MOUSE Corps Soars at Emoti-con!

On Saturday, June 1st, 2013, MOUSE Corps joined over 150 other amazing young people from all over NYC at The New York Public Library – Bartos Forum for the 5th annual Emoti-Con!

The four MOUSE Corps Legacy groups — JoyPix, ArtSquared, Extend-a-Arm, and Mixing Buddy — created displays that showcased their design process as well as their final prototypes. MOUSE Corps spent much of the day pitching their projects to everyone who came by their tables, including fellow student presenters from other MOUSE Squads, Radio Rookies, The Point, Girls Write Now, and many others, as well as members of the judging panal and even Adam Balkin from NY1! It was inspiring to see so many talented, dedicated young people from different organizations from all over New York City get the chance to interact with one another and show off all of their amazing, ingenious projects!

One of the highlights of the day for MOUSE Corps was that our partners from UCP were able to join us for much of the afternoon at Emoti-con and see the prototypes that they inspired and helped conceptualize and design!

ArtSquared and Mixing buddy were both selected as finalists and invited to come up on stage and pitch their projects to the entire room. Afterwards ArtSquared was given the Point of View Award for bringing a unique perspective to Assistive Technology Design, and Mixing buddy won both Most Innovative and Crowd Favorite for their unique design and killer stage pitch!  All four Legacy Groups had outstanding projects this year. The entire MOUSE Corps team has a LOT to be proud of!

For more information about our Emoticon adventures, click here!

ART^2 Code

Debugging the code

Below is the code that I have been slaving away at for the past two hours for ART^2. This is the code that has a working diagonal system. Before we could only draw/paint in squares, because only one motor could be on at a time. That is always true the way we have the code set up right now, so I made a sudo-diagonal method of doing it. One motor is on at one time, but they move only the slightest amount before they let the other one go and it repeats. This made an appearance of diagonal that is imperceptible to the human eye and a pencil.

Technical Junk

Also it turns out that for loops called inside the main “loop()” function makes everything stop working completely, which is why there is a while loop used as a for loop in the code. not using the for loop/while loop in the code makes the pencil move too slowly and stutter.

Next Steps in the Code

1. Make this work for all the directions
2. Use the map function to allow for sensitivity variability
3. Use the buttons on the Nunchuck for rotation of the servo motor

void stepper_controller() {


int i = 0;
while(i < 500) {
stepy(true, 1/*map(joy_y_axis, 152, 233, 0, 1600)*/);
stepx(true, 1/*map(joy_x_axis, 145, 230, 0, 1600)*/);

void joystick_input() {
int joy_x_axis = nunchuck_buf[0];
int joy_y_axis = nunchuck_buf[1];

if(joy_x_axis > 145) {
directions[0] = true;
if(joy_y_axis > 152) {
directions[1] = true;

void joystick_input_neg() {
int joy_x_axis = nunchuck_buf[0];
int joy_y_axis = nunchuck_buf[1];

if(!(joy_x_axis > 145)) {
directions[0] = false;
if(!(joy_y_axis > 152)) {
directions[1] = false;

Art group = A.R.T. art

Name: Assistive Remote-controlled Two-dimensional Art (ART^2) = pronounced : art squared
ART^2 is an assistive painting device designed by MOUSE Corps for artists with Cerebral Palsy. Controlled by a nunchuk-joystick to help them express their love for art while keeping their artistic freedom.

Next up:

  • motor, shaft, timer belt and painter in the middle piece
  • motor mechanism to move from left to right
  • the lowering/raising of painter head
  • bug in code for motor that stops movements after 3 seconds of no movement

    • tighten timer belt on the side of motor

Accomplished today:

  • IT’S ALIVE!!!!!!!! (middle piece moves using nunchuk)


Accomplished today:

  • Timing Belts in “permanent” place with hot glue +pin for moving the middle piece.
  • more Soldering wires to driver
  • motor + support for shaft on middle piece in place
  • code for x-axis movement
  • assuming for y-axis code to work
  • shaft across from motor on middle piece
  • pulleys for motor in middle piece attached

Coming UP:

  • shaft across middle platform
  • cutting middle piece out for painter head to go through to canvas
  • try if a bluetooth nunchuk will work with the same code
  • braces + pulley for middle shaft

April 2nd Blog

Goals for the next 5 meetings:
1. 1 piece frame
2. fully functioning prototype (plastic material)
3. CODING: 2 stepper motors: 2 pins: rotation- right/left + how many steps
4. Moving platform inside time belt or outside?

Questions for UCP people:
1. How do you think this can help making painting easier?
2. Does this help or hurt your ways of expressing your artistic sense?
3. Does this look comfortable to paint with?

Done today:
– changed serial to solve error to get the outbound/inbound work
2. Hardware:(basic mechanical prototype good)
– time belt
– long shafts not moving
– short shafts drilled into walls
– one short shaft connected with motor only
– walls
– stepper motor in work

Prototype 3/19 Blog

We’re still split into two groups — hardware and arduino coding group.

Right now, at the first prototyping stage, the arduino coding group is learning how to code a loop while they are coding for the nunchuk.

The hardware group, are getting the frame done right now without connecting the parts. Also, we have to work on getting the “legs”/the bottom support for the frame to hold the weight of all the hardwares.

Feb 26 meeting blog post

1. What features from your first paper/analog prototype will you be able to implement by June?

  • x+y+z axis
  • painting head

2. What features will you not implement (or save until later)? (most likely none)

  • painting must be attachable/reattachable

3. Create a list of components for your design.
(1)- frame

  • cords
  • motor(s) with 2 shafts- one for x-axis, one for y-axis
  • shaft extension
  • 6 rollers for belts for one axis
  • 3 conveyor belts
  • zip ties
  • 3 timing belts(for movement only NOT for support)
  • controller
  • arduino
  • switches – control of motor at edge

4. Draw a “next level” blueprint that includes these components.
5. prototyping phases
phase 1: joystick and x+y axis
phase 2: z-axis and painting head
6. HW: check out how arduino controls a wii player,
7. Notes for next prototype:

  • 16″ X 20″ frame
  • 4 16″ pieces => Width = 1/2″
  • 4 20″ pieces => Width = 1/2″
  • legs: Length/Width = 3/2″ Height = 5″

New ideas/ Updates for Hannah's Hot Rod

  • 3D printer idea – x+y axis to get Hannah draw to computer and let printer print it out.
    – needed: good nosel/modules to do painting
    – good: more economical, prints fast
    * user-selected function: speed of printing, printing as she paints on screen(****real-time) or printing when user clicks on print.
    – joy-stick movement (real-time)
    – d-axis for dipping (how much of brush is dipped in) — Hannah uses different types of paint **experiment needed
    – less tiring/no dropping of brush
    – area of painting (let user choose size of canvas)
    – record painting movement (use of history of movement is optional)
    – set place/ coordinates of where the paint/water is, next to canvas
    – set the brush to memorize last spot that Hannah was painting before dipping paint
    * exchangeable nosel so idea can both fit painting and cutting purposes, cutting: set simple shapes memory
    – cutting: laser cutter

** must have a joystick as similar to her own joystick as possible
– make user put material waiting to be cutted at certain place of setted coordinates, so laser will

  • Hannah’s Rod – moves too slow
    – problem: place for paint cartridge(s)
  • summary of meeting: new idea adapted
    * research: – smallest type of extruder(paint inside brush), air brush, + cutter
    * programming language: not really needed
    * feedbacks for new idea:
    – don’t place nosel in center — it’ll block view