A light fixture is a simple thing, but, a solar eclipse as a light fixture is not. Despite that scenario, using servos, ultrasonic sensors, 3D printed holders, and laser-cut wood, the "personal eclipse".
Our project required us to design a natural phenomena, in our case a solar eclipse, abstracted into a light fixture, using the resources available at NuVu. It serves the purpose of providing light, but with a unique twist. The first idea we came up with was an attachement to a lightbulb that used an infrared sensor to cover the target, a person wearing an infrared emitter. Eventually, we landed upon the ultrasonic sensor, which was far more accessable at the studio, though it was less precise. After seeing our fixture, a person will walk towards it. Once the person is relatively close to the fixture, a ultrasonic sensor, moving constantly in a radar like pattern, will automatically detect the person, and 'tell' the arduino that it sees someone. Once the board receives this info, it communicates with the servo in which moves the moon, which will cause the modeled moon to move in front of the light. Once the person looks at it for a bit, they will leave, and the servo will move back into its original place, and the light will shine normally.
We started with an assigned phenomena, which we instantly started studying. Once we looked over some images of the solar eclipse, and got a general idea as to what it consists of, and what it looks like, we started making abstractions, and searched for more details. After abstraction, we started making cardboard models, with a box cutter, and put everything together using hot glue, and screws as servos. Once we had a mini model of the fixture, we began to design the real fixture, by laser cutting parts, 3D printing objects, wiring electronics to the uno board, and ultimately put everything together.
We had multiple challenges along the way. We experienced malfunctional sensors, faulty arduino boards, poorly soldered wires and missized objects 3D prints. To fix the sensor, we had to re-solder the pins after using the desoldering pump to get what was there before, out. We replaced the ardruino board, which was an easy solution, but when we tried using wires, from the shop, to connect the board to the servos/sensor, we were forced to cut the wires and re-solder the ends of them. When the 3D printed servo holder came out too small, we improvised, by drilling slots on the holder in order for the servo to fit inside of it, despite having a wire sticking out on the side.
The main idea of a solar eclipse is pretty straight forward, apart from the small abstractions which needed to be made. We were assigned to figuring out those abstractions and ultimately creating a light fixture representing the general idea of a solar eclipse. In order to accomplish this, we had to find some creative solutions to problems, including, but not limited to: Ways to make the moon 'move' in front of the light, and then away from it and how to get the fixture to move with the person. It was quite difficult, but it ultimately paid off, with an interesting idea, although not fully fleshed out, giving a solid proof on concept and experience along the way.