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A brief presentation on Velas, my final project for Kate Hartman's Introduction to Physical Computing class at ITP.

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  1. 1. Velas Caroline Brown ITP NYU 2008
  2. 2. What is Velas? Velas is a tool for coping with grief.
  3. 3. This project developed as a response to the death of a close friend. The pain of losing her has grown less acute over time, but I cannot hold the process of mourning to a schedule. Waves of grief do not wait for an appropriate moment to arrive.
  4. 4. Velas provides a mechanism for acknowledging waves of grief when they arrive at inopportune moments.
  5. 5. How does Velas work? Velas is a light display activated by a bracelet. Whenever a wave of grief confronts the user, he or she lightly tugs on the bracelet. One cluster of light is activated for each tug of the bracelet.
  6. 6. Each central light slowly ignites the lights around it, then slowly fades. The lights guide the user through the process of acknowledging his or her moment of grief, then letting it go.
  7. 7. How was Velas made? Velas is a collection of LEDs and a flexible rubber stretch sensor controlled by an Arduino microcontroller and several PWM drivers. I designed the screen in Adobe Illustrator and had it laser cut into watercolor paper.
  8. 8. Materials <ul><li>Warm white LEDs </li></ul><ul><li>Arduino NG Microcontroller </li></ul><ul><li>TLC5940 PWM Drivers </li></ul><ul><li>4” Stretch Sensor </li></ul><ul><li>Small rocker switch </li></ul><ul><li>Foam core </li></ul><ul><li>Watercolor paper </li></ul><ul><li>Vellum </li></ul><ul><li>Perf Board </li></ul><ul><li>Hook Up Wire </li></ul><ul><li>Various Resistors </li></ul>
  9. 9. Challenges Most of the problems I encountered in making this project were simply due to gaps in my own knowledge. I had lots of help on everything from where to buy materials, to design critiques, to solving problems with my code.
  10. 10. Successes Paper turned out to be a wonderful material for the screen, and I’ve received very positive feedback on the overall design. I’m much more comfortable soldering to perf board now, and I learned enough about PWM drivers to be able to assist my classmates with them.
  11. 11. What’s next for Velas? Wireless communication between bracelet and light panel Wooden screen and housing for lights Randomization of cluster order for animation