Month: November 2017

Week 8/9: Refinement, Panic, and Fabrication

A lot has changed since our last blog post– the window location was announced (the big windows at Broadway and 11th St) as well as the date of installation– November 13th, two days after the original date and significantly sooner than we all thought they were going to be. We had been leisurely working on our ideas, but suddenly we had to start fabrication and finalizing our concepts… as well as write a project proposal.

Some key decisions were made for the report:

  • Since we only had one window instead of two, we would scrap the seek-and-find and focus on the claw game.
  • The people we would be picking up would be little ping pong heads, for their flotation, price, and maneuverability.
  • We wanted to use touch capacitive sensors, so users would not have to take out their phones (and also save us the headache of server configuration…)
  • To embed some of the ideas of the seek-and-find, the game would appear in a console of the worker who is transporting the ping pong balls.

Since the report, however, we had to change a few things. First, the touch capacitive sensors were not feasible– any one touch would trigger all four sensors. We considered changing to a photosensor or IR, but decided against the idea when we saw the scale of the new window. Being close enough to touch would not allow you to see your actions in context. Instead, we will create a webapp control system.

We scrapped the concept of the worker console and decided on a simpler framing of ocean elements and debris from New York. It had gotten a bit too high-concept, and nobody but us would understand it.

We also did a ton of mockups and tests:


We then delegated our tasks– Rita would design the webapp controls, Chester would work on the physical fabrication and design of the controls (among other things, this is the railing, the fabrication of the encasements, the gearing for the servo), Melissa would work on the ping pong balls, and Lindsey worked on designing the map. Other tasks would be divided as need be and dependent on availability.

Additionally, Rita would make some debris elements for the framing:


The physical fabrication was quite time consuming, and had a great deal of hiccups. Painting, drilling, and simply getting the boards up was an ordeal in itself, particularly when the other groups had used up all of the flat plates for the speed rails. Chester came up with a system of using T-fittings, instead to put up the boards, and they look rather good so far:

We still have a few days until the installation. Wish us luck.