Holding Hands

Holding Hands is a temperamental drawing machine that generates Rorschach-like paintings  for the user to interpret. The painting style is inspired by Jackson Pollock. The user activates the machine by firmly squeezing its gloved hand whereby the turntable starts to spin a piece of paper. Then the user can encourage the machine to tip paint onto the spinning paper by holding its hand again. The machine decides which color container it wants to use, culminating with 10 generous pinches of glitter. The machine provides audio feedback to the user’s hand holding. The user gives the finishing touch to his personal painting by folding the  paper in half.


This two-day project was part of an introductory exploration into physical computing. The machine was controlled by an Arduino microcontroller, a DC-motor with gearbox and four servo motors, which were built onto a custom-built frame. The team learned to integrate complex mechanics involving liquids, sensor, electronics, and software into a coherent physical computing project.