MotoFoto used a single proximity sensor and four Lego motors to actuate a flip book at a speed that varied with the “user’s” proximity to the structure. It was an attempt to have a single story morph its presentation based on an individual that was present that may or may not be actively using the system. As the user came closer, the speed of the motors would slow as would the story, as if the physical closeness correlated to the closeness of his inspection. When there was no one within close proximity, the motors would whirr away; trying to give the complete story to people that glanced at it as they passed by.
This was one of my early experiences with sensors and actuators and for it I used the Cricket, and later the Tower, developed within the Media Lab in the Lifelong Kindergarten and Grassroots Invention Groups respectively. Both the Cricket and the Tower are modular development systems for designing and prototyping computational devices. Physically, the Tower consists of a primary foundation layer with a central processor equipped with a PIC16F877 microcontroller from Microchip Inc.™ Additional modules can be added to the stack to perform sensing, actuation, and data storage. All other parts were lasercut and machined.