After – for the most teams – working the whole morning to make their projects presentable, the time for public presentation of the projects was finally there. The employees of the media informatics and human-computer interaction groups visited the lab to see the creations of this semesters students. Each group presented their ideas and final prototype to the visitors and finally the winner of this seasons “Sketching with Hardware” was chosen by vote.
Group 1 presented their idea in a darker setting then our well-lit lab, because it provided a more realistic scenario. The final prototype of their protective teddy “Rescute” had most of the features that were planned in the brainstorming session. During the presentation all three escalation levels of the teddy worked perfectly: Dog barks at the first level,a police siren and lights at the second level and a pepper spray (for the safety of the audience it was replaced by deodorant) at the third level. These features should repel an attacker immediately.
After working the whole night and morning the “Osterexpress” group finally had a working prototype in their hands: A completely self-made train, cut with a lasercutter and equipped with several servo motors to cause mayhem during the otherwise placid easter holidays. The train consists of multiple wagons that are loaded with small plastic easter eggs and that are ready to fling them around whenever the train driver decides so. Although the train was a little under-motorized, the audience loved the “tossing-eastereggs”-functionality.
“Togebear” was the name of the prototype that group 3 created. Unlike most of the other groups, they managed to finish their project the day before, so there was no overnight stress or morning-panic for them. To strenthen long-distance relationships, the “Togebear” sprays the fragrance of the significant other whenever a email from the beloved one is received and the heart it is holding blinks. It also provides a feedback opportunity by pushing its ear, which will send an email to the beloved one. The audience liked this idea because it was the only non-malicious one in the lineup.
Group 4 worked until minutes before their presentation to produce a working prototype of their “Looping Louie”-game but didn’t make it. While they had it working at one point, as it naturally is with a bunch of cables inside a childs toy, it broke. More specifically on the day of presentation the motor that was turning the arm of the game just stopped working. They explained the issues they had in detail and the plans they had with the game as well. They day before they even played it using a KI that was implemented on the computer and communicated with the Arduino. Maybe we can see a working prototype at the Open Lab Day.
The “Madlab” game that group 5 implemented was also on the brink of not working properly at the time of presentation, but fortunately they made it shortly before the presentation. They adapted a marble run to become even harder to play using different techniques like switches that invert the axis. One could control the board either using knobs or using a position sensing device. Some of the features were a bit flaky (i.e. switches not triggering), but all in all it looked like a fun (or hard) game to play.
“Ghost Polaroid” is the name of the project that group 6 was tackling. It is supposed to work like a simple polaroid camera by taking a picture and printing it, but instead modifies the images and puts a ghost into the background or replaces the faces on the image by famous internet memes. They hacked a cheap digital camera and printed the image using a thermal printer, all inside a laser-printed case. The image processing was done on the computer. Although the whole process took a while, the audience loved to participate in this mischief and getting their faces replaced by the grumpy cat.
In the end, every visitor got a vote in the shape of a plastic star and had to give his or her vote to a project. They had some time to talk to the individual groups and possibly try out some of the prototypes by themselves. Then the winner of this seasons “Sketching with Hardware” was chosen:
While everyone received their participants medal, they received a copy of the current edition of ct Hacks as an additional special. Congratulations.