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IPP - Winter 2013

  • We worked on building a telepresence robot. A telepresence robot is a robot that allows one person to, in a way, be in two places at once and interact with people from far away. Potential applications are far-ranging, from hospitals (relatives who can't travel making visits) to business meetings (attending a meeting in another country without traveling).

     

    A camera on the top provides 360˚ vision for navigation in crowds, one on the front is for communication, and the final one, on an extendable arm, can search for obstacles on the ground and read documents sitting on a table. There's a display on the front that can be used for two-way videoconferencing, or display images or other files.

     

    There's another, more morally challenging use case for this robot: government surveillance. The robot can be programmed to operate semi-autonomously with relative ease, and it could be used to observe crowds or record video for later analysis by law enforcement. We strongly discourage this use case due to privacy risks, but it would be possible.

     

    The robot is powered by a computer running an interface.js server passing information into Max MSP Runtime. Video data can be sent over facetime or skype, or potentially webRTC. The interface is a mobile-compatible website with touch-friendly controls, and data is sent to the computer over websockets. The computer then sends data to a pair of microprocessors which pass it to the motor controller.

  • NuVu Film is a short animation that features students at Winter 2013/14 NuVu. The students were interviewed about their experiences and interests at NuVu, and these responses were then incorportated into the movie. The film explores the effect of having an unchanging composition in which all of the people in the video are standing in the same place and the camera angle does not change. Any props and other components in the movie are animations created in After Effects.

    This film showcases some of each person's highlights from the program and trully shows what NuVu is all about. For example, one person mentioned his enjoyment in making a videogame, so his animation revolves around a video game controller. Another student was passionate about coding, so his animation reflects this. In addition, some of the animations are more abstract and less about a specific aspect of NuVu but rather the overall atmosphere and experience of being there.

  • "Know What You Eat" is 2.5 minute animated film that combines digital drawings and low-poly 3D models to educate viewers about obesity, nutrition, and the risks and preventions of heart disease — created by Max Ingersoll and Sam Ingersoll during the Visualizing Food studio at NuVu.

    We were inspired by Thrive, Brendan Brazier’s book about optimal nutrition, health, and fitness, having tried this approach, noticing how much better we felt. We wanted to convey Thrive’s key ideas in a short animation. The key ideas are that the leading cause of death in America, heart disease, is completely preventable through better nutrition and increased physical activity.

    The film has two parts: the problem and the solution. The first part links poor nutrition and the lack of exercise as the causes of heart disease using graphic transitions. Here we used data on heart disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. After laying out the problem, the background, which was red becomes a more positive blue and a question “What can we do about it?” appears. At this point the film illustrates positive diet and lifestyle changes that can help prevent heart disease.

    To achieve a simple and playful look we used a low-poly style for our 3D models. Low-poly(gon) refers to simplified 3-D models which have fewer faces. To create the 3D models we used Autodesk 3DS Max. We usedAdobe After Effects to animate the film.

  • The Idea

    Originally, we wanted to create a Public Service Announcement on bullying. We were going to come up with an animation that would portray an issue and give a solution. Something unique about this idea was that we wanted to convey the positive things you can do to prevent/overcome bullying rather than focusing on the statistics. We chose to forgo this idea because we decided the topic was too depressing for us. After an extensive brainstorming session, we came up with a new idea focusing on NuVu.

    We began by interviewing the students at NuVu during the Winter term 2013-2014 and asking them about their favorite parts of NuVu. This is makes our video unique: we used real experiences from NuVu instead of general information about the program. We incorporated what each person said in his or her interview into our animation.

    The video we were inspired by was Move by Rick Mereki (http://vimeo.com/27246366). We loved how the person stayed the same, while the background was constantly changing. In our video, however, we decided that it would be more convienent if the background stayed the same and the people changed. 

    Because our background stayed the same, we needed something else to be changing in addition to the people in order to convey a story. We decided on using Adobe Illustrator and After Effects to draw out animations that each person would interact with. We chose to keep all the animations white to ensure our video was cohesive. In addition, some of the objects transformed into other objects used for the next scene as a transition.

