Author Archives: Daniel Mastretta

Final Research Paper – The Artificial Hair

Final Research Paper for our final project: The Artificial Hair


Yuchen Zhang, Daniel Mastretta, Julie Huynh

Original project post by Yuchen Zhang:

It’s in PDF format for quick read and review. I hope some of you find the text and information useful.

Daniel Midterm – Arduino Phantascope

Midterm Project -Arduino Phantascope

Using an Arduino to control a motored disc and a LED light at the same time the project makes an animation once it is powered, and in case the motor and the light are not in sync there is a potentiometer in the back that adjusts the strobe light. Check out the video to see it in action.

Daniel – 3 Interesting projects.

When dealing with physical computing a lot of projects spring into mind but I think it is important to grab inspiration from the ones that talk directly to our interests, here are 3 inspiring projects I want to share:

1. 100 Yen Movie

A movie about the Arcade Culture in Japan, it was Kickstarted and the outcome is pretty amazing and interesting I recommend everyone to see it.

2. The Rain Room

A project that appeals to all our senses but in the end is using Technology as it’s core, from the description of the MoMa: “Random International’s experimental projects come alive through audience interaction—and Rain Room is their largest and most ambitious to date. The work invites visitors to explore the roles that science, technology, and human ingenuity can play in stabilizing our environment.”

3. The Dancing Facade 

Technology and architecture fuse in this facade that changes continuously; each day, each hour shows a new “face”, turning into a dynamic sculpture that serves the needs of those inside but is also beautiful to look and experience.

Daniel – Introduction.

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Hi, my name is Daniel Mastretta, I am 28 and I am a designer based in Mexico City. I started designing from a young age and been always interested in writing and drawing. Most of my design skills and knowledge come from my formal studies of architecture in Universidad Iberoamericana and I am also a self taught digital media designer. I am also a college professor specialized in Computer Assisted Design with academic experience in both teaching and assisting design courses, my work has been mainly focused in graphic design for architecture, photography and CG graphics.

Before and since my university graduation on 2008 I’ve been involved in many design projects, architecture contests and academics, honing my skills both in graphic and architectural design, I’ve also been collaborating with magazines as an editor and writer of videogame journalism and art critique. My main interests reside in Architecture, Technology, Traveling, Literature, Cinema, Videogames, Photography and Digital Arts and wish to keep learning and working in each of those areas.

My experience with physical computing are not very extense, the closest I got to learning from it was last year restoring an arcade cabinet almost from scratch and dealing with it’s circuitry. Here are some pictures of the restoration:

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Daniel HW 5 – Making things move.

For my homework number 5 I started working on an animation with a motor and learned how to control the motor with a potentiometer, it was tricky because toy motors can either be controled with a HIGH + LOW delays or with PWM digital pins.

Here is a video of the motor working for the first time.

The next step will be to make the LED and the motor have the same frequencies so you can see animations, but this will be covered on the MIDTERM post.

Daniel HW3 – LOL Shield

Assignment 3 – LOL shield.

For this particular assignment we built and soldered LOL shields, a pretty fun PCB to make LED Charlieplexing animations. Here are some pictures of the process.

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I also made this short video explaining what we did and showing my final animation

Daniel HW2 – Music Doll

Assignment 2 – Music Doll

For the second assignment in P.Comp lab we had to use Arduino to program music and tone interaction, I decided to install a pressure sensor inside of a Legend of Zelda’s Link Plushie Doll and program different tunes from the games to play each time you pressed it’s stomach. Here is the electronic setup:

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Here is the actual toy with the Arduino hidden under the sitting doll:


Here is the code for the songs and the sensor:

It is important to include the pitches.h library so it would have the notes to play.

Here is a video of the toy working

Arduino Link from Daniel Mastretta on Vimeo.

Daniel – HW1 Glowcup

I had trouble getting into the blog at the beginning of the course but here is my first assignment for the P.Comp Lab.

Assignment 1. Glowcup 

For my first Physical Computing project I built a glowing cup with Arduino, The assignment was to do a small “lamp” project with buttons and LED’s. I wanted to make a coffee cup that would light up when grabbed and This was the setup:

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The actual problem was getting the contraption INTO the small coffee cup. And also making the cup reflective on the inside but NOT conductive. First I tried to connect several small LEDs but the entire circuit was not well planned or small enough to fit so I changed to a bigger, more powerful light source and his the button on the side of the cup so when somebody grabbed it it would conceal the switch but light up:

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Here you can see the final images of the cup working.

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