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  • We all know that using public transportation can sometimes be very stressful. In light of this our group was determined to reduce the stress the average commuter faces. Particularly focusing on the number one bus, we designed a massage clamp that clips onto the hand pole commuters hold onto while standing. The clamp is inside of a comfortable, funky glove that the user slips their hand into. The clamp itself has built in ball bearings that massage your palm when rubbed. Within the fabric of the glove is a built in vibration motor that relaxes the muscles on the top of your hand. The motor is activated when the user pushes it; the motor can be deactivated with a second push.

    Currently, we don't have a completely finished vibration motor, however, I wrote the code for a functional vibration sequence in arduino. This code was compatible with our flora which we were going to secure onto the back of the clamp. Sadly because of time constraints we were unable to complete the design. To compromise we made an in series circuit with three vibration motors and a 9 volt battery. We sewed three little pockets into the inside of the glove for the actual motors and secured the wires with cloth. The wires travel outside of the bottom of the glove and lead to the 9 volt battery and button sensor. 

  • We all know that using public transportation can sometimes be very stressful. In light of this our group was determined to reduce the stress the average commuter faces. Particularly focusing on the number one bus, we designed a massage clamp that clips onto the hand pole commuters hold onto while standing. The clamp is inside of a comfortable, funky glove that the user slips their hand into. The clamp itself has built in ball bearings that massage your palm when rubbed. Within the fabric of the glove is a built in vibration motor that relaxes the muscles on the top of your hand. The motor is activated when the user pushes it; the motor can be deactivated with a second push.

    We had a lot of iterations for the actual design. We found ourselves trying to alter the design for a more comfortable fit into the average hand. Our first design just had slots for the user's fingers. Later we realized the design was a tad bulky and hurt the thumb area of the hand. We ended up making an indent into the back of the mechanism for maximum comfort. 

    Currently, we don't have a completely finished vibration motor, however, I wrote the code for a functional vibration sequence in arduino. This code was compatible with our flora which we were going to secure onto the back of the clamp. Sadly because of time constraints we were unable to complete the design. To compromise we made an in series circuit with three vibration motors and a 9 volt battery. We sewed three little pockets into the inside of the glove for the actual motors and secured the wires with cloth. The wires travel outside of the bottom of the glove and lead to the 9 volt battery and button sensor. 

  • People rarely get to experience the world through other perspectives. Especially on the bus where the rush and commotion does not lend itself to interaction. Our design counters this, allowing bus riders to slow down and describe their surroundings in a very profound way. Later, when another rider listens to this message, it allows the listener to see their city in a way they have never seen it before.

     

          We based our original design around the needs of blind people. We wanted to make something that would allow the blind to see in a way they rarely get to do. Although there are different processes that allow blind people to experience sight, our design allows for blind people to experience the instantaneous and fast-moving nature of our surroundings.

         Our design has two main components. First, there are two buttons directly below the chair handle. these buttons start the recording and display a prompt that encourages users to describe certain aspects of their surroundings. We sewed this onto a fabric frame which provides a comfortable alternative to the hard and cold design of bus seats. This process of sewing electronics into the fabric was difficult but ultimately paid off because of its soft and aesthetically pleasing design The second component has the two speakers on either side of the listener. This is all made of fabric and stuffing that serves as not only a speaker but a comfortable head rest. It also allows us to contain the electronics and wires inside of the frame itself.

  •  People rarely get to experience the world through other perspectives. Especially on the bus where the rush and commotion does not lend itself to interaction. Our design counters this, allowing bus riders to slow down and describe their surroundings in a very profound way. Later, when another rider listens to this message, it allows the listener to see their city in a way they have never seen it before.

     

          We based our original design around the needs of blind people. We wanted to make something that would allow the blind to see in a way they rarely get to do. Although there are different processes that allow blind people to experience sight, our design allows for blind people to experience the instantaneous and fast-moving nature of our surroundings.

         Our design has two main components. First, there are two buttons directly below the chair handle. these buttons start the recording and display a prompt that encourages users to describe certain aspects of their surroundings. We sewed this onto a fabric frame which provides a comfortable alternative to the hard and cold design of bus seats. This process of sewing electronics into the fabric was difficult but ultimately paid off because of its soft and aesthetically pleasing design The second component has the two speakers on either side of the listener. This is all made of fabric and stuffing that serves as not only a speaker but a comfortable head rest. It also allows us to contain the electronics and wires inside of the frame itself.

     

         We based our first iteration on two of our major precedents. We took design principles from  both an old-fashioned phone and a playground speaker tube. It was going to have a cone-shaped listening device and a recording station designed to look like and old-fashioned phone base and dial. We all really liked this idea of having a concise theme that was consistent throughout our design, but we decided against this iteration because we wanted to create something both made of fabric and that was static. This cone design didn't lend itself to these parameters.

         Our second iteration was very similar to our final iteration, but had some key differences. We were originally thinking we would include a number of support beams arrayed evenly throughout the frame holding it in place. This design didn't allow for enough space for all the electronics and wires. It also was just going to contain the speakers and not the  recording device. We realized that it would be better if we could combine both components in one area.

         Our third and final iteration took a lot of inspiration from the third design. It had the same shape and still had support beams, but we arranged the beams differently. We put them into an "A" design and strapped onto the chair handle with Velcro. This provided a structurally sound frame while still allowing space for the electronics. This also joined both components, all in the area above the chair. This was the first iteration that we added stuffing to and it improved the design tremendously. It hid the wires and provided a lovely headrest so you can truly enjoy our design.

  • Because the pillow is wrapped around the camera, this video is from the perspective of the user.

