Saturday, November 14, 2009

Methodical Madness Makes Progress

Our project still has issues, there is still a lack of excitement, but we have gotten to the point where we have a direction and we are just saying 'go'. It is more important at this point to have a finished product than it is to have a better idea.

Our plan is to produce a wall with multiple apertures that allow light to pass through in varying amounts in order to optimize the amount of light on one side of the wall. In theory, the wall would be external, probably south-facing. For the purposes of the gallery piece, we have to rely on a large lamp to produce the necessary light. The wall will adjust to light fluctuations externally over time, as well as to internal commands to increase and decrease light.

The apertures open and close by an array of servos commanded at their core by an Arduino Mega. The servos will require significantly more power than can be provided by one Mega, so there will be an external power source as well. It would be possible to power the entire thing with an array of solar panels in an outdoor environment, but in the gallery we will have to use grid-based power. Light detection will be handled by a color detector and an array of LDRs.

Overall, I feel that the project fits the requirements well for being a heliotropic smart surface.

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