who is a research scientist whose research interests include the interaction of cognition with stress and aging and the ability to enhance or protect cognition though mindfulness training and computerized working memory training. She is available to help think through the cognition-related elements of this final.


Meditation Pod

I have built the entire meditation pod in which I’m going to conduct these experiments. You can find the BOM here. Here are some pictures:




Enertation: The Energy Behind Meditation

My project will dive into the actual energy created during mediation and how that impacts the individual and the world around them.
When you think of energy, it usually condors up images of electricity racing theough wires lighting up curcuits, an athelete performing rigorous exersices, or your favorite artist rocking at a concert. Meditation is not usually what comes to mind, and beyond that the measurement of these “electrical fields” unfortunately puts meditation into the box of pseudoscience that people label as “hokey” and “woo-woo”. But what if there was a way to accurately study the energy levels created by an individual during meditation? How does it change their minds and bodies? How doss it affect the people and things around them?
Thermographic cameras, a camera that forms an image using infrared radiation, similar to a common camera that forms an image using visible light. Instead of the 400–700 nanometre range of the visible light camera, infrared cameras operate in wavelengths as long as 14,000 nm (14 µm). Their use is called thermography. These devices have been used to visualize a person’s aura. 
One of these cameras, utilizes a Gas Discharge Visualization Technique (GDV) , which is a computer registration and analysis of gas discharge glow (GDV-images) of any biological objects placed in a high intensity electromagnetic field.
The GDV method is based on the stimulation of photon and electron emissions from the surface of the object whilst transmitting short electrical pulses. In other words, when the object is placed in an electromagnetic field, it is primarily electrons, and to a certain degree photons, which are ‘extracted’ from the surface of the object. This process is called ‘photo-electron emissions’ and it has been quite well studied with physical electronic methods. The emitted particles accelerate in the electromagnetic field, generating electronic avalanches on the surface of the dielectric (glass). This process is called ‘sliding gas discharge’. The discharge causes glow due to the excitement of molecules in the surrounding gas, and this glow is what is being measured by the GDV method. Therefore, voltage pulses stimulate optoelectronic emission whilst intensifying this emission in the gas discharge, owing to the electric field created.
Many of these modalities challenge the dominant biomedical paradigm because they cannot be explained by the usual biochemical mechanisms. One possible influence of biofield phenomena is that they may act directly on molecular structures, changing the conformation of molecules in functionally significant ways. Another influence is that they may transfer bioinformation carried by very small energy signals interacting directly with the energy fields of life, which is more recently known as the biofield (Rubik et al, 1994).
Moreover, other mysteries in biology and medicine exist that appear to involve interacting energetic fields, including the mystery of regenerative healing in animals, sometimes associated with innate electromagnetic energy fields that have been measured (Becker, 1960, 1961) and sometimes actually stimulated with external low-level energy fields (Becker, 1972; Smith, 1967). Another mystery is that living organisms respond to extremely low-level nonionizing electromagnetic fields, displaying a variety of effects ranging from cellular and subcellular scales to the level of brain, emotions, and behavior. These fields may be beneficial (therapeutic), deleterious (electromagnetic pollution), or neutral. Then, the mystery of embryonic development from the fertilized egg to an organized integral animal should be considered, which may also involve innate energy fields, starting with the initial polarization of the fertilized egg.

– Lyn Freeman

 – working BOM

Draw Your Face in a Movie Poster Robot

Our group has had an incredible journey piecing together our robot together over the last 6 weeks. After building the CNC machine from scratch, we had to develop an idea that changed the nature of the CNC and used it in a completely new way than what was intended by it’s creators.

Concept: Create a robot that take a picture of the user, and then draw that user’s face as a character on a movie poster.


