Sharing is caring!

Flirt is a project that involves both the representation of the male birds as well as the female birds involved in a courtship ritual. These representations become key interactive elements for the project where participants are given an opportunity to be part of their courtship process. Through the fusion of art, fashion and technology coupling with the intensive research and studies acquired, the project attempts to create a performative space for participants to “play”.

The video of how it works can be seen here:

Flirt from Zhiquan on Vimeo.

The team members include me, the programmer, Clarence Ng, the director and Audrey Tan, the designer.

In this project, I used 30 servo motors to control the movement on the fabric. The sculpture have 3 layers and each layer contains 10 motors. These servo motors are controlled by Arduino Mega and are coordinated by MaxMSP via serial communication. MaxMSP captures the image of the tracked user with the garment through the Kinect. The image is then cropped and down sampled to 10 by 3 pixels, mapping each unit of pixel to each unit of motor.

Frame differencing technique is used in this case. When the user move, the pixels that is affected by the movement will be changed. When there is no change in the pixel, the brightness value of the pixel is 0, otherwise the brightness value of the pixel is 255. MaxMSP will be constantly sending a set of 30 values to Arduino, these 30 values are the brightness values of the 30 pixels that are mapped to the motors. Everytime there is a change in a pixel, the motor that is mapped to that pixel will move. The more the change is detected, the faster the motor will move. The motor will then gradually decrease in speed until it detects changes again.

When there is no movement detected in the Kinect for about 15 seconds, the next movement detected will activate all the motors to move, symbolising a start in the interaction.

This project not only involved software skills but hardware skills as well.