Exploring Arduino

05.04.16 – 11:44

Our first task given, after the introduction to the Arduino, was to give the LED light a personality in its dynamic form and also design an interaction with the LED light that invites the ‘user’ to act according to a human value.

We searched for some open source codes to find inspiration for this task and found a code which experimented with three potentiometers (http://www.silvinopresa.com/how-to/arduino/rgb-led-common-annode-controlled-by-potentiometers-and-arduino/). Our start up kit did only feature one potentiometer, so we went out to borrow two more in order to make this experiment. The idea of having three potentiometers instead of one was interesting in both giving the light a personality and also invite the user to act with the light.

The most appropriate personality trait, we found among Eysencks primary personality traits, to define the light was fickle (Eysenck 1992/http://ideonomy.mit.edu/essays/traits.html). Fickle is classified as being a negative personality trait, but in our experiment we though of it as being positive when it came to the many possibilities it allowed the light to have during the interaction. The human value as the user got when interacting with the light by adjusting the potentiometers did we define as being openness to change (Schwartz 1994) and in relation to this having a sense of self-direction, since the user was given an independency in thought and action by choosing, creating and exploring the possibilities within the colours of the light by turning the potentiometers up and down collectively or individually. Each action would affect the colours in the light, why we also discussed conciliatory as a personality traits since that can also be the feeling the user gets during the interaction, that s/he have to merge the colours in different ways so each one is equally represented.

The code

Before deciding to make the three potentiometers experiment, we tried to combine the proximity sensor with the RGB led and the potentiometer in order to make some kind of combined interaction with analog inputs, where the idea was to change the light colours and speed of blinking simultaneously. Unfortunately this failed and a suggestion to why was that the electronic circulation was not complete.

We began the potentiometer experiment, but it kept failing since we could not see all the three colours. We realised that we had to change the resistors to 220ohm, which suddenly made all the colours visible.



Code example:

Skærmbillede 2016-03-21 kl. 12.40.16.png

Skærmbillede 2016-04-05 kl. 12.01.22.png

This code example reads the voltage on each analog pin then scale down to 0-255 and inverting the value for common anode.

When the setup and code finally worked it was a big succes and I remembered my mantra for this course.

Video of the experiment

Skærmbillede 2016-04-05 kl. 11.42.54

It would be exiting to elaborate on the part of the code that controls the scale on the potentiometer for the final project to investigate further how to give the light more personality.

Another thing which would be relevant for future work would be to make the Arduino into an artefact with an appealing shape and design the behaviours with inspiration from Ross and Wensveen text from 2010, where they talk about behaviour design in interaction by using aesthetic experience as a mechanism for design. None of this was really possible in our first experiment with Arduino, but no doubt that the personality traits and the human value would be amplified if the form and experience of the artefact was more aesthetic both in appearance and in use.


Eysenck, H. J. (1992). Four ways five factors are not basic. Personality and individual differences, 13(6), 667-673.

Ross, P. R., & Wensveen, S. A. (2010). Designing behavior in interaction: Using aesthetic experience as a mechanism for design. International Journal of Design, 4(2).

Schwartz, S. H. (1994). Are there universal aspects in the structure and contents of human values?. Journal of social issues, 50(4), 19-45.


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