PCOMP - Midterm


- Walking/moving hand for halloween themed installation.

- the hand is triggered by a sensor detecting that someone has entered the room.

For this midterm project, we came up with a few ideas. Our project will be Halloween themed. Out of our several initial ideas we ended up choosing to make a moving skeleton hand that can move and interact with anyone who encounters it.  The idea was that we would put this hand on the floor of a room with lights off and we would put a sensor close to a light switch (we thought we would use PIR sensor for this) so when someone walks in and tries to turn the lights on the hand will start to move towards that person. At first, we imagined that the hand will move fast and that would scare the audience. Danqi (my parter for this project) made a prototype of the hand (see photos below)she used 3 servos to rotate and make 3 fingers move. She initialized the angle of the servo before she glued them to the hand. After some further discussion, we decided to change the design of the hand, both physically and technically. We realized that other kind of hands would also be creepy (it doesn't have to be a skeleton hand.) We wanted to put our hand in a common space that people use everyday, so that they will not be aware of the fact that the hand is there. We wanted to put the hand in one of the phonebooths along the corridor of 4th floor.

Finally we got our hand part from a Halloween shop.

Making the hand

- Hand and Finger movement

To be able to make the hand move, we a skeleton-like structure using wood and wires.

for this part, we cut a piece of wood for the palm of the hand. We cut wooden stick into short wooden sticks for each knuckle of the fingers and connect them using wires, tape and glue. After initialize the angle of the servo. We then connect our wooden fingers to the servos. So that when the servos rotate, the fingers will move. By making different parts of the fingers, this allowed us to position the fingers how we wanted to.

After we inserted the skeleton inside the hand part, we used glue gun and stuffing to close the cut. We use the heat from hot glue to melt some plastic fiber to help holding the cut of the hand together. 

After we fully closed the cut, we painted over the scar with acrylic paint.

- Container for the Hand

We decided to use acrylic sheets and wood to make a container for the hand and assembled the pieces together using acrylic glue and some nuts and screws.

- Gear Mechanism

- Sensors testing

We wanted to try triggering the hand to move by different kind of sensors

1. PIR sensor: so the hand will start to move after a delay when a person enters the room (in our case we wanted to put our hand in one of the phone booths/libraries) However, we found out that PIR sensor has a wide detection range so we thought that this sensor wasn't suitable for our project.

2.Distant sensor:

This sensor didn't work out the way we wanted it to work either so we decided not to use it.

3.Iight sensor:

This sensor seemed to work best with our project, se we decided to use this one.

Note: At first, We wanted the hand to be triggered by more than one type of sensors, so that the audience would be able to have different kind of interaction to the hand. 


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