Making Computers Crash

The original idea for this project was to create an Arduino-Processing-based interacting where a processing sketch is launched when the Arduino ultrasonic sensor reads certain distances.

The launched processing sketch would contain openCVface and scrolling text that would read “I see you. Now, I find you,” in order to effect a creepy jerry-rigged surveillance system.

The following is an explanation of the steps taken in carrying out this project.
Step one: Create OpenCV Processing sketch/Sensor setup
Problems: OpenCVface is really slow. It slowed down the speed of my scrolling text to the speed it took to register faces, which was not ideal. So I decided to abandon ship.
Processed with VSCOcam with se3 preset
Click here for .MOV of OpenCVFace

Step Two:  Arduino-Processing Handshake
Problems: None. I successfully create one-way communication for Arduino to Processing and Processing to Arduino. Before creating the handshake though, I realized that I only needed an Arduino to Processing communication, since the Arduino would be controlling everything in Processing.
Click here for .MOV of Arduino to Processing

Step Three: Creating code for the interaction
The program needed to do the following:
– When ultrasonic reads 5ft > specified Processing sketch opens
– When ultrasonic reads 4ft > Processing sketch begins running specified line of text (I see you.)
– When ultrasonic reads 2.5ft > Processing sketch begins running specified line of text (Come closer.)
– When ultrasonic reads 1ft > Processing sketch opens all Applications on the computer, causing it to crash
Problems: I looked at a lot of code to find examples of if/else statements that trigger a specific behavior, rather than turning on an LED to get an idea of how to code with Firmata in Processing. I found a lot of cool examples, but the projects seemed advanced and I had trouble deciphering the code.

Step Four: Recon, Finding another method to test
I remembered that I had used photocell sensor code that had similar behavior to what I wanted. So I created a photocell circuit in Arduino to try and write code for the interaction after the handshake. But, I had the same problems as before. It was as easy as I thought it would be.

Step Five: Making sure things work in Terminal
Even though, I couldn’t think of the code for the interaction. I still wanted to make sure that running a Processing sketch through Arduino was a realistic possibility. This was the most exciting part of the process and I realized how much I like terminal.
Click here for .MOV of Processing – Terminal

Final Conclusions
While I was ultimately unsuccessful in my attempts, I’m actually really satisfied with the project. I’m still motivated to figuring it out and I’ve realized that making self-destructive programs or programs where the user has no actual control is something I’d like to explore. I also realized that, even though I used simple circuits, all of the circuitry in Arduino made sense to me and I re-learned physics along the way.

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