Generative Soundscape 0.2.1 – IR Comm & Circuit Prototyping


After a failed attempt of creating modules that would communicate through sound, I started looking into Infrared Communication.

This is a project that looks to experiment with Infrared Communication between various Modules. All modules come from the same design made in Eagle CAD. It is a through-hole board routed with The Other Mill. The overall board involves an embedded Arduino (ATMega328), 2 IR-Rx, 3 IR-Tx, a LED and a Push-Button.

Modules can transfer the code from any IR Remote and transfer it among their closest peers. 

Next Steps

Evaluate power consumption to figure how can they be powered through batteries.




Previous Iterations

BEAM Solar Robot

This is an ongoing project to make a sphere spin out of a solar powered motor. The idea behind BEAM Robots (Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics and Mechanics) is all robots that are driven by analogue circuits instead of micro-controllers. 

This robot can run through two types of circuits, one that involves a Voltage Trigger and another that involves Diodes (Zener or Signal). In the end we decided to go with the Signal Diode circuit.

The electronic components in this BEAM Solar robot are: Voltaic 2W - 6V Solar panel, a 1F Capacitor, a 6V and 280 mA DC motor, PNP Transistor (2N3906), two Signal Diodes (in series), 2.2K Ω resistor and NPN Transistor (2N2904). How this circuit works is the Capacitor charges until the PNP transistor (06) receives base current through the Signal Diodes and turns on. The NPN transistor (04) turns on and the capacitor is discharged through the motor. As the NPN turns on, the 2.2K resistor starts to supply base current to the PNP and the circuit snaps on. When the capacitor voltage drops below about 1V, the the PNP turns off, the NPN turns off and disconnects the motor from the capacitor which starts to charge up again.

We changed to this motor once we fail trying out a High Efficiency motor (4V and 30mA). Despite this change, the overall torque from the 6V Motor (± 180 gm/s^2) and 1.4cm radius wheels still isn't enough to drive the entire rig (circuit, plastic disc and plastic sphere). Next steps could be getting a more powerful motor, or make the entire robot lighter.

M-Code Box


How can a fabricated object have an interactive life? The M-Code Box is a manifestation of words translated into a tangible morse code percussion. You can find the code here and what's needed to create one M-Code Box is an Arduino UNO, a Solenoid Motor (external power source, simple circuit) and a laptop with Processing.

Next Steps

There are two paths to take this project further. One is to have an interpreter component, recording its sounds and re-encoding them into words, like conversation triggers. The second is to start thinking on musical compositions by multiplying and varying this box in materials and dimensions.



Previous Iterations

This project came upon assembling two previous projects, the Box Fab exploration of live hinges and the Morse Code Translator that translates typed text into physical pulses.

Mind the Needle — Popping Balloons with Your Mind 0.2



Time's running out! Will your Concentration drive the Needle fast enough? Through the EEG consumer electronic Mindwave, visualize how your concentration level drives the speed of the Needle's arm and pops the balloon, maybe!

Second UI Exploration

Second UI Exploration

Development & UI

I designedcoded and fabricated the entire experience as an excuse to explore how people approach interfaces for the first time and imagine how things could or should be used.

The current UI focuses on the experience's challenge: 5 seconds to pop the balloon. The previous UI focused more on visually communicating the concentration signal (from now on called ATTENTION SIGNAL)

This is why there's prominence on the timer's dimension, location and color. The timer is bigger than the Attention signal and The Needle's digital representation. In addition this is why the timer is positioned at the left so people will read it first. Even though Attention signal is visually represented the concurrent question that emerged in NYC Media Lab's "The Future of Interfaces" and ITP's "Winter Show" was: what should I think of? 



What drives the needle is the intensity of the concentration or overall electrical brain activity, which can be achieved through different ways, such as solving basic math problems for example –a recurrent successful on-site exercise–. More importantly, this question might be pointing to an underlying lack of feedback from the physical devise itself, a more revealing question would be: How could feedback in  BCIs be better? Another reflection upon this interactive experience was, what would happen if this playful challenge was addressed differently by moving The Needle only when exceeding a certain Attention threshold?

Previous Iterations

Generative Synthesizer Prototype

This is a followup in the Generative Propagation concept. What I intended to answer with these exercises are two questions:

  1.  How can the trigger threshold be physically controlled? (How can the mic’s sensitivity be manipulated?)
  2. How can the tempo be established? (How often should each module emit a sound?)

The trigger threshold can be manipulated through manually controlling the microphone’s gain or amount voltage transferred to the amplifier –Potentiometer to IC–. 

By manipulating this potentiometer, the sensitivity of the microphone can be controlled.

The tempo can be established through timing the trigger’s availability. By setting a timer that allows the a variable to listen again, the speed/rate at which the entire installation reproduces sounds can be established.

Generative Synthesizer Concept

Can unpredictable melodies be created out of Constellaction’s concept?


