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Enchanted Objects

2 Posts authored by: tanah

Last week I wanted to publish a flowchart of the process of building the enchanted typewriter. However, since I'm organizing an exciting event for next month, I've been quite busy and couldn't do it.


I have a bit of time now, so let's see the project roadmap. Since the design process is quite linear I decided to break it down into 4 phases, so that you can get a more clear view of the project development and to separate it into different time frames. The last phase is just a possibility and will not necessarily be included in the final project, since I don't know if I'll make it in time.


Here's a diagram of the development process:




For starters, I will only use three colours (red,blue and green) because it's faster to debug than while using a ton of them and also for space reasons.


I still don't know if I should make the interpolation with javascript or python. I know how to do it in python, but doing it in javascript would also be nice. Does anyone know of any simple javascript library that could do the trick?


With this, if I only reach the third phase, the final project will look like this:





However, if I can get to finish the fourth phase before the deadline, the project would have some interesting extra features:





Feel free to point out any errors or doubts you have about the project. Suggestions are always welcome!

Planned obsolescence is one of the biggest problems in today's technological products. Things get rotten, dusty, forgotten and lost of their initial use, becoming part of a pile of not good enough's even before they are meant to be like that. However, old stuff like mechanisms from the 60's still work, brilliantly in some cases! And yet, they have been replaced with better, more useful but less durable devices.


That is why this challenge is so great, giving life back to those things that hold that special spirit of durability and easiness to open, repair and hack. One can even argue that the brand new open software and hardware movement is just trying to bring this back.


But enough with the nostalgia and positivism, lets get to the point.





My cousin Patricia, which is an art student, told me some months ago about a project made by an American artist that took an old typewriter and seemed to print paintings. What a wonderful idea! However, that was just a concept, a photographic montage with human generated paintings, not a working model. My cousin really knows me well, I immediately said to her:

- This needs to be done by someone.

- Let's do it ourselves them! - she said.


And that's how I easily got invested in this idea. Yet, we had no typewriter nor electronics that would be up for the challenge. Then, a few weeks after, I found a lovely typewriter besides the trash of my street. Just like a crazy man with Diogenes syndrome I ran for it and took it to my cave! And a bit afterwards, the Enchanted Objects Challenge showed up and boy, wasn't that an amazing coincidence!


It might not be the most complex electronics development project, but it's certainly a mechanical challenge and a nice application of the Internet of things framework. For starters, we are just going to make sure that we can make a feasible mechanism for the painting system, firstly trying with small compartments of paint and sponges attached to the tips of the type hammers. Then, we'll try to use servos to pull the keys. And lastly, the electronics and communication with server.


Next week I'll post the full description of the design process and a flowchart explaining it.


See you next week!