In this week – and final!! – project for Intro to Fab, we were assigned to use a motor. Thus we were supposed to make a creation that moved using servos, DC motors, Steppers and other examples showed in class.

When I heard about this assigned homework I reminded of a project I heard in the beginning of the semester called Paper Signals. Paper Signals is a Google Voice experiment that explores how physical things can be controlled with voice. The creators designed a few examples of paper controllers that track things like weather, Bitcoin, rocket launches, and more.

For the experiment, they fabricate the small signals with paper and use servos to create the movement once the data APIS connected to the Google Voice triggers it. As I really liked the approach of this experiment and I am really excited about connecting online digital data to offline physical computing objects, I believed it was a great prototype to try and decided to purchase the materials and got started.

The Paper Signals Page is very straightforward. They give you a very nice tutorial on how to download and connect the data. They also provide the PDF of the templates to create the paper fabrication. So my first action was to recreate one original Paper Signal as an example.

So I recreated the countdown.

For that I printed the Paper Signals  pdf templates and cut it.

Also, I assembled the Adafruit Feather with the Micro Servo and put the code and its libraries together. They had a bug in their Arduino code so at first it wouldn’t compile, as you can check below.

But with some help from Mathura (thank you!!!) we fixed it. It was just a matter of declaring the requested variable that probably was deleted by mistake from some user on Github. Below you can check the added void.

And it Compiled!

And then I was ready to put it together!


For a second step I aimed to create my own Paper Signal. So I thought: paper signals are supposed to inform you, in a cute way about relevant data. So what is a very relevant data that I would like to be warned or informed about in a daily basis?

If you are a human being and you have an uterus, you will or had or probably have a couple of days in the month when you get your period. For most of this fortunate people who have an ovary, this time of the month comes along with pain, discomfort, hormonal changes: meaning a lot of variables that negatively affect your humor. This, if you live with someone, this person also has to live with your mood during those days.

So I created my Paper Period Signal!

A paper signal that is connected to my Google Calendar and, when I set my period days (which usually is set for 2 days before that because of PMS), is able to inform everyone who sees it about it!

For now I put together the physical part (customized from the original Rocket paper signal template), and am working on getting my GCalendar Api to replace it in the following part of the code, replacing the rocket launch date as you can check below.


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