The Hacktory Blog

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Project Night Recap – August 8

Touchless 3D Interface by Make Magazine

3D Touchless Tracking Interface w/ Arduino from Make Magazine:

Last week, we had some folks in from the FIRST Robotics team at the Science Leadership Academy working on getting a couple of students up and running with Arduino. Bergey was working on laser cutting Raspberry Pi enclosure prototypes for our Kickstarter campaign rewards. If you haven’t seen it already, here is the teaser video for our Kickstarter campaign (an interview with Uri Pierre-Noel, Director of Arts Tech Meetup Philly) and more information about the Knight Arts Challenge matching grant that we received last summer. We’ll be launching that Kickstarter soon, so stay tuned for more details.

Early on in the evening, Georgia, Tim, Molly, Christalee, Bergey and Amy held a brainstorming session to discuss a new project opportunity funded through the Schuylkill River Banks Development Corp and Second Muse. The project would be part of a series of events throughout September and October to draw people to the Grays Ferry Crescent Trail Park, which will eventually be connected to the rest of the Schuylkill River Trail. Georgia, Tim and Amy took a short trip to the park to scope out the site and brainstorm possible installations and events for the project. We will have more details to share as the project is developed.

Then on Sunday, I finally tackled a project I’d bookmarked earlier in the month and was eager to try. This is a 3D Touchless Tracking Interface project (from Make Magazine online) with Arduino & Processing, which uses three cardboard plates making up half of a cube, and code that measures the coupled charge time of your hand. Each plate (acting as a capacitor) determines the distance based on known charge time, voltage, current and resistance, and then uses that to control a ball within a virtual model of the cube. See my short video; it’s not perfect yet, as I need to work with the settings in the code more and perhaps make a larger cube, but it was very exciting to get it working. There is also a video at the link provided and easy instructions to make your own! My next goal is to make a theremin out of this to control sounds.

I can’t wait to see what was happening at this week’s Project Night. We’ll have a post for that up soon. In the meantime, you can check out our latest newsletter to see what else is in the works for classes and events at The Hacktory.


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