A4 Process

Looking at different ways of creating heat as well as maintaining heat.

Scan 3

Exploration of PEM, personal environmental module. How to move heating elements increase the mobility of the mechanical system.

Scan 1

Exploration of using individual bikes for power. Steve: “Heating air is incredibly inefficient”.


Different ways to generate energy through human power as well as heat the rest the human body with motion. Stationary pedals with generator. Heat and cooling fan powered in user controlled proportions.

Scan 1.2

User moves heating elements by hand, for direct contact with body. Cooling system initially set by human. Areas sweating will be added to “rotation list” for motion tracking list. Infrared or camera will detect excess sweat.

Scan 2

Demo Progress:

Stationary Pedal Exerciser. Although this will in no way power a fan or a heat generator, the pedals will serve to prove the feasibility of pedaling while working. Also, those pedaling while sitting will feel the heat they generate because of their muscles creating energy to pedal.


Cardboard prototype of crank

Design of crank as well as framing further direction of project.


Crank design out of cardboard taped to generator.


Second test type of crank. This version felt far less unstable.


For my final cardboard prototypes I ended up shortening the length of the crank in order to for a user to more comfortably turn the crank.


This is my preliminary proof of concept demo. While the crank is a final product, the fan itself is bent paper taped to the front of a motor. This proves the viability of using human energy to power a fan.

I explored the possibilities of charging batteries or storing charge over time. However, through looking at how warmth would be produced, I reasoned that a direct transfer of energy would be most effective in heating a human. I also began to specifically define what my heating system would be capable of.

Scan 3

I had trouble defining how the fans or heating would work in specifics. While I worked through many different issues I had difficulty showing my design process in my final project.

Scan 4

Here I looked at the user and what they would be experiencing when using the heat system.
Scan 5

I finally created a wireframe concept that I felt content with that involved manipulating a thermal image of the user. However, these wireframes didn’t make it to the final because they weren’t essential to the story I was trying to tell.

Scan 6

Initial wireframes. The three main avenues I wanted to capture were quick heat manipulation, and specific heating and cooling settings.R2Wireframes

Personal critique of wireframes.

scan7 2.1

Idea to use analog knob in order to alter temperature while giving digital feedback. The standard interface of the app could be displayed with AR.

scan7 1

I finally began my storyboarding process, finding the key moments that would define what my story was was. I tried to use the quote: “You’re not telling the truth, you’re telling a story” in order to guide my storyboarding process.

scan7 2

Continued storyboarding of key events.

scan7 3

I revisited my app interface late in the project. I ended up wasting time trying to polish a relatively insignificant part of my final project.


Continuing work on the heat dial.scan7 4

Storyboard index cards. The middle three rows were the main storyline. So the shot order is left to right row of 3, row of 1, and row of 5. The two index cards in the middle were alternates.


These are the storyboards annotated with stage directions and the meanings behind what I wanted to show with each shot.


My initial dial for a user to determine how much heat they wanted. The red was meant to represent heat and would be the unit of measure since the user would heat themselves with the pedals as well as a heating pad, while just the fan produced cool air. However, after talking with classmates, I reasoned that the design was too ambiguous to be used.

Point1 5.13.20 AM

Final version of my InVision app wireframes.


Final Video

Credit for Arduino and Processing code:


Pedal Powered Generator – The Power Box



I wanted to reduce the heating costs of a building and bring about energy consumption awareness.

I learned how to “tell a design story”, storyboard videos, use InVision, wire arduino and motors, and the basics on how to shoot a design video.
Critiques and guidance from professors helped with how to construct and storyboard a design story. Classmates in design helped with InVision while a friend in electrical and computer engineering helped with the arduino wiring. I looked to many different videos online as inspiration for my final product.
Most of the new skills I learned  within the last week and a half of the project.
My planning for this project went well until the last week. I had a frisbee tournament the weekend before the project was due, taking up at least 20 hours as well as leaving me tired. That left me with much less time than I wish I had for the video.
In looking over my work I would sometimes get overly obsessive about details that didn’t matter in the final project such as my wireframes or the exact workings of my heat system. This wasted significant time that could’ve been devoted to other tasks.
    What would you do diff
    Emotions felt
I felt a fair amount of stress especially because the final project culminated a video. I wasn’t sure what I was doing with the arduino and thus felt out of my league, contributing to the stress. The video component of the project was stressful as I wanted to only shoot during the daytime in order to have better lighting. However, now looking back at my work, I feel content in what I was able to accomplish given the circumstances.
I was distracted by minute details in my interface design, specifically the design of the heating control. I also spent too much time making my InVision app look realistic, such as adding color to my on and off switches.
Overall throughout the project I felt incredibly motivated to work. My motivation dipped when researching different competing products and around 4:00 am the day before the final show. The other bike products that produced energy made me feel as if I wasn’t innovating any form of new design. At 4:00 am I lost my motivation to edit my video in After Effects due to tiredness. However, I felt driven the next morning after sleeping a couple hours.
    What were you challenged by?
I was challenged by how to evolve a concept into a story in design and how to tell it. That encompassed tying together and showcasing many different ideas I had about how to improve the heating in studio. Even finishing certain aspects of my concept, finalizing what I would be showcasing was difficult for me. The shooting and editing of the final video was challenging in that I felt I wasn’t quite getting the perfect shot.
    What did you do well?
I felt that I stretched myself and my abilities for the final show and am proud that I got all the mechanical components of the project to work while hiding the components of the system. Also, I was happy with how my demo pieces appeared.
    What would you do differently?
In the future I would prioritize my time, spending a proportionate amount of time on significant parts of the project. I spent too much time on app design and not enough time on my final storyboarding, editing, and shooting. Being able to quickly produce work that is passable for it’s role in a project will benefit me in the future. Finally, I will opt out of extracurriculars if I have a final project due soon, even if there are social consequences.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s