TaskCam Paper

Left-handed Version

TaskCams recreate the proven Cultural Probe technique of relabelling disposable cameras with requests for pictures. The Paper TaskCam is housed in a casing made from paper or light card, allowing it to appear as playful or elegant as required. TaskCam Paper is available in both left and right-handed configurations.

The Paper TaskCam has a small screen on the back that shows a scrollable list of requests for pictures.  Researchers can load their own list of requests onto the camera to prepare for a study. When users take a picture, the image is tagged with the current request, and stored on a standard flash drive that can be removed for downloading.

The casing for the Paper TaskCam is constructed from two A4 sheets of card or paper, cut out according to the template we provide. The device requires a custom Arduino shield,  buy online at cost price, or follow the open-source plans to make yourself. Smart power management means that two AA batteries provide more than enough power for an entire user study. 

Specifications:

TaskCam Version 2.0
Camera Dimensions 113.5 x 41.5 x 60mm
Image resolution 1024 x 768pixel
 

 

 List of all the components to assemble the TaskCam

TaskCam Arduino shield available here
Arduino Uno or compatible
2 sheets of A4 paper or card (270 gsm) to Lasercut or cut by hand
Micro SD card
2 x AA batteries
4 x M3 10mm machine screws (supplied with the TaskCam Arduino shield)
4 x M3 nuts (supplied with the TaskCam Arduino shield)
2 x M3 10mm (supplied with the TaskCam Arduino shield)
Camera and battery leads (supplied with the TaskCam Arduino shield)

List of handy equipment

Small Phillips screwdriver (cross head)
Lasercutter or paper cutting scalpel and rule
Double-sided tape or glue

Download Files

Cutting plans in PDF fomat
 


Step 1 Cut the card for the camera case and gather components

  Step 2  Program the Arduino Uno following instructions  here

Step 2 Program the Arduino Uno following instructions here

Step 3 Separate the battery and camera modules from the shield using side cutters

Step 4 File the cut tabs of each module smooth

  Step 5  Solder battery leads to the board observing the correct polarity

Step 5 Solder battery leads to the board observing the correct polarity

  Step 6  Connect the battery lead into the battery socket on the main board

Step 6 Connect the battery lead into the battery socket on the main board

  Step 7  Connect the camera lead into the camera header on the main board, observing the orientation in the photograph above

Step 7 Connect the camera lead into the camera header on the main board, observing the orientation in the photograph above

  Step 8  Connect the camera lead into the camera header on the camera module, observing the orientation in the photograph above

Step 8 Connect the camera lead into the camera header on the camera module, observing the orientation in the photograph above

Step 9 Attach two standoffs to the Arduino Uno to align with the camera module

  Step 10  Attach the camera module to the Arduino Uno

Step 10 Attach the camera module to the Arduino Uno

Step 11 Place electrical tap over the Arduino's USB port to prevent accidental contact with the batteries later on

Step 12 Attach the battery board to the main board using machine screws, washers and nuts

Step 13 Insert the header pins of the main/battery board combination onto the header sockets of the Arduino/camera combination (note: the red/black cable shown in this picture is unnecessary)

Download probe questions file

Step 14 Your camera needs some questions. For advice on how to write good Probe questions, please read here. Insert the micro SD card into your computer.  Write your questions in the text box below, giving each question a new line. Once you're done, click "Download questions file". Your browser will download a file called "q.txt". Place that file into the SD card. Eject it and unplug it from your computer.

Step 15 Insert the SD card into the SD card holder on the camera module. Add two AA batteries into the battery holders

Step 16 Apply double-sided tape or glue to all the tabs on the cut card of the outer case

Step 17 Fold all engraved lines of the case, to beginning forming the shape of the outer case

Step 18 Progressively begin to stick tabs in place as shown in the following sequence of photographs

Step 19 Tape down the edge of this tab fully to allow the inner case to smoothly slide inside the outer case

Step 20 Stick the last tab in place, taking care to leave the flap shown at the bottom of this photo open, as this is the door to slide in the inner case later

Step 21 Apply double-sided tape or glue to all the tabs on the cut card of the inner case

Step 22 Fold all engraved lines of the case, to beginning forming the shape of the inner case

Step 23 Progressively begin to stick tabs in place as shown in the following sequence of photographs

Step 24 Place the camera electronics in the inner case as shown, and close the flaps

Step 25 Take the fully assembled inner case and slide into the outer case as shown in the following sequence of photographs, not forgetting to fold and insert the viewfinder

Step 26 The TaskCam paper is ready to use


 
 
TaskCam_II_Paper_left-02-01.png

How to use 

  1. Turn camera on by pressing and holding the shutter / power button.

  2. Select a task with the left and right button next to the display

  3. Use the viewfinder to frame your picture, press the shutter button to take a picture that answers the task. The display graphic changes when a picture is taken

  4. Select your next task

  5. The camera with switch off automatically or by pressing and holding the shutter / power button.