Colored LED Strips, interface with diferent inputs to create a designed response. A prospect of great numbers and great scale.

Submitted by thomas.may on Thu, 02/14/2013 - 16:49

Team Members: Thomas May and Søren Svejstrup.

We want to express via light, and as our output mechanism we will use LEDs. With this output we want to create a change in situation, mood or mode. This might be for example alerting the public of a certain danger or informing the amount of kWh that a house or particular plug is consuming in that instant. We want to create a platform adaptable to many different situations, we want it to perform in situations as varied as a crime alert system or as a interactive art project at Burning Man.

We believe in creating an experience of numbers, many self sufficient units that can be deployed in a room, a campus, a museum, a desert or a whole city. We believe that simple programing and creative inputs can communicate great amounts of valuable information via the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum to humans. We are confident that we can engage people of all ages to interact with these luminous objects and have a comprehensible understanding of the visible language being expressed by the electronics.

Physically the project consists of these basic parts: LEDs, a simple custom controller, sensor, power source.

Initially the LEDs to be used will be the currently available strip mounted on aluminum channel shown in the picture attached. These are for single color strips but there are other "multi channel" strips that could serve for a deserved situation.

Electronically everything will have to operate from a 12 volt source, a solar panel with a deep cycle battery would fit this bill nicely. The microcontroller or even maybe the analog circuitry, will have to operate from the 12 volt meaning  a voltage regulator might have to be put in place. The controller will have a quick connector for the power source, the outputs(2-4), and for sensors.

The goal is to create a prototype that could be easily reproduced and that is cheap so that the project can be scaled to create "situations" in many places and settings.  The input sensor should capture something relevant to the situation or action wanted to be sensed. As for the crime prevention/alert system the sensor would probably be a PIC sensor but maybe combined with a microphone to capture things such as a scream or steps.  The motion sensor would turn on a white "prevention" light but if it hears a scream a red " warning" flashing light would start. Another situation could be a measurement of the water flow of the kitchen sink, or the measurement of cell phone activity in a room. 



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