mr indecision

a small felt version of myself that turns its head and looks at you.

[Instructable here]

This is a project on using 123D Catch to get a 3D scan of my whole body. Once I had the scan I cleaned it up and manipulated it ready for 123D Make. I sliced the model in Make and preped it for Laser cutting. Once done I lazer cut and integrated the componentry and Arduino to make the head turn. I created two functions an automatic tracking function and a manually controlled function through Max MSP. In a way this is a Modern Day Puppet.

Code below the jump:
Continue reading “mr indecision”


After a discussion with Becky, I have decided that a 1/2 scale plush Richard made from laser-cut  stacked slices of felt could be a really interesting project. In a follow up post I will talk about the viability of making the head a proximity tracking & turning head.

In terms of aesthetics & form language I am thinking of Antony Gormley meets Mark Jenkins.

The style and ‘creepiness’ of both these artists is really well balanced. I hope to push the creepiness but in an artistic way. Things like scale, materiality, posture and gesture will all play a part in this.

Ideation for Term Project.

Ideas I would like to look into are the full scale plush me with some sort of movement or lights. This could be a plush heart that lights up when in place or even a motion tracking head which rotated following the direction of moment it sees. I have looked into how I can take advantage of using the digital 3D scan/catch I already have of myself and it seems there are two suitable methods for this. 1. Stacked Slices, using 123D Make and either Laser cutting 96 Sheets of Felt on the laser cutter or 2 sheets of 4′ x 8′ 2″ thick blue-foam on the Shopbot.

2. Pepakura, the papercraft program that breaks down 3D shapes into printable, cuttable and foldable forms. I could do this on a large scale with felt to replicate my form. The image below shows what the ‘net of me’ looks like.

Another concepts is a mechanical ceiling lamp that could track a user around the room and follow them.







The spider cam used in the 2011 Rugby World Cup uses digital 3D modeling technology to achieve its location & movement. Perhaps this technology could be applied to lighting or even ceiling furniture.
“SpiderCam works using winches and cables above the playing area which allow the camera to film any position on the field.”




Advances in physical computing and interaction design hardware over recent years have created a new breed of smartobjects which are gaining more and more traction in the design world. These smartobjects have the potential to be far more interactive and emersive than ever before. What is exciting is that its becoming increasingly easier and cheaper to become a part of, with DIY and hacker communities initiatives such as Maker Faire, Instrutactables as well numerous other organisations & people showing the growing interest in this area. Done as part of the Making Studio Class taught by Becky Stern in the Products of Design Masters Program at School of Visual Arts. This project aims to capture the essence of this style of designing, where ideas, thinking and process are shared for others to use and expand on.

On one hand ‘Cloud’ is an Arduino controlled, motion triggered lightning & thunder performance. On the other it is a music activated visualizer & suspended speaker unit.




The cloud is made by felting hypoallergenic fiberfill to a sponge casing which forms the frame of the cloud and holds the speakers and componentry. The felting tool used is a custom made felting tool made from the left over sponge and 4 felting needles. To control the functions of the cloud there are three tactile switches scattered around the base. The concept references real clouds which constantly change shape through the switches requiring constant exploration to find the right switch to turn the right feature on or off.

Acting either as a semi-emersive lightning experience or as speaker with visual feedback this Nightlight – Nightspeaker hybrid introduces not only a new discourse for what a nightlight is or cloud be but also what a smartobject is or could be?

The Cloud

The Cloud

The Cloud

Arduino controlled motion triggered lightning & thunder and music activated EL wire diffuse flashes combined into a suspended speaker unit. The Cloud is a felted Nightlight – Nightspeaker hybrid, acting either as a semi-emersive lightning experience or a speaker. The controls of the cloud are tactile switches scattered around the base, similar real clouds which constantly change the switches are subtle and require constant exploration to find the right switch to turn the right feature on or off.

The Cloud

Work in progress, after days of working to get the separate components of the cloud working independently I now have them working together in the same arduino sketch. The components I am using are the the PIR sensor, the Wav Shield & LED Storm. My system does thus: The PIR sensor is triggered by motion > then the randomized Lightning sequence begins in a randomized cycle followed by a super lightning strike > milli seconds after the super lightning strike is a randomly selected thunder sound, the cloud then waits until the PIR is triggered again.

Lightning Cloud Test

Here is my code thus far: Continue reading “The Cloud”

Cumulonimbus Nightlight

The cumulonimbus cloud is not only a beautiful and destructive lightning cloud but also has one of the coolest sounding names of all the cloud formations.

After the events of the Superstorm these past few days I have been thinking a lot about my project for making. I cam to the conclusion that while a full scale plush version could be cool it lacked justification and reasoning. So back to more brainstorming, but this time with more of a designers intent. I believe a nightlight should provide comfort and reassurance while the user begins to fall asleep. Strangely lightning storms have always had this effect on me. For those who find lightning terrifying perhaps this can be used to help overcome their fears.

The sewing component would be the arduino casing and the main structure of the cloud. The electronics component would be arduino controlled lightning flashes using LED’s & EL wire with the option of sound effects using the Arduino Wave shield. Comments on this new direction welcome and appreciated.

My ideas.

I had what I thought to be a really cool and exciting idea to make a giant plush arduino with a big plush working LED that would plug into the big aurdiuno and would work. Its seems it was not such an original idea and has not only been done before but done really really well. So I have two new ideas after a brainstorming session:

1. A set of Plush Desktop Speakers, im not sure how the plush would effect the acoustics of the speakers but it could be an interesting project, integrating lights and sound.


2. a plush version of myself, full scale with LED heart or eyes. I have just finished doing a 123D Catch of myself as featured in the image. There are different ways transforming the digital file to a plush version, these include, layers of lasercut felt, a box mesh of felt then upholstered or even use software to turn it into a tessellated form that could be suitable for sewing.

Please comment with your votes and/or ideas!


Upon searching for “Plush & Arduino” this was what I stumbled upon. Only realizing half way through reading it that it was Becky’s Project with a very similar brief as our current one. I noticed the AC Power transformer labeled “R Stern” and clicked. Very cool project and was inspirational in helping me decided what I want to make, a big plush Arduino Board and Plush LED that plugs into it!


arduino powered portal turret

<p><a href=”″>Interactive Talking Plush Portal Turret</a> from <a href=””>Jonathan M. Guberman</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>

arduino powered portal turret

This is a plush toy from the game portal. What I like about this project is that it has made the source code avalible for others to use and make extensions on. It uses: