Assignment 3

Create a small project that does the following:

  • Read at least two sensor values using Arduino. You can use any sensor you want to but they should be some other sensors than the ones we used in the class examples this week. They can also be two channels from the same sensor such as the X and Y of the accelerometer.
  • Print out the values using the Serial port in a way that you can separate the different values.
  • Create a small sketch using Processing or p5.js (or some other programming environment) to read the sensor values from the serial port. You can use the examples on this page as a starting point.
  • Map the sensor values to some parameters in your sketch. You can simply visualize the data in some way or create something more interesting and meaningful that is more connected to the interaction. Do something else than the example we created today.

For this assignment, I was experimenting with multiple sensors (Ultrasonic distance sensor, Accelerometer, Capacitive sensor..) because I wanted to discover how they are work, but finally I chose TLV493D Magnetometer from Adafruit. One of the reasons that I chose this sensor is because it can be very useful for my final project.

My partners in crime in this project, besides Magnetometer, were Arduino Uno, one big green magnet from my fridge and a Moomin cup with warm coffee. My first step was to be sure that Magnetometer can work for itself:

For the beginning I just trying to use just two values (X and Y) instead of three and to see how it will work just with two. Arduino code was working well, so I decided to switch to p5.js and try out to connect with example from the class.

I didn’t been successful in the making object to change size and color, because values were small and they are going in the minus, but for me it was important to make connection between Arduino and p5.js an that it works. I was struggling because I discover some weird errors and it was been complicated to make connection between those two. Anyway, I decided to try to connect one my of the favorite examples from the last year’s ‘Creative Coding’ course (yup, it is really simple):

This example works in the way if mouse is moved, object and object’s ‘delay’ will be moved in the same direction. My idea was to try to connect values in the way sensor is moving that in the same way object is moving. To be precise, I wanted to track those values to the mouse X,Y values, so that I can track the move with the magnet. Unfortunately I didn’t been successful this time. Next step was to make this work that with tracking values with magnet it will be able to draw a sketch. This idea could be further development of this assignment.

One of the challenges was to understand how serial port is working. For me it seemed everything clear and easy on the class, but at home I discover that I don’t really understand how it works properly. So, one of the tasks for myself is to try out more examples with serial port connection besides final project work and try to understand it better because it can help me for the future projects.

Assignment 2

1. Find an interesting existing Alt+Ctrl Interface #

Explore the archive from GDC, Shake That Button and beyond:

Find one interesting project/controller from there and write a short description of the project. Include a link to it and even embed a video to your site if there it is available. Why did you choose this? What caught your attention?

2. Come up with a concept for your own Alt+Ctrl Interface #

  • Explore at least one sensor in more detail.
  • Think of different interactions and/or gestures that could be detected with the sensor you picked.
  • Choose an existing video game that could be controlled using the interaction/interface enabled by this sensor. You can also come up with a completely new game/game mechanic.
  • You don’t need to make it work yet. Just come up with the idea/concept for your alternative controller.
  • Write about your idea on your site.
  • You can draw sketches or other ways to illustrate your idea.
  • You can also make a prototype if you can, but I am not requiring it.


The project that left a special impression on me is the project Call the Forest. Call the Forest (Haloo, kuuleeko metsä?) is an interactive installation made for a children’s touring exhibition. The installation invites exhibition visitors to call a constructed forest scenery, offering also a possibility to contemplate our relationship with nature and technology.


This project is very complex. It is inspired by the old telephones that were used in the army for communication, but it is actually full of gadgets that tell their own story. However, it seems to me that this project raises the question of how we communicate today, is the natural environment able to communicate without humans and what is for us our natural environment (telephones)? This project consists of a lot of motors, sensors, old Nokia phones, everything that we can mostly found in our home and it was part of our lives. The work is not only visual, it is interactive because we have to discover the code by which it works (calling a proper number) and it is also a sound installation at the same time.


I chose a game called Itsy Bitsy Spider which I created with my colleagues for the Game Jam course held at Aalto University. The theme was “twist“. Inspired by Google Chrome Dinosaur Game, we added a thematic and mechanical twist. The Spider is the protagonist running in the air duct looking for delicious cookies while avoiding scary obstacles like lemon, fire, and slimes. The spider jumps from floor to ceiling to avoid hazards and find cookies.


Spider’s movement in the video game will be controlled by spider toy in which the accelerometer is located. The player will have the freedom to move the spider by holding the spider toy. A movement to the left or right could mean the start of the game or make a pause, while a movement up or down would mean the movement of the spider.










The challenges can be in adjusting the accelerometer as players will need to turn the spider in various directions. Several test phases and clear instructions are required. The installation is designed so that in front of the player there will be a stuffed spider, while behind the spider there will be a screen with a game.