HappyPet_Crab 001

Happy Pet

Happy Pet is an interactive box and web app that serves as a communication system between a caged pet and a busy human.

The system tracks chores like feeding, cleaning, giving water, and playing, then personifies the crab’s emotions as the quality of care changes. The human presses a button when they perform a care taking task, and can check their pet’s happiness level on a mobile website. 
Unlike calorie and chore tracking apps, happy pet can only be updated when the user is near the pets cage. (No cheating, no forgetting) The user receives positive reinforcement by seeing their pet smile. The caged pet gains the opportunity to reach out and ask for the things that he needs.

Happy Pet helps owners of caged animals visualize the pet's happiness by monitoring their care-taking actions.

RLHCEHC – for Web

The Real Life Hermit Crab Emotional Happiness Communicator box next to Albert and Nigel’s Cage:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Here’s the processing sketch for Web. To make it web friendly, instead of pressing the buttons on the box, press 1 for FOOD, 2 for WATER, 3 for PLAY, and 4 for CLEAN. Click on the image below to try it out!

RLHCEHC7

The Real Life Hermit Crab Emotional Happiness Communicator (RLHCEHC)

 Albert

 Nigel

These are my hermit crabs. Albert and Nigel. (Albert is a bit shy.) I love my crabs, and I’d like to be a better crab mom. So, I plan to make a Real Life Hermit Crab Emotional Happiness Communicator, or (RLHCEHC).

The Idea:

The RLHCEHC is a communication system between a helpless caged animal and a busy human. The system tracks the humans care taking behaviors and personifies the crab’s emotional state as the quality of care changes.

Unlike calorie and chore tracking apps, the RLHCEHC can be updated with the simple press of a button, and only when near the pets cage. The user gains a sense of accomplishment by pressing the buttons and positive reinforcement by seeing their pet smile. The caged pet gains the opportunity to reach out and ask for the things that he needs.

Here’s how it will work:

1. Place a small controller box next to Albert & Nigel’s cage. Press a button after completing each of these actions:

- GIVE FOOD

- GIVE WATER

- CLEAN THE CAGE

- LET OUT TO PLAY

2. Record the time elapsed since the last button press in Processing.
Draw a crab in a processing window:

3. If too much has elapsed between button presses the crab will begin to get worried:

4. If WAY too much time has elapsed, he will get sad and sick:

And, he will reach out to you by sending you a text message with his sad face, asking for what he needs:

- Feed Me!

- I’m Thirsty!

- My Cage is Dirty!

- I Wanna Play!

Here are the steps that could be completed:

1. Make the button interface and crab expressions in a Processing sketch

2. Build the buttons box and connect with processing

3. Figure out a way to connect Processing to SMS messaging so that the crab can ask for help. (maybe Twilio?)

4. Only if time allows, I would like to explore making the crab into an Android app so that I can check his emotional happiness on the go!

TechnoChic.Etsy.com Data

There was no internet (Thanks Sandy!!) so I decided to take data from my Etsy shop that I already had on my computer. I took my sales data from October 2011 thru September 2012 and made it into this graph! I keep practicing the sin / cos features because I don’t quite understand them, but I seem to be able to make it work for me nonetheless. Click on the image to check it out:

“Processing by Candlelight”

Reddit Arrays

This week I made the Bats into Arrays so that I could make as many as I want! And, because we learned about Strings, I played with using text. When you look at it in the web browser the font will be wrong, but here is a pic of the good one:

Check it out here.

I also wanted to play with making Reddit himself into an Array:

Check it out here. My goal was to make him spin around like a spoke on a bicycle wheel, but this is what I got, and it’s pretty cool too.

The Bats are Alive!!!

Click to Launch

The bats are finally moving thanks to “classes” woo hoo!

However, I am still having trouble with the keyPresses. If you press “1″, “2″, “3″ or “4″  the Reddit should snap to the Seasons. (This only works in Firefox – so check it out there!)

Dan gave me a suggestion for the variable of the Reddit’s position and I can’t wait to get it working next week!

Reddit – Broken Bats!

Click to Launch…

Check out The Code.

This caused me some problems this week. Our assignment was to rework our code into functions and objects. I was proud to create many functions and use them, but objects were too confusing when trying to make the bats fly.  I think I understand when objects are needed, but implementing them is another story. Also, I broke the keyPress functionality to jump to the seasons. I think this may be a global variable issue. I’ll try again next week, in the meantime, suggestions are welcome!

Click to Launch…

So, after making myself crazy with the bats, I took my new “RedditGuy” function and made him multiply!

Hackers & Painters

The Reading: Hackers & Painters

This essay makes the argument that hackers are more similar to painters than scientists. Well, that’s great news! As I try to learn this thing called coding, it’s good to know it’s ok to be creative. In fact, I think it’s kind of funny how he thinks that hackers need to claim their right to “sketch” like painters do. From an art background  it’s pretty obvious that making or creating anything requires a creative process.

It got me thinking… I sometimes wish that I could stomach the kind of work that scientists do. “Work that is perfect, then work that is original.” What an amazing amount of certainty and purpose! I never thought “debugging” would be something “relaxing” but, — he’s right — doing something with a definite goal could be the break I need from the creative unknown.

Another helpful tidbit was the suggestion for collaboration. It’s better to split a project into definite pieces and have each member own their piece. That way, everyone is accountable and doesn’t step on anyone’s toes. And also, that software (or any interaction for that matter) should explain itself. The user should never want to read the manual.

Onwards and Upwards.