Art Audio Design DIY Education ITP New York NYC NYU Physical Computing

head(banger)phones – FINAL

I’m getting ready to present the head(banger)phones for the ITP Winter Show.  A little bit of solder helped to get rid of the short circuit problem I was having periodically with the accelerometer.  I also replaced the orchestral audio samples I originally used to demo the head(banger)phones with some synth samples I recorded from my Sidstation.

The head(banger)phones are a personal music device made up of a pair of headphones and a sensor.  When the user wears the head(banger)phones, the motion and position of her head triggers different sounds, creating a dynamic interactive musical experience.

Source code after the jump:

Art Audio Design DIY Education Fun ITP NYU Physical Computing Video


My final project proposal for Physical Computing at ITP:

head(banger)phones – a personal musical device

A set of headphones rigged with an accelerometer that detects the motion of the user’s head and converts that motion data into MIDI data via an Arduino microprocessor.  The MIDI then triggers percussion sounds in a software synth on the computer, which feeds the audio signal back to the user wearing the headphones.

Here is a video of my proposal to my class.

head(banger)phones from lee-sean on Vimeo.

Design DIY Interactive ITP NYU Physical Computing

Electric Chair Bear

Liesje, Tim and I finished our midterm project for Physical Computing tonight.  Our original concept was the Voodoo Bear, but after managing to break a couple sensors and a vibration motor in the building process, we decided go with a slightly different concept.

ITP NYU Physical Computing

Transistor Lab and Voodoo Bear Update

In this week’s Physical Computing lab, we learned how to power a DC motor using a transistor. I wired up my Arduino and motor following the schematic in the lab documentation exactly:


The connectors on the DC motor are extremely fragile.  I managed to break one off accidentally, so I had to borrow Tim’s motor.  I haven’t had the best of luck lately with components.  While working on our midterm project, the Voodoo Bear, we managed to break a flex sensor and a stretch sensor today.

In any case, I got the DC motor to work:

With the addition of a potentiometer and the additional code provided, I now have a potentiometer-controlled spastic DC motor!


In other news, we managed to complete most of the construction on the Voodoo Bear today. We put two servomotors into the bear. One makes the bear blink and the other one makes the bear’s arm wave. The servos and other components are affixed to a flexible “skeleton” inside the bear that is made out of thick ethernet cables.

ITP NYU Physical Computing

P-Comp Midterm: Voodoo Bear

Voodoo Bear

I worked with Tim and Liesje yesterday on our Physical Computing midterm, the Voodoo Bear, which is a bit like Frankenstein’s monster, built from the shell of a Build-a-Bear and various wires, sensors and other components.  The bear will move in reaction to human actions on a connected Processing program or through triggering sensors built into the bear.  Click on the schematic below for details.  Still very much a work in progress, so I’ll save full the explanation for later.

Voodoo Bear

Voodoo Bear