Looking Outward-Phys Comp Projects (Patrick Groh)

Homemade Virtual Reality Interface

https://blog.arduino.cc/2017/01/12/these-students-created-their-own-overwatch-vr-rig/#more-16032

This project is a new interface for playing Overwatch made of Arduino controllers and other sensors. It uses virtual reality to interface with the player so that they can play the game using a toy gun and actual movement for a more in depth experience. I find this project fascinating because of my fascination with virtual reality, and by the amazing way that they made such a great experience using just the tools they had and, compared to other market solutions similar to it, a very modest budget. It is very hard to look too deeply into this project because I cannot read Korean, but from what I can tell the actual movement interface could use some tightening up. The user looked like he was having to lean very far forward to run, and that seems dangerous because all it would take is for their shoes to give out on grip and the user will fall forward onto the device, damaging it and themselves. This design seems very heavily inspired to be a controller like the Virtuix Omni, while instead of running around the field constantly, wearing out the user, they can simply lean to move.

Kinetic light sculpture

http://www.espadaysantacruz.com/projects/light-kinetics

This is a sculpture where the different lightbulbs fixed on a board light up as if they were in the place of a physical ball rolling down the board. I find it really interesting in it’s simple look but also having some good physics baked in, especially when the ball bounces at the bottom of the ramp if it was going quickly. I feel like it could have been balanced better, at the end of his video it was unable to maintain being still, as well as a better way of making the light move, instead of a lightbulb fully shutting off and then turning another one on, I feel like the second one turning on before the first shuts off would convey motion much better. The artist said he got his inspiration from the way that we all perceive light as an ethereal thing, that has no mass or feel to it. He wanted to add mass to it, to change our perception.

String Fountain

http://www.todayandtomorrow.net/2015/01/26/string-fountain/

This is another sculpture, this time it is string that is moving around enough to make it look fluid. This time it uses motors to make the  loop of string look stationary by moving it quickly enough that the inertia of the string forms rigid looking shapes. The ingenuity of this makes me really fascinated, because being able to make string a moving sculpture, and make it not even seem like string at all is simply inspiring. In some of the pictures that were shown it was very hard to tell which “fountain” was which, making it look more like a well flowing jumble of loops. If there was possibly more lighting, a built-in black light to bring out flourescence, or even just color coding the strings so that they’re each solid and maybe a color of the rainbow, so a red, orange, blue all the way to purple to make a circle like shown in the GIF that was on the website. This was inspired by “The challenge, how does one present 50’s synchronized swimming, or water works like the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas, without water.” and it does this very well. All of the fountains are synchronized perfectly and work together to complement each other perfectly.

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