Strands

How can we feel information?

Strands is an experiment in haptic feedback modalities and sound art. The goal was to explore timbre through a physical interactive modality

Team
Mitchell Karchemsky
Tarek Atoui
Greg Niemeyer

My Role
Initial Prototyping
Hardware Design
Embedded System Design

Methods
Prototyping
3D Modelling
EagleCAD
Embedded System Development
MaxMSP

Strands

Strands was an extension of the Within 2 art project I collaborated with artist Tarek Atoui. In the exploration of generating different timbres and creating instruments which give physical feedback, I designed the Strand board. Emulating stalks of wheat in a field, you can stroke your hand through the acrylic rods, creating frequencies of different pitch(x direction), volume(y direction), and timbre(magnitude of oscillation created by spring back in the individual stalks).

This instrument brought to life a concept which is hard to understand as timbre, often described as the color of a sound, is not something which a tangible qualia can be ascribed to.

For this a custom PCB was built that would: interface with 16 potentiometers to 6 Analog to Digital Converters, collate this data over SPI, transfer the information to an arduino microcontroller, which would then communicate over serial to MaxMSP to generate sounds.

Case Studies

Selected Works

Bifröst

Better Embedded Systems Debugging

Berkeley Institute of Design. How do we better instrument embedded systems for combined software and hardware debugging?

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Dalmatian

How can we make firefighters safer?

Technology startup focused on creating a safer more effective workforce for firefighters through the use of on-person telemetry units.

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Heimdall

Remote debugging of embedded systems

Berkeley Institute of Design. How do we enable remote intuitive debugging for teachers to help beginners design embedded systems projects?

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Wifröst

Wi-Fi Embedded Systems Debugging

Berkeley Institute of Design. How do we use instrumented hardware to better debug network enabled IOT embedded systems?

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Within2

How do we create music we can feel?

Collaboration with Meyer Sound, The Berkeley Center for New Media, and Artist Tarek Atoui. How do we create music for the hearing impaired?

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MakerPass

Hardware and Industrial Design

The MakerPass Authentication system allows for Maker-spaces to grant access to privilaged members in a low-cost, easy to implement solution.

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Doom Sense

How can we feel information?

An experiment in haptic feedback modalities and sensory extension. We improved the performance of a player by delivering curated contextual information

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Drill Sergeant

Hardware and Industrial Design

Berkeley Institute of Design. Drill Sergeant enables new makers to build confidence through self-guided interactive physical feedback driven tutorials.

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Strands

How can we feel information?

An experiment in haptic feedback and sound generation; allowing performers to explore timbre, pitch, and volume through physical interaction

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Teaching Experience

Courses and Mentorship

Critical Practices

Teaching Assistant

A hands-on, studio design course where students work at the intersection of technological innovation and socially engaged art.

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Design Innovation 22

Teaching Assistant

This introductory design course teaches concepts, skills, and methods required to design, prototype, and fabricate physical objects.

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Invention Lab

Technical Design Mentor

The Invention Lab is a UC Berkeley makerspace focused on helping students, researchers, and faculty to make embedded systems inventions.

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