    We had run into some problems when filming the students. One of our major issues was getting students to be in our video and cooperate. It was difficult to convey what we wanted because we did not have an animation to show them. Also, our animations were drawn all in white, so if someone in the video were to wear a white shirt, for example, it would clash with the animation. Also, communicating with everyone in the group was difficult. We had to agree on an accurate storyboard and the flow of the animations, which took some time to figure out. In addition, we had to decide on every single detail of each scene. A lot of us were new to the animation software, Adobe After Effects and Illustrator, which meant we had to learn quickly. Another challenge we struggled with was the music. We tried to get the perfect track that fit the video well, which took some time. 

    In the end we all came together to create a video that we are very proud of. We think it really exemplifies what NuVu is about, and we hope that it will help NuVu grow.

  • The final prototype my the Sleep-enhancing headband is finally complete! After last deciding that we were better off not making a headband containing anything hard/uncomfortable, I switched over to trying to make something relatively similar to sleeping masks already in existance. After taking note what I liked from those designs, I began to model our headband using Rhino. Once I had finished making this design, I exported it to the laser cutter, cutting out the exoskeleton piece out of a black foam material. When this was done, I then cut out two copies of felt with the same "mask" shape to sandwich the LED lights and EEG devices. 

    Once I had all the materials ready to go, I was then ready to move onto the sewing process. I had to carefully sew the LED strip to one of the pieces of felt, ensuring the LEDs wouldnt fall out of place. Next, I sewed the two pieces of felt together, sandwiching the LED lights inside. Finally, with the help of Saba, I stitched together the felt pieces to the foam exoskeleton, finishing that aspect of the headband.

    After finishing this, I talked with Saeed and Henry, and Saeed suggested that I go back and try and incorporate the EEG devices into the headband. Seemingly difficult, all this took was for me to go back to the sewing station, and carefully lift one side of the mask at a time, meticulously sewing the EEG devices to either side. Once this was completed, I was finally finished with the final prototype for our project. Just to make sure, Henry and I tested to make sure the LED lights and EEG devices still worked when plugged in, and thankfully, the headband produced the light we desired. 

  • The Make It Stick installation represents the bullying kids face everyay. The 2,000 Post It notes on this wall are more than just a random jumble of colors. One may view them this way when standing close to the wall but there is a much bigger picture from our project. If you take a couple steps back, the Post It notes will form an eye signifying that everyone deserves to have someone to watch over them and be an ally in the fight against bullying. On the inside of the glass the purple Post It notes have stories we collected at our school, Beaver Country Day. These stories not only serve as insights into kids bullying experiences but the stories help visually represent even greater bullying statistics. We found that these statistics hit home. The Make It Stick installation, being the culmination of the work at NuVu, is something to be proud of both artistically and emotionally.

  • Emma and I started out by knowing we wanted to do a project that was on the more artistic side. We thought covering the fishbowl with sticky notes would be a cool idea. In the process of researching we came across a whole world of sticky note art that really caught our attention. We liked that you can't tell what the picture is at first glance, but after stepping back you can see the picture. While brainstorming we also talked a lot about the idea of bullying and how it has personally effected our lives. We thought meshing the sticky note art idea and bullying could result in a really influential art installation. We both really love the idea of "See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil" and thought this perfectly coinsided with the idea of ending bullying through art. We decided to put an eye, an ear, and lips on each glass wall of nuvu. After measuring the walls and calculating how many sticky notes would be necessary, we turned to photoshop to make our exact design. We picked the pictures we wanted to use and pixelated them to the exact amount of pixels as stickie notes per wall. After this we changed the picture to be just 4 colors. This photoshopped picture became our exact guide for where to put each note on the wall. We were expecting the posting process to be pretty tedious but it did take much longer than we were expecting so we ended up only posting the wall with the eye. This actually turned out to be a benefit because we had morfe time to perfect the wall and add more ideas to the project. We spent a day at our school and collected stories from the studnts about times they had been bullied. People were much more willing to share than we were anticipating and we collected a great amount of stories. We put these on the back side of the notes for 2 reasons; first, we didn't want these stories to distract from the picture of the eye and second, we wanted to take advantage of the fact that the wall is glass and could be seen from 2 sides. While doing research about bullying we found some statistics that were really powerful. Immediatly, we knew we wanted to incorporate these into our project. We used the stories on the back wall to artistically respresent the statistics that really hit home for us.

    Overall, we are very proud of our installation and think it depicts the message we wanted it to in an artistic and educational way.