Spring 2016
     Design 387: Physical Interaction Design
     Professor: Dominic Muren
     Duration: 10 weeks
     Group members: Peter Dolezilek

The Task:
Create a product with a sensor and an actuator, using an ArduinoUno.

The Product:

MÜD. A modern mood ring. Just like a mood ring reads the temperature of your finger, MÜD reads the temperature of your fingers and outputs a color that corresponds to your current mood.

The Process:

Peter and I spent the first few weeks of our project getting to know the technology - the ArduinoUno - something neither of us had experience with. We conducted several explorations with the device, using different actuators and sensors to make sense of how to wire and program. Blog posts of our explorations can be found here: Pete and Kylen Making it Happen With Arduino & Peter Kylen Arduino Logic Experiment

Peter and I initially wanted our device to sense when a person left the room with the lights on. During critique we realized this idea already existed – it's called a motion light – which made our idea lame. We pivoted and took inspiration from mood rings, and delved deeper into the "technology" behind it. Several websites explained that the temperature of your extremities correlates to your mood. Lower temperatures indicated high levels of stress, while higher temperatures indicated romantic feelings. Once we decided to stick with the idea, Peter mocked up quick sketch of what our device would look like:

While Peter assumed the primary role of designing the physical device, I focused primarily on the technology and programming. Upon investigation, I discovered this device would require thermistors to read the temperature of the users' fingers, a photocell to determine whether the device was in use, and additional LED lights to display the color of our participants' mood. Peter's an my first stab at reading temperatures and outputting mood can be found here

When we decided to move forward and build the mood lamp we considered several options, but ended up using the laser cutter. Peter and I used the laser cutter to cut the base, perimeter, and acrylic top of our device. We stacked several layers of the device atop each other and used wood glue to fasten them together. We then sanded down the sides until smooth, and placed the Arduino Uno, along with all the sensors, wires, and LEDs inside the wood casing, and placed the sheet of acrylic on top.

A more detailed look at our prototyping process can be found here.

The Solution: