It Started With…

I wanted to build a physical and fun interactive experience using sensors and actuators. After a few concepts, I ended with my top two final contenders. The first was an automatic tea-brewer with a funky twist: it would be a miniature construction crane that would gently lower tea into a mug through an unwinding thread, and, letting you set the steeping time, wait to lift up the bag at the right time. The second was a challenge to my habit of making checklists, a way of inverting the act of counting down a chore list and turning it into a celebration of little wins. It was a high-fiving arm that would help you count up the awesome things you’d done. This was a more powerful, potentially behavior-changing interaction. My friends thought it would be really entertaining to play with, and I ran with it.

I wanted the artifact to be highly visible, that you could even share in a space with others, and be fun to use. High fives are an expressive and shareable act of celebration, so this made a lot of sense. To be extra public and intentional, I wanted to add a bright little display and include sound feedback.


Building this was pretty fun. I ordered a few servos and different types of ultrasonic sensors, and went on a hunt for random little parts at a few different stores. I then setup my desk with my many little tools, and proceeded to play around with the bread board and code in Arduino, burn a transistor here and there, but overall survived and celebrated my first win (see below!).

High Five