CanHap Lab 1: No-tech puppeteering

Task: Make 3 hardware sketches that move 1, 10 and 100 mm. Use indirect human actuation inspired by junk laying around the house.

Honourable mention goes to Preeti Vyas for sitting on a call with me while we constructed our sketches together. We created a feel of a “real” lab experience that was much needed for the sharing of ideas and creative flow.


Materials used:


This sketch would probably end up in the “minutes” or “hours” level of sketching as defined by Moussette’s “levels of sketching” taxonomy. It did take a bit of time to think about how I wanted movement to happen, and referred to some YouTube videos for inspiration with gravity. In the end it was still a low fidelity sketch and took minimal physical construction effort (most of the materials are leaning or balanced in some way), but more time in the ideation and testing phases. Additionally, this is the smallest metric of movement in this lab, so I thought it would be fun to try and have a large action perform a small movement :).

If I were to take this design a little bit further, I would work on the accuracy of the ball release and hitting of the tape measure. While mostly reliable in accomplishing the intended movement, this prototype was very unstable due to the lack of stable construction. This was an effective sketch, but in a next iteration I would secure the wood planks, string around the chopstick, and get a non bouncy ball for a bit more consistency.


Materials used


This is the not-so-beautiful picture drawn by the pens movement. As seen here, there are portions of the circle drawn where the pen touched the paper, when the pens lift off the paper there are no more markings.

This sketch would also be in the “minutes” or “hours” level of sketching. The main pain point I reached with this design was how to ensure the pens stayed in place. If I were to implement this design again, I would secure the pens better so they would be able to draw more effectively. Sometimes the friction of the felt tip pens would stop the rotation of the drink holder, so I also had to ensure the pens were exactly touching the paper before setting up the movement system. One way to remedy this is to use slicker pens or even paint to do this type of movement. There also might be less resistance this way when the pens touch the paper, making the twisting action last a bit longer. And hopefully make a prettier picture.


Materials used


This sketch would be within the “minutes” level of sketching. It was fairly easy to collect and construct the pieces for this prototype, but the quick construction time came with a price: instability. If I were to take this prototype a step further, I would secure the straw/channel to a surface so I do not have to hold it above the ground. I would also ensure the channel is wide enough for the banjo pick so it would not swirl around the straw.