Haptic Robot

In school, we had a course on semiotics, the study of signs. I need to write this down because it has not clicked in my mind yet. 😉 The difference between teaching and learning I guess.

Sign
A sign is something that can stand for and/or communicate something about something else. A sign is made up of two things. The signifier is the physical form of something, the objective form that exists in the outer world. The signified is the subjective form and exists in our inner world. It is the meaning and concept of the signifier. 🙂

Index
It is what it means. It is the thing itself and what it communicates. It is a clue of something that is not present. A partition line on your Airpod case that indicates where to open it, or to point your finger at something you mean to draw attention to that very thing and nothing else.

Icon
An icon resembles what it means. When you make a gesture with your hand into a gun, your hand resembles the shape of a gun and so it is an icon for a gun.

Symbol
A symbol is not what it means. It has a meaning that is a reference to something else. This meaning has to be taught. For example, we know a cross stands for religion but it is not something that is evident in the actual symbol.

Pragmatism
How the sign is influenced by its context. We read the same object differently depending on what environment it is in currently. For example, wearing a bathing suit on a beach and in the middle of the city reads very differently. 😉

Semantics
What and how the sign communicates. It can describe and illustrate a function, encourage us to take a specific action, express a certain type of style or user, and identify a specific type of use or persona.

Syntax
How the sign is interpreted in a group of similar items. In a group of shoes, how does one shoe differentiate itself?

The school assignment was to make a haptic robot, the haptics being the vibration, movement, and sound it made. Plus to apply the knowledge of semantics to direct how one would read the robot. Just like sketching, investigating by doing, focusing on the process of making rather than what the result looks like in the end. We were told to pay attention to what different emotions we got from being with our robot and how that changed when we altered its expression.

Here is my work space in our guest house.
Here are the parts I picked up at school plus my own hot glue gun. When I have the right tools and materials already at home I feel so prepared and organized and that there are no high thresholds for me to get on with my school work and prototyping.
Here is my first iteration of the robot. I added a weight and sponges to its feet. It made it move in circles, slowly and quietly.
Then I wanted to shelter it to enhance the quality of it feeling fragile and like something you need and want to watch over. But this fabric umbrella I made felt too much Robin Hood. So I removed it.
Instead, I made a protective tent that it would bring with itself wherever it went. Bubble wrap is for protecting your loved items when you need to move them in hope the transition will not hurt them.

Bookcase From Start To Finish

For the bottom cabinets we used Ikea modules. There are a number of different companies that make custom-made cabinet doors for Ikea modules. We have done so throughout the entire house on both Ikea modules and on wardrobes that we have made ourselves. This enables us to have the same cabinet door throughout the house, getting a cohesive look, and choose whichever paint color we want and so make each room special.

One of many initial sketches.
3D-modeling.
Me very happy about the bookcase.

There are a few details, that you cannot see in the picture, that I want to fix. Just some tiny touch-ups that will make the bookcase complete and crisp. 🙂

I am so happy we had a good carpenter for this job. He came up with solutions I could not think of since I am a beginner. He did such a good job with the weird angles of the ceiling and he managed to make the shelves with no apparent boards for support. It turned out better than I had hoped for.

Banana Pancakes with Texture

Ingredients

  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 dl rolled oats
  • A pinch of salt
  • Coconut oil to fry in
  • Maple syrup for topping

Directions

In a mixer, add in the banana, eggs, half of the rolled oats, and salt. Blend until smooth. Then add in the other half of the rolled oats and mix with a spoon. Fry the pancakes at medium temperature.

Eggs, rolled oats, banana and salt.
After the ingredients are blended, add in the other half of the rolled oats and stir together.
Coconut oil for frying.
The other half of the banana as topping together with beautiful maple syrup.
The textured inside. 🙂

Brake Not to Break

School’s brief was to design a workspace within the home space. Since a year back I have been doing my school work from home, which has been difficult and limiting but I have done as good as I can. Since my school and Sweden, in general, do not handle Covid as everyone else stress is transferred to those who are careful rather than the responsibility is taken higher up so to speak.

The rhythm of my days has changed. I have given in to the fact that I am a late evening person and other circumstances have made my need for sleep increase. I have realized that I view rest as not being part of the process, that the process only moves forward when you are active, which is wrong of course. You need to balance input and output, impression and expression. One is the fruit of the other.

For this course, we started out discussing the body and our needs regarding changing position throughout the day. I sort of drifted off on my own… I wondered if I could make something that would help me alter between work and rest, something other than myself that would make me realize that it is time to take a break.

Tetris cushions and a timer tent. Then I drew sort of an hourglass but using water.
First sketches of a lamp with an old school timer.

Then this idea of a work light that switches off itself came to me. In my countryside place, we have those old clocks and I have always appreciated them. I found out they are built with a pendulum escapement mechanism, the same as used to make the first-ever mechanical clocks in the 13th century. I wanted to try to make one and combine it with a regular lamp.

Cardboard sketch.

My idea is that when the clock’s weight reaches the bottom platform, where the lamp’s switch is installed, it switches off the light with its own weight. 🙂

Prototyping

First, I had to make all the parts needed for the escapement mechanism and pendulum. Then I had to make the structure where to mount both the escapement and the lamp.

Cardboard prototype of the wheel.
Making the wheel in MDF.
Preparing to make a hole in the center of the wheel to be able to attach it to the structure.
Making the escapement and pendulum.
Structure done and lamp wire installed. It took a while even though I asked for help.

Full scale prototype in MDF

MDF prototype. To the left, the weight is up and the light is on, to the right, the weight has traveled to the bottom and switched off the light.

Telling the Story

How We Usually Work.
How We Could Work.

3D Modelling in Rhino6 rendered in Keyshot9

Then I translated my MDF prototype to Rhino.

Rhino rendered in Keyshot. I made a peeled back version on my MDF prototype.

Today the clock is ticking unevenly. I have ordered a few new parts off of Amazon and hopefully, I will manage to get it to tick then.

Sunflower Seed Butter

Ingredients

  • 4 dl natural sunflower seeds
  • A pinch of salt

Directions

Put the oven at 160°C. Add the seeds to an oven-safe tray. It should be a thin layer of seeds. Toast the seeds. Open the oven to stir occasionally. The seeds are done when they have slightly browned. It goes pretty fast since the seeds are small. When done, set aside to cool.

Add the seeds and salt to a food processor and blend until the seeds have turned into seed butter.

Store in a clean glass jar in the fridge. 🙂