The game of driving a straight line

Following up to testing all the sensors, our team custom made a steering wheel that controlled a game developed by Ayanna. The player drives a car and tries to stay on the road. That’s it! The constraints of the project was that we had to spend less than four dollars on materials and that we had to use only the sensors provided by Kaho. We created the wheel out of two plastic plates with two tilt sensors, a sonar sensor, and the Flora. Two holes were cut out from the plate to ensure the player would hold it the right way, so that we can get the best readings from the tilt sensors.

I like to think of our game as the Flappy Bird of hardware games. It’s deceptively simple, but nearly impossible to win. Because the tilt sensors work more like switches. Even though we were able to get increasing and decreasing values from them, they essentially produce binary results – on or off. That makes driving a straight line extremely difficult with our wheel. Once the player makes his/her first turn, it’s impossible to go back to just driving in a straight line, because the wheel is always creating a left or right turn on the screen. One of our testers even flipped the car over while trying to steer it back to the middle of the road! What I learned from this project is that simple, impossible games are pretty addictive. Even after flipping his car over, the player still wanted to try again. The stupidly simple goal of the game makes it frustrating to players that they can’t beat it, so they keep playing. (insert evil laugh)

IMG 3987 from Jiashan Wu on Vimeo.

IMG 3988 from Jiashan Wu on Vimeo.

Tilt sensors between the plates.

Tilt sensors between the plates.


We also tried using the Arduino, because we were having issues reading the sonar values with the Flora.


We went back to the Flora because the Uno didn’t support keypress events.


Completed steering wheel!

Digital fabrication and sensors!

I used the embroidery machine and 3D printer for the first time for Costume as Game Controller class. For someone who doesn’t always enjoy crafting individual items by hand, digital fabrication is awesome. The ability to make things accurately without having to be extremely detail oriented in the fabrication process and the ability to make multiples without error is pretty powerful. The downside to all this is that the printed item loses the look and feel of human touch, unless it would be painted, assembled, or modified later. Another downside is the limitations of the technology that’s available to us right now.

We also went over a range of different sensors today. It was great to build a repertoire of sensors for future projects. Scroll down for information about them. I’ll post gifs or videos of us testing them in the next few days.

Embroidery machine

Kaho demo 1 from Jiashan Wu on Vimeo.

Kaho demo2 from Jiashan Wu on Vimeo.

Kaho demo 3 from Jiashan Wu on Vimeo.


A survey of  sensors.

A survey of sensors.

LV Max Sonar EZ1

  • Detects distance


  • Senses and produces vibration and sound

Tilt Sensors/Switches



  • Senses light changes

Peltier Junction!

  • senses and produces temperature change

PIR motion sensor

  • detect motion from pets/humans from about 20 feet away with infraRed sensor
Testing the tilt switches. It's a driving wheel!

Testing the tilt switches. It’s a driving wheel!

Testing the sonar sensor.

Testing the sonar sensor

Emojicon Runner: Wearable Game Controller

Inspired by Blade Runner my teammates, Alina Balean and Ayanna Seals, and I created a wearable game controller for the emojicon game I developed in ICM. Based on your running gestures the Emoji athlete “Dick Richard” moves like you move, and is trying to catch good emoji’s (star magic ☆゚and heart) and fighting bad emoji’s (disappointment Ծ_Ծ and cat =^● ⋏ ●^=).

We developed our own flex sensor and based on the gesture of running (closing and opening your elbows) the game detects if you are running, jumping, or standing.


Emojicon Runner (soft)wear

Emojicon Runner (soft)wear

Connection to the Flora

Connection to the Flora