Bianca, Barry, Larry, Jake, and Sue
These bush-sized interactive light objects are an exploration in anthropomorphism and narrative. Each object is a character whose personae is shown through light intensity and color effects. When placed in proximity of one another the objects communicate, exhibiting their interactions and creating a truly unique lighting effect. Technically, this was also an exploration in complex code structures and various forms of wireless communication. This is an ongoing project.
Similar materials and methods were used in construction, but variation was introduced from one object to the next. Much like members of the same species, these objects share characteristics but also have their own, individual traits. Unique lighting patterns, the only behavior these objects can express, help reinforce individual personalities.
The objects can sense their proximity to one another, which influences their light patterns and color. Moving them around will build increasingly complex and unpredictable behaviors. Behaviors build upon one another, with the intention that they will grow beyond my initial definitions.
The original prototypes used IR emitters and receivers to communicate, much like those found in TV remote controls. Variable resistors were used to clamp the IR LEDs' output and control the proximity of each object's influence. I am presently exploring higher-level radio networks, such as Xbee and Nordic, and working to build a more accurate system.
This diagram defines the personality of each object and helps guide the group interaction model. These descriptions are translated into the code controlling light and communication behavior. Non-volatile EEPROM memory supplied with each controller unit allows these objects to store their last behaviors if power is removed. In storing this information and not allowing a reset, each object can truly take on its own life and personality.