Modules will bridge through consecutive emissions and receptions of sound. In the end, the purpose is to create a a cyclic chain that sets the stage for a greater pursue: creating a generative audio experience –like a tangible tone matrix–. In this exercise I will explore simple initial attributes such as trigger-thresholdand tempo.


How can sound-modules resemble basslines through replication? For the first phase of this project, I will explore ways of creating a module that, triggered by a sound, generate auditive-chain reactions.

Tone Matrix

Tone Matrix


The general idea is to create different behaviors with these modules to the extent that they become generative. In this particular exercise –Mid-Term–, the idea is to create looped compositions that resemble bassline. By scaling these modules, emergent and unpredictable scenarios can appear.


BOM (Bill Of Materials)

  • Sound receiver (9 Microphone)
  • Sound emitter (9 Piezo–Buzzer)
  • Arduino
  • ATTiny
  • Battery (Coin Cell)
  • Controller (Potentiometer/Switch?)
  • 3 Trigger threshold
  • 3 Tempo
  • 3 PCB

Mind the Needle Iteration 0.1

First Iteration of Mind the Needle, an exploration of emergent interfaces.

Mind the Needle is project exploring the commercially emergent user interfaces of EEG devices. After establishing the goal as popping a balloon with your mind –mapping the attention signal to a servo with an arm that holds a needle–, the project focused on better understanding how people approach these new interfaces and how can we start creating better practices around BCIs –Brain Computer Interfaces–. Mind the Needle has come to fruition after considering different scenarios. It focuses on finding the best way communicating progression through the attention signal. In the end we decided to only portray forward movement even though the attention signal varies constantly. In other words, the amount of Attention only affects the speed of the arm moving, not its actual position. Again, this is why the arm can only move forward, to better communicate progression in such intangible, rather ambiguous interactions –such as Brain Wave Signals–, which in the end mitigate frustration.

The first chosen layout was two arcs the same size, splitting the screen in two. The arc on the left is the user's Attention feedback and the other arc is the digital representation of the arm.

After the first draft, and a couple of feedback from people experimenting with just the Graphical User Interface, it was clear the need for the entire setup. However, after some first tryouts with the servo, there were really important insights around the GUI. Even though the visual language –Perceptual Aesthetic– used did convey progression and forwardness, the signs behind it remained unclear. People were still expecting the servo to move accordingly with the Attention signal. This is why in the final GUI this signal resembles a velocimeter.

UI Alternatives

Physical Prototype

Sidenote: To ensure the successful popping-strike at the end, the servo should make a quick slash in the end (if θ ≧ 180º) – {θ = 170º; delay(10); θ = 178;}

Morse Code Translator

Inspired by the "Hi Juno" project, I sought an easier way to use Morse Code. This is why I've created the Morse Code Translator, a program that translates your text input into "morsed" physical pulses. One idea to explore further could be thinking how would words express physically perceivable (sound, light, taste?, color?, Tº)

So far I've successfully made the serial communication and the Arduino's functionality. In other words, the idea works up to Arduino's embedded LED (pin 13). This is how a HI looks being translated into light.

Followup, making the solenoid work through morse coded pulses. You can find the Processing and Arduino code in this Github Repo.

Peru's Pavilion in FILBO 2014

For Bogota's International Book-fair (FILBO) Perú was the honored invitee. Panoramika was commissioned by the Peruvian Cultural Office to create various interactive installations, projection mappings and light designs. I was appointed the creation of one of the three installations crafted by Panoramika. Four screens that would reveal passersby random excerpts from the "Captain Pantoja and the Special Service", nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa's comedic novel.

For the implementation of this installation, I developed patches that visually changed text compositions in Quartz Composer, whenever the threshold of an Infrared sensor was triggered by people. The sensor was implemented in Arduino and interfaced to QC.

VICE Colombia Launch

VICE Colombia started their headquarters in the beginning of 2014. For their launch party they invited Panoramika to create an interactive installation and multiple projection mappings. We created an array of projected eyes mapped onto extruded circles on the wall, that followed viewers. We used Kinect, OpenFrameworks, Quartz Composer and Madmapper.

Systema Solar Live Act


We were commissioned an Interactive Live Show by the Colombian band Systema Solar. With a team of 3 Creative Technologists we developed different real time visual effects. I was in charge for coding the puppetry controls, the audio-reactive silhouette patches and figuring out best UX practices. We created a VJ deck, from the physical rack to the digital patches.


To better understand the puppetry possibilities with Kinect, we figure out how Animata worked. After having a first glimpse, I began this patch from scratch in the live software VVVV. Even though I had no previous experience with Kinect or VVVV, this project was evidence of perseverant work, squeezed wit and sought fortune. By the end, there were 3 crafted puppets of Systema Solar's crew (Johnpri –lead singer–, Walter –lead performer & singer– and Corpas –dj/scratcher–)

The VJ Deck

The rack is composed of 1 Kinect, 3 GoPro Cameras, 7 signal converters, 1 MIDI Pad, 1 Mac Mini, 1 Four-Channel Mixer. These 4 signals are the input for the VJ's laptop.


Video Documentation