2014 UC Davis Picnic Day

Laser Harp Project

Our Laser Harp project is designed to be an eye catching and exciting version of a normal wood harp. Similar in size and construction to that of a Celtic harp, approximately two and a half feet wide by four feet tall, and structured with a wooden frame in the normal shape of a harp, the Laser Harp breaks from the norm in that it has no strings. The Laser Harp is played by placing a hand in the beam of a laser rather than plucking a string. There are three different modes of play: Free Play, Teach Mode, and Listen Mode. Free Play allows the user to play whatever they choose, up to two notes at a time. In Teach Mode, lights will guide the user through a selected song. In Listen Mode, a song will play in coordination with lights simulating the notes being played. Together these modes help the user learn both the notes and rhythm of a song before playing it without guidance. The harp is a fun way to interact with music, making it a must see at Picnic Day.

LED Color Table Project

Similar to the Laser Harp, our LED Color Table project aims to be a visually exciting and fun interactive project for the kids. Essentially like a light table, the proximity sensitive surface is covered in multicolored LEDs that change color depending on how close or far away people move relative to the table surface. Close or far, people can make the table turn different colors at different points making it a virtual coloring palette. It is simple to use, fun to play with, and allows people to have an exciting interface with complex electronics to make vibrant colors.

Spotlight Project

Our Spotlight project is just that: it will put you in the spotlight by automatically sensing your location and presence within an 8ft area. It will follow whoever is in the camera's frame area, keeping them in the spotlight until they leave. Come dance and run under and in front of the camera to be in the spotlight! It is a fun interaction demonstrating both the mix of electrical controlling capabilities, as well as mechanical engineering principles to create motion with the light itself.

Communicating Modules Project

The Communicating Modules project allows a visitor to interact with the modules by moving them around on the floor or a table. As they are moved, the modules detect their proximity to one another and will change colors depending upon their arrangement. The modules communicate with each other by sending invisible patterns of infrared light back and forth. A microprocessor on board each module computes the information received from all the other modules to create interesting colors and patterns with an LED.