Thursday, 31 May 2012

"Point Cloud" – Arduino-controlled structure that breathes weather data

Instead of using text-based or other two-dimensional forms of displaying numerical weather data, James Lang created a seemingly magical thin wire mesh sculpture that represents a cloud. The mesh cloud contains eight servos controlled by an Arduino, which accepts weather data and controls the shape and form of the mesh in order to illustrate the change in the weather. James writes:

Weather has always had a unique place in our lives, because it has a multiplicity that encompasses both the concrete and the indeterminate. It is the intangible context within which we build our lives and our cities, but it is also the physical element against which we create protective shelter. Most of the time it is an invisible network that we can see but are not aware of; yet it can manifest in a spectacle or disaster, come forward and activate our senses, make us forget our rationality in delight or fear.

Watching the mesh cloud is quite mesmerising, for example:


The level of imagination, creativity and ability to complete this project is phenomenal. For those looking to replicate Point Cloud, start with one of our Arduino-compatible boards such as the Eleven and our temperature/humidity sensor. You can read more the Point Cloud project here

Using sound, light and an Arduino to trigger a camera flash

Maurice Ribble has created and described an Arduino-based system that uses sounds and light to trigger the flash of an SLR camera. His purpose for doing this was to shoot still images during interesting points of motion. For example, a still during the a liquid being splashed:

Although such a task would initally seem to be complicated, the implementation is quite simple. A small laser pointer shines a beam which is detected by a photoresistor, and can trigger the flash when the beam has broken. Furthermore, Maruice also uses a small microphone to detect noise which is then interpreted by the Arduino and triggers the flash. 

This project is a great example of how anyone can use an Arduino or compatible board to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. For those looking to recreate this project we offer a range of Arduino-compatible boards such as the Eleven, and also our MIC sound input module for the sound triggering. You can review the design and Arduino sketch at the product website here