Printer Knows

During the foundation to physical computing week the team learned what is needed to understand how to connect and create sensing elements to a computing unit and how to translate the result of the computation in a tangible form.

After some exploration with the different sensors and their functionalities the team understood that, in a way, sensors give machines human like attributes by allowing them to absorb outside information without the intervention or input of a human being.

Under this premise, they created Printer Knows which was designed to gather information of the ongoing foot traffic in front of it. They decided to take the anthropomorphism a step further by allowing their machine to translate the information gathered in a similar way a human would do it, by writing it down on paper.

The end result provided by the machine was a very logical visual interpretation of the data collected.

The team accomplished this by connecting an infrared sensor to an Arduino UNO board for data collection and, on the other end, attaching a pen to a servo motor which in turn was attached a to stepper motor, repurposed together with a set of gears from a common desktop printer, which allowed for the pen to move left and right and up and down.