It was four weeks since the last workshop. Despite of the time span I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on the project but I was content with the research I’d done and was keen to show my findings to Anna Maria Cornelia. I also hoped to get at least one gas sensor working.
As I had to wait before I could talk to her I started with Paul to work on the sensors. But first I had to reduce the voltage level for the NO2 and CO sensors to work. It took me an hour and a half to put it together (with help from Paul and Meg), hmm, electronics isn’t really my thing I fear. I find it very hard to translate a scheme (even a simple one) into a circuit. But it’s very nice to have help close at hand, maybe I’ll learn some day…
Then it was time for me to talk to Anna Maria. I showed her the experiments and she was very exited about them and said they offered me a good springboard to continue. She said the parameters: colour, length, applied pressure and pressure duration are very usable for visualization.
The research will follow tree lines. Working with a roll of paper and ink plotted in lines and stains. A humidity meter which they have in museums is a good starting point. I also want to look into punching creating a relief, much like Braille. I could work on paper but also materials like latex rubber that can have a changing relief. This way you can feel the pollution, which is also nice at night. A matrix printer springs to mind to achieve this effect. The nice thing of working with paper is that you have a tangible result at the end of the day. Like an air quality receipt. Still I also want to send life data to internet and I’ll have to think about relation between these two.
Anna Maria suggested that I might use a screen to visualize digitally created flocks and maybe incorporate a watch so you only have to wear on thing around your wrist. She also suggested that it might be nice to somehow keep the functionality I’d used in the experiments working with smell to determine air quality. I could send a marker when I notice something about the air quality so I can later see them side by side to see if my intuitions were right.
She wants me to make five (!) different prototypes by September that translate the manual experiments into something mechanical and digital.
Back with Paul I managed to get the CO sensor working. That is, it outputs a voltage which varies when I breath or blow on it. The NO2 works exactly the same so it shouldn’t be to difficult to build. Now I have to find out what a certain voltage level means. But I will have to make a start in sending the data to a server. The next two months will be very busy…