Ben and I made a kinetic sculpture for the assignment “Not Clock” - something that measures anything but time.
Instead of time, we measured how far you could blow. We had a fan on one end, and measured the tiny bit of voltage it made, and used that as a signal to tell our motors how far to wind up our measurement triangle.
Fan blow station:
Designing the system that moved the measure was rather complex. We had to make sure it did not tangle the thread as it wound it up. We had to design a place for the measurement to hit on both ends - small switches that would then tell the Arduino “You’ve wound me up!” or “You’ve returned me to the starting place!”
In the two weeks to do the assignment, we didn’t quite perfect the mouthpiece - that is, the experience of getting up to the fan and blowing as hard as you could - but… people knew what to do, and wanted to compete and try their best to get the measurement farther than the person before them.
We were pleased with the overal aesthetic - clear, metal, a spot of color for the measurement bead - and the software behind making the winding work properly. I coded in a spot of apprehension, of suspense - how far will it go? Before it winds the measurement triangle up - and the same on the way down.