Graffiti in a can/ media controller

Inspired by “Picasso’s Drawing with Light” we wanted to make something similar but instead of taking pictures, we would be using live video.

While Picasso used a slow shutter speed and a quick hand with a flashlight to create the images. We used arduino and processing to create our own “graffiti can”.

Initially we wanted to only use an accelerometer to track the movement on the screen but that proved to be very challenging since there was a a lot of computational math involved in converting the acceleration of the sensor to actual X and Y points on the screen.

After consulting ITP Resident Greg Borenstein he suggested that we should just track a light pointed at the camera in processing to create the images instead of the accelerometer. This was a last minute code change which changed our approach completely. But using examples in processing, it shortened the time to buld the code.

graffiti can
Here we are building the code and can at the same time.

graffiti can

Adria testing the serial connection.

graffiti can

Serial input coming in.

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Wiring for the red can.

graffiti can

We opted for a smaller breadboard to make things lighter and compact inside.

graffiti can

This might have worked better in another manner, but I mounted the arduino uno and the breadboard back to back on a strip of corrugated cardboard to make things easier to dismantle and attack by just screwing them.

graffiti can

One slight problem, the 9V power connector was sticking out.

graffiti can

But eventually everything fit but cramming it all in.

graffiti can

We used alligator clips to be able to quickly attach and detach the board from the super bright LED if we had to make any changes.

Getting the bluetooth to work was very tricky, because in order for the bluetooth to work, the BT chip must be disconnected while uploading the code for the arduino and attaching it afterwards. The BT will not pair with the computer unless the sketch was running. It took a bit of wrangling but it eventually worked.

We became ambitious and worked on a second can.

graffiti can

We also started using an external USB camera to make the video resolution a bit better. But, like the BT it was a challenge to get these two to work as well.

graffiti can

Adria here with last minute changes to can.

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Crunch time! Need to fit everything inside working!

graffiti can

Red vs Blue

Thank you Veronika and Lisa for the documentation photos and videos!

Graffiti Can Members

Adria Navarro-Lopez
Veronika Dubrovskaya
Melissa dela Merced
Joseph McCagherty

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