January 28, 2011 AT 11:17 am

Arduino + Processing = Channels

Channels is a physical computing project by Alvin Chang, Ginny Hung and Suzanne Kirkpatrick. It’s built around Arduino + Processing, and was featured in the ITP 2010 Winter show. The team writes:

“Channels” is a full-body immersion installation in which you can navigate through a virtual water scene by physically interacting with tanks of water. Sit in a boat and organically control your virtual environment with natural gestures — paddle, row, and float your way through space and time.

The physical interface for ‘Channels’ — a boat and water — allows you to actually move through virtual 3D space, while paddling in real water. You can change your direction the same way you would in a real boat, by paddling more on one side than the other, or by paddling in reverse. You can slow down the same way, as well.

To detect the speed of water in the buckets, we used two flex sensor strips with half of a plastic spoon attached to the end of the strip.  This allowed us to measure the movement of water. While this worked for our purposes, it probably wouldn’t work as a flow meter, which is another option we looked at.

More documentation and Processing code at the website.


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