Our team had various design challenges we had to overcome. Some of the considerations we had to think about included:

  • Designing a method by which to hold a writing utensil. This is important as we needed the unit to flex just enough to provide a natural artistic stroke to the robotic gantry.
  • Designing the CNC bed to provide ample support, pressure and texture to the pen from above.
  • Determining the proper writing utensil
  • Converting an image from it’s original format to SVG, making it Black and White, then editing it so that the image is only composed of outlines.
  • Making sure the camera recognizes the user’s face
  • Determining where to place the cropped and converted image of a user’s face into the appropriate area on the movie poster


Method to Hold the Pen

We experimented with various types of ways to hold the pen using the original router holder. We ended up designing our own plate and 3D printing our pen holders for maximum flexibility and precision.



Designing the CNC Bed

We wanted to provide the proper surface for the pen to write on the bed. We created a bed out of acrylic, to make sure that the holes were covered. We then placed a thin sheet of foam and thicker poster paper on top to provide a firm, cushy and smooth surface to put paper on so the pen would easily glide while drawing.


Deciding the Proper Writing Utensil

We tested with various types of pens and markers. The way our machine is set up, it made the marker lines way too thick, so we opted to go with a ball-point pen, as it easily glides along the paper.



Computer Vision, Image Conversion and Process Flow

Our process flow is the following:


Select movie poster. Title it ‘poster.jpg’

Take image of user


Python script detects the user face on the movie posters

Select the face you want to swap with and swap faces


Convert File to Black and White & SVG



Design Expo: Week 3

A first pass at our vision, mission, and product statements:


To empower people to live healthier lives.


We physicalize accurate, realtime data to create a more engaging fitness experience.


We are creating a MR experience that adds an informative, social and interactive layer to the running experience.

What does that mean?
We physically contextualize data and training goals to make training more personal than racing a clock.



Google form: LINK

Channels: Facebook friends, random runners, Running forums

We are following the customer development mindset in actively reaching out to those one degree away from our network to really get a sense of the problem with running tech today. By actively trying to seek out the problem, we can accurately plan and design our AR solution to meet the needs of our potential users.

We have already had conversations with active runners and plan to continue our efforts here.


Project Plan

Our project plan can be found here:


Next Steps

1) Consistently perform customer development on a weekly basis

2) Develop user stories guided by our customer development efforts 

3) Organize features and develop low fidelity wireframes to then test on isers. We have an idea how we might be able to accurately and efficiently prototype and test on users

4) Develop a story board for our commercial complete with requirements needed for the shoot 

XYZ Progress Update

Our team had three goals this week:

1) Refine and stablize the pen plotter so that the pen is more secure

2) Draw a complex image and figure out file convesions from PNG to SVG

3) Experiment with various pens/markers
One thing we were impressed by was the level of precisions of the pen. Below you can see how precise fhe pen is.

We were impressed by the level of precision by the pen. If you can see below, the lines are incredily close together. We chose the dog image for it’s relative simplicity and then the following image of the girl to see if we could draw something thatbhad a few layers in the outline. The girl image took roughly 15-20 minutes to complete, so we can expect the movie poster to take that long. 

We need to figure out if we can use the Gcode to speed upthe drawing process.



Solar-Powered Self Watering Plant System

Dimos and I begun brainstorming ideas for our solar powered project. In our research, we came across a few ‘self-watering plant’ systems such as this and this wanted to take these ideas a step further. We wanted our system to be completely solar powered, thus being an eco-friendly fixture on the domestic plant ecosystem.


Materials Needed

  • An enclosure (1)
  • PC Board (1)
  • 5VDC SPDT micro relay (1) **
  • Solar Panel (1)
  • Lithium-Ion Battery (1)
  • Toggle switch (1)
  • 10K resistor (1)
  • Size M coaxial DC power plug
  • Red and black 22AWG wire
  • 12AWG black wire
  • Electric water pump (1)
  • Water storage container w/ lid (1)
  • 8-32 x 2.5″ nuts and bolts (2)
  • 4-40 x 1″ nuts and bolts (8)
  • 4-40 x 3/8″ nut and bolt (1)
  • 1/4″ spacers (4)
  • Wire nut (1)
  • 3′ – 5′ plastic tubing (2)
  • #8 Terminal Ring (1)
  • House plant to water (1)



We are building our own water pump. We found a prescription pill capsule, a 3.6V DC motor and 3D printed spoked wheel. We have drilled, wired and tested the DC motor.


Next Steps

We will finish up the water pump, the Arduino code, the circuit and create the enclosure for the pump, Arduino, the battery and a holder for the solar panel.


Update: Movie Poster Drawing Robot

We got our robot drawing! We had to mess around with the wiring a bit, but we now have the robot drawing.

The Pen Plotter

We 3D printed the pen holder with 2 holes for the screw mounts. 

As we tested this layout, it was way to flimsy. It kept turning and becoming misaligned.

We then decided to create a backplate to prevent the twisiting and turned due to the ACME screw. This is to make sure the pen is stable enough for drawing.

We took the measurements from the steel plate and laser cut a new one with various holes for adjustment purposes. This set up works ideally for what we want to do.


We also lser cut a board that matched up with the screw holes on the base. This was to make sure that the surface was completely flat for drawing. 4 out of 6 of our holes were off, but that does not affect the positioning of the base plate as it’s held in place pretty firmly.

Kinetic Energy Project

Jaycee and my kinetic project took various directions, which we have documented below.


The Protest Sign Phase

We originally wanted to create a protest sign that is powered by the up and down motion a protestors arm motion when marching with a sign. This would work similar to the magnetic powered flashlight  After doing some research, the energy that the sign would require would far surpass the energy generated by the arm motion. Simply put, it wouldn’t work as we would have wanted it to.


The Spinning Disks Phase

We then pivoted our idea from that to working wood disks, which we found in the junk shelf. We played with a few idea here, one being a ribbon that spun the wood disk roughly 270 degrees each way and was able to generate some power through it. The main issue here was having a consistant kinetic motion that was able to provide a smooth power band and power the light.
Tring to solve this ‘smooth power’ philosphy of ours, we dug through some more goodies and found some well-machined printer gears. The objective here was to see if we could mount and connect a couple of them together to reduce the amount of effort from the user to generate power.


We used the same wood disks and mounted it on the stepper motor. We had to use spacers to give the disk enough offset to poke through the hope just enough to force mount one of the printer gears on.

 After we mounted the gear, we had to develop a method to mount the other gear. The secondary gear wwoould either have to spin in place to the turn the gear mounted ln the stepper or it would after to rotate around the fixed gear, in a ‘churnning’ fashion. 

We decided on the latter. We found a wood handle on the junk shelf and drilled a hole big enough for the secondary gear to snap into it (with a little help from some hot glue).

We also tried to reduce friction as much we could, knowing that the secondary gear would be rubbing on the wood. a quick look into the kichen yeilded us some slippery wax paper, which we then cut and tapped on.

There were two issues with this round of kinetic motion. One, the actual motion by the user can rip the fixegear right off the stepper axis. Two, the power / effort ration was way too high.


The Magnet Phase

But wait, there’s more. Magnets. This idea cane at the 11th hour as we tried to harness the power of magentic power generation. Using a few videos we found online as a guide, we attached magnets, attraction side down) to the metal tin lid.

We then took the large maget that was inside the flashlight (repel side facing the disk) and rotated it around the tin lid. It spun!!

Enough though it soun, we can across several technical issues. 

1) The big maget was to strong for the little magnets. We solved this issue by stacking the magnets on top of each other, which multiplied the magnetic field.

2) We purposely chose to keep the human element part of this project. The optimal distance of the magnets was between 1.5-2 inches. The user would have to hold the magnet in such a way that they would be able to prevent the large magnet from instantly attaching to the magnets on the tin lid.

3) The ‘smooth power’ issue was still apparent in this phase. it would be effectively be smooth depending on who was usin the magent to spin the tjn, which would then spin the stepper.

Magnetic Powered LED from Jesal Trivedi on Vimeo.