Physical Interaction Design

Project: whispering to birds
by Belmer Negrillo & Luther Thie

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» Demonstration
» Input Box

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Output Box

From the outside the box appears very straightforward and it is easy to understand how it works. But inside, the circuit and all the control management by the software got really complex within the implementation process.

The main challenge was to build the circuit and make it work in only three days. We had a different idea at the beginning, using stepmotors and different chips, but then we realized that it would not work inside the context (connecting wires, high battery demand, too heavy, etc.) and then we found something that coincided with the responsive concept (softness and behavior), but using other devices. We found the concept of the bird whispering a better response for the inputs by its strong relationship with the feather/leaf. And that's why we thought it was worthy to get inside this complex process to understand the soundchip and all the software.

After all was working fine, another problem was to fit everything inside the small brown cardboard box. Almost half of the box was used for the DC motor that hits the walls of the box like a bird flapping its wings, an output that happens only when you tap the membrane with the leaf. You can see how we solved that problem in some pictures below. For presentation preparation (a moment that everything usually goes wrong), we put a reset button for the BasicX, a volume slider for the speakers and a power switch for the battery (to turn on just at the last moment). And it worked fine!



Circuit Diagram
The outbox uses a DC motor, the ISD2532 soundchip, and 2 speakers powered by the LM386N-3 amplifier chip. And a BasicX-24 microcontroller to manage all this.
PDF file with the circuit diagram

Source Code
(BasicX-24 Code)
ZIP file with project and the modules

  © 2002 Interaction Design Institute Ivrea