  • Today, as a group we got lots of work done. We began with writing down our goals for the day, which were finishing the sensors, making a prototype, and beginning the presentation and for the most part we completed all of those things.

    Sammi and I focused on getting the speaker to work which took a very long time because we had to set it up, find different power supplies, get the sounds, find how to upload it to the soundboard, and eventually get the speaker to play the recording.

    While we were working with the speakers, Jules was hard at work on our prototype cutting things out on the laser cutter, sewing it all together and ironing it. As a group I think we are all really enjoying ourselves and looking forward to finishing it up tomorrow and putting it all together.

  • The Visual Lullaby is a project designed to comfort and welcome commuters and tourists on the #1 MBTA Bus line. Constructed from gauzy white fabrics and enhanced by soft rainbow lights and sensors, the Visual Lullaby redefines "pillow". By resting the pillow on their shoulders, the user receives unique neck support and experiences the bus in a new way. Once the pillow is placed, it can be turned on and play to the stories and memories from the area around you, according to whatever stop on the bus line is closest. The Visual Lullaby is not only for conventional tourists so they can orient themselves and feel comfortable in a new place, but it is also convienent for Boston residents. This product can be utilized to feel even more at home in our own city. The Visual Lullaby is a homey and comfortable way to commute.

  • Riding on the bus can be a very disorienting and uncomfortable experience. We designed the Visual Lullaby to make your bus experience more comfortable, interactive, and help you to know where you are. The Visual Lullaby is a pillow that lights up and changes colors, plays stories from various places on the number one bus route, and serves as a pillow to fall asleep on. This project allows the user to listen to many people's emotional landmarks and connections to the city, watch the lights, and feel cozy on the bus.

    We began this project by focusing on tourists and their frequent ostracization and discomfort on Boston’s public transit. On the first day we wrote down certain words and then came up with ideas inspired by those words that would fix a certain problem of the bus. The flannel helmet was one of our initial ideas and we thought it would be a fun project to make and would be helpful to commuters and tourists on the bus. We also wanted to make a piece that would make them feel physically comfortable on the bus and more connected to the city of Boston. Our project evolved quite a bit from our initial idea of a flannel helmet to the Visual Lullaby. We started moving away from the idea of the flannel helmet once we were challenged to create a piece that also incorporated a neck pillow. As the idea evolved we utilized the new skills that we learned in the studio such as the Flora Arduino for the speakers and the Neopixels. We felt that these parts would make the Visual Lullaby beautiful and different. We spent a lot of time working on the lights to get them to do our current rainbow cycle and had to take parts from various example codes and fix them together. We also put a lot of work into the speakers to get them to play different people’s stories about Boston. We initially thought for the stories that we should have the pillow point out different fun facts for different places in the city, but we felt that it wasn’t personal or unique enough so we changed our idea to people’s individual histories in the city.

    Our project has one speaker—connected to an Arduino and breadboard and a Neopixel LED that is connected to a Flora Arduino. The pillow is constructed out of 12 segmented fabric panels and a base, sewn together and stuffed. For the speakers we began by handmaking a pressure sensor that would work as a button, so when it was pressed the recorded stories would play. The sensor was constructed of conductive thread, felt, and sponge so that the conductive fabric circuit would complete itself when pressed together. Once we recorded the story (we only used one account from Sammi, a team member, due to time constraints) on Garageband, we had to change it to a .wav format in iTunes so that we could use it for the Arduino. Once we made it into a .wav we connected it to the USB so that it could upload to the Arduino. After first playing the recording we felt that it was too loud so we also made a volume sensor. For the NeoPixel LEDs we attached a Flora Arduino with wires and alligator clips. With some experimentation, we were able to change the pattern of the lights and choose what colors were displayed. For the final power supply, we sewed a battery into a slot on the Flora with conductive thread, and then sewed the entire arrangment to the base of the pillow with the same thread.

    We encountered many challenges on this project such as getting the lights and speakers to work and arranging the design for the Visual Pillow. With the lights at points  we weren’t able to get all the lights to come on, the codes wouldn’t work or the power sources wouldn’t work. For the speakers it was hard for us to get the file converted to a .wav, get the pressure sensor to work, and make sure that all the parts were connected. However, our group worked really well together and was able to work through all the challenges with ease.

    We made our first version of the Visual Lullaby out of paper and tape. We based it loosely on the design of the Elizabethan ruffs. We started out with cutting slits in the paper and then overlapped them towards the center. On the side we also had a piece that was similar to blinders that would allow you to cover your eyes if you wanted to sleep or open up if you wanted to sight-see. It also had a speaker in the back to tell you fun facts about the city.

    Our second iteration was made out of cardboard and duct tape. In this version we added different languages for people to choose from and a volume setting. We also made this piece with the shape of the neck pillow as the base.


    The third iteration of the project we made out of felt and sewed it all together. We decided to place the lights and speakers on the inside after making this iteration and used the shape for the final. 

  • Today we started the day learning how speakers work. Becca showed us using a coil and attaching alligator clips and placing a magnet in the center, but it didn't work so she showed us a video instead.

    We took a neopixel and connected it to the Flora to see if we could get it to work and managed to use the simple code. After we tried another code which got the LEDS to make lots of different colors in a variety of patterns. We decided that the rainbow fading in the pattern was our favorite so we deleted the other parts of the code.

    After we began focusing on what to record for the information about Boston and thought about recording people's stories from different places. We changed our minds numerous times about what the prompt should be, but settled on memories. We also had to get the speaker together and soldered the pieces together and attached it to the breadboard. Jules also laser cut pieces of felt for the actual design and we will need to focus on that tomorrow. I'm really happy with how the project is going and I'm having lots of fun.
     

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