Tag Archives: addressable LED strip

PUSH-UPs… 2×8 pixel unit

After the design and build of the prototype PUSH-UPs articulated display panel, I have now built the first of 4 identical modules, each containing 16 controllable rods.

The four modules will form an 8×8 “pixel” animated surface display system to create a dynamically changing topography.

Stimulus for this display unit will be derived from a camera, an arrays of sensors, or purely from software that simulates different surface topologies.

PushUps: Top view of the 2×8 design

The design of the 2×8 unit parallels that of the 2×4 prototype. However, I changed the design of the servo horn and connecting linkage to ensure that the “pixels” fall onto a 33.34mm pitch (2 times the 16.67mm pitch of the LEDs on a 60 led/metre strip) for both rows and columns.

PushUps: side view showing the thinner servo horn and offset connecting linkage

In addition, the underside of the top plate was cut to allow for a simpler installation of the LED strip, that now contains a total of 34 LEDs.

PushUps: showing LED illumination for each “pixel” element

PushUps: all 16 units pictured in mid-articulation of a sine wave

PushUps: closeup of the servos

PushUps: closeup of the nano, 16-channel PWM/servo multiplexer and buck power supply

PushUps: close-up of the underside of the top plate showing installation of LED strip


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SIRIUS WAVE: The Binary Multi-sensory Interactive Light Product

Please welcome SIRIUS WAVE, the latest in the SENSE-I-ca multi-sensory interactive products.

Sirius Wave:The Binary Multi-sensory Interactive Light Product

Following on the heels of AURORA WAVE, and CORONA WAVE, SIRIUS WAVE is a touch-activated light machine that creates a wide range of beautifully colourful animated and soothing light patterns that appear to emanate from its core.

So why the name SIRIUS WAVE?

Well SIRIUS, which means “glowing” or “scorching” in ancient Egyptian, is the brightest star system in the night sky and while it appears as a single star, it is in fact a binary star system, consisting of a white star, Sirius A, and a faint white dwarf, Sirius B.  The WAVE part of its name comes from the non-contact “touch” system used to control its animations.

Apropos, don’t you think?

Sirius Wave:showing a wave mode that sweeps colour patterns across the displays under the control of the user

Like its siblings, SIRIUS WAVE encourages the user to touch and control the brightly glowing animated light patterns. However, SIRIUS WAVE is unique in that it offers completely independent control of the right and left sides, allowing users to create even more vibrant and vivid colour patterns with both hands. The two independent controls can be simply exercised by a single user or, for instance, in combination with a caregiver to facilitate hand-eye coordination and control exercises.

Sirius Wave:showing one of the dot pattern modes where the colour palette of each side are independently controlled by the user

Made out of soft white plastic that warms to the touch, the light patterns pulse, beat and swirl slowly around the unit to creating enthralling and relaxing aurora light shows. A total of 10 different patterns can be selected and controlled by the user.

The SIRIUS WAVE is 6″ x 11″, fits comfortably in a lap, or table top, and consists of 184 brightly coloured LED lights arranged as two sets of concentric rings to create a visually stimulating display.

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TIME LOOP Clock: accuracy with celestial connections

Introducing the TIME LOOP Clock
Accurate local time with celestial connections

The TIME LOOP Clock provides automatic to-the-second time accuracy with a dynamic display that adjusts hues and brightness based on the real-time position of both the sun and moon.


TIME LOOP Clock: showing 1:45:44 PM in daylight hues


TIME LOOP Clock: beautifully coloured time display that dynamically adjusts based on the position of the sun and moon

Time Loop

Time Loop: moon rise and moon set

Time Loop

Time Loop: sunrise and sun set

Time Loop

Time Loop: time mode


TIME LOOP Clock: showing 10:13 PM in its night time hues. Note that the moon was not in the sky so the hues reflect this.


TIME LOOP Clock: showing 8:25 AM with its daytime hues. The brightness of the display is based on the current time relative to solar noon

The TIME LOOP Clock is a 182mm (7.2″) diameter wall-mounted clock that sports a ring of LEDs used to tell the time. Based on conventional analogue clock faces, hours are displayed as single fixed points of light, minutes fill or empty around the ring while a second ‘hand’ gently pulses and traverses the ring. The hues of the display automatically adjust based on the position of the sun and moon. During daylight hours, the brightness of the display adjusts based on the current time relative to solar noon while nighttime hues are chosen based on moon rise and moon set times.

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AURORA WAVE: Interactive light display

Introducing AURORA WAVE, another member of the interactive light display devices for the elderly and people with cognitive challenges. AURORA WAVE is a movement-activated light device that creates a wide range of beautifully animated and soothing light patterns that appear to emanate from its core.


AURORA WAVE: (left) shown alongside the CORONA WAVE product

AURORA WAVE: (left) shown alongside the CORONA WAVE product

AURORA WAVE: (right) shown with CORONA WAVE

AURORA WAVE (left) shown alongside the CORONA WAVE product

AURORA WAVE: (left) shown cycling through one of the 9 animated light patterns

Here are some comments from a practitioner using the AURORA WAVE with residents of a long-term care facility:

“Wow!  What a powerful glow from all the LEDs.  The glow reflects off the wall mirrors and provides enough light for the whole room.  I used the AURORA WAVE with three of my residents in the Snoezelen room.  These are some of my most challenging residents.  The residents have severe dementia and very low activity tolerance and/or participation.  They did not comprehend touching the surface.  Some have severe contractures in their arms or fingers.  We watched the AURORA WAVE cycle through the various modes on its own and I would bring it closer to their line of vision and change it myself.  I did hand-over-hand action for some.  The AURORA WAVE gives off heat in the middle which was a nice side effect as it helps in arthritic relief.”

Larger than its brother, CORONA WAVE, the AURORA WAVE is 144mm (5.7″) in diameter and creates its light patterns and animations using nearly 100 RGB (red, green, blue) LEDs arranged in 5 consecutive rings.

The AURORA WAVE incorporates a novel infra-red sensor underneath its top surface to allow the user to control the pattern animation speed and brightness without requiring any physical touch. In addition, without user interaction, the brightness of the display is slowly reduced and the animation advanced to the next light pattern. This automatic mode is particularly effective for clients who enjoy the stimulation of the light patterns but are not able to control or interact with the device.

Currently the AURORA WAVE is being trialed with residents of a long-term care facility to test its effectiveness and utility.

Please standby for more information…

SHAPE SHIFTER – A shapely game for the elderly

Introducing “SHAPE SHