Title: Power UP!
Description: You’re walking home, and someone bumps into you hard, yelling at you, “Get out of my way!” You don’t have time to react, but that random act of anger stays with you, even though the instigator is gone. Leaving you angry with nowhere to direct your frustration.
Power uP! relieves the stress from those kind of days by recreating this scenario, so the player has a chance to react and channel his/her frustration using a specialized stress ball controller to power up. Once the player is powered up, he/she can take action on his/her aggressor by punching the mock aggressive person.
Channeling your stress into a virtual avatar where you can fight stress causing characters, the player squeezes a stress ball controller to power up their character, and once the player is fully powered up, they can attack the stress causers. The customized stress ball controller uses an Arduino to read the user’s force when squeezing the ball, using an FSR sensor embedded in the stress ball. This prototype plays on a Mac with the controller connected to the computer running the Unity app.
Aiming to create a controller that could mimic reducing anger, I researched different kinds of ready-made and DIY custom stressballs.
Experimenting with ready-made and a few DIY prototypes, I concluded that a dry flour base with balloon encasing was the best candidate for my controller.
After deciding that I wanted to use a stress ball type controller, I built a few prototypes and tested which sensors to use with the stress ball. Starting with a basic button prototype, the user inputs change through the button, so if the button is pressed, the user increases power in the game and sets off a powering up sound.
The button mimicked the input from the stress ball. Once I successfully tested that prototype to play a powering up melody when the user presses the button, I researched pressure and flex type sensors and made a prototype with the FSR sensor. The sensor reads the pressure when the user presses on it with two fingers. This sensor was a great pick because instead of pressing on it with two fingers, the user can press with one finger and the other side of the pressure can come from the stress ball.
FSR Sensor & ADXL Connected Unpressed
FSR Sensor & ADXL Connected Pressed
Controller Video Demo