Saturday, March 5, 2011

TEI2011: Calling all Superheros to the Design Challenge

The world could always use a new Superhero and 12 teams (see team list and superhero name and powers at:  rose to the task to design costumes and superhero tools at the Fifth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction in Portugal.

Three teams walked away the winners of $1,000 each:
Category of inventiveness:  superhero Captain Chronomek from the Simon Fraser University team (whose first superhero battle was with the Portuguese airport security for two days)
Superhero Description: Once a humble industrial-revolution machinist, Skip Sprocket was transformed into Captain Chronomek: the Continuum’s top Post-Victorian-Pre-Singularity agent. A flying, time-traveling MacGyver, Captain Chronomek hacks the timeline with the technology of the past to prevent a dark future.
Team members: Joshua Tanenbaum, Karen Tanenbaum and Allen Bevans.
See more on Captain Chronomek at:

Category quality of execution: superhero Axon from the Technical University Eindhoven team. (Axon used only one LilyPad Arduino to run the 260 LEDs and 52 reed switches which consequentially required them to include 7 input and 7 output shift registers.)
Superhero Description: With his body being an endless source of energy, Axon defeats his enemies by collecting, directing and releasing that energy through a strong blast that wipes away everything on it’s path.
Team members: Jacquelyn van Kampen, Joost Aanen, Marianne Akker and Koen Beljaars
See more on Axon at:  and

Category for presentation and style: superhero Godmode from Bauhaus University Weimar team
 Superhero Description: The results achieved were the consequence of invention pure and simple.
Team members: Daniel Wessolek, Jamie L. Ferguson and Jörg Brinkmann

To watch a video with all 12 of the Superheros in action visit:

Congratulations to all twelve teams!

If only Dorothy & Toto had this Find Home Detector....

This gives new meaning to follow the light...literally! The Find Home Detector is used to find the designers' way home, using an LED compass as the path to follow.  The device uses a LilyPad, GPS, an actual compass and some LEDs. Using the GPS to get a position and then calculate the direction to the location of the home. The compass is then used to get their heading so it is possible to indicate the direction to travel. See the full post & video at
Love the environmentally friendly design diagram

Thursday, March 3, 2011

LilyPad Arduino Wireless Dance Costume Performance @ Indiana University

This 6 minute dance video of a performance at Indiana University's Buskirk-Chumley Theatre illustrates the power and versatility of the LilyPad components.  Eric Lindsay, the composer of "The Space Between Us" explains: "The costumes are embedded with LilyPad Ardino technology; One of the dancers' (with the round skirt) costume combines LilyPad components and a XBee (wireless transmitter) together with pressure and flex sensors connected by conductive thread, which detects and transmits the movements of the dancer to the composer's laptop, which are then used to generate and control sound within a MAX/MSP environment."

What this means is choreographers and dancers are no longer constrained within the parameters of the music, instead they are the musical creators through their movements. See for the complete posting and to view this amazing performance, choreographed by Utam Moses.