This week, we are assigned to create a project proposal for our final project.

Design Description

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This experimental installation aims to explore how people react to social anxiety disorder (SAD) through mechanical and Arduino interactive design. The idea began with a mechanical fish, whose tail would be controlled by servo motors. The basic interaction is that when people come across and the distance between people and the fish is detected to be less than one meter, the LED light will illuminate, shining on the fish, and the fish’s tail will move rapidly, indicating its attempt to escape from the light. Additionally, an SOS button in the front will flash and glow red.

Here are the proposed interactive processes step by step:

  1. When there are no people in the front (Default Mode):
  • The fish tail will move right and left, responding only to the sounds of the surrounding environment.
  1. When someone passes by and the distance between the person and the fish is detected to be less than one meter (Interactive Mode):
  • The LED light will illuminate, shining on the fish.
  • The fish’s tail will physically move rapidly, indicating its attempt to escape from the light.
  • The SOS button in the front will flash and glow red.

3-1. If no one comes and pushes the SOS button (Interactive Mode):

  • The speed of the fish’s tail will gradually slow down over 30 seconds.
  • The LED light will gradually dim over 30 seconds.
  • After 30 seconds, it will return to its default state, symbolizing the fish escaped successfully.

3-2. If some other people push the SOS button out of curiosity (Interactive Mode):

  • The fish tail will go up and down a couple of times, simulating the fish jumping.
  • The LED light will dim quickly in 3-5 seconds.
  • The whole process will be shorter, symbolizing the fish escaped sooner with people’s help.
  • After returning to its default state, the LED light will not be on for the next 15-30 seconds, regardless of whether there are people in front of it or not.

Further Data Collection on Site

Through this installation design, I aim to understand how people perceive social anxiety disorder for later studies on topics related to emotions, social interaction, and distances. Therefore, I will pose questions such as “Have you ever had a similar experience in real life?” and “What’s the reason behind avoiding a social occasion if you’ve done so before?” I will provide pieces of paper and two boxes (YES and NO box) beside the installation for people to write their thoughts and then place them in the corresponding box.

Moving Line Design

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The initial idea was simple, with two motors and strings set in two directions to control the tail’s movement. For a more detailed design, spaces and string angles were considered, determining the potential positions of the motors.

Accessories Design

Through sketches and calculations, I simulated a situation in models. Through design, simulation, and redesign, accessories were developed to guide string movement on top of the motors.

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Initial Prototype

The initial parts and components currently used for test: Detail image

The current wiring design and prototypes: Detail image

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The video of the motor test:

The sketch of the fish layout design, which will be further developed in the future: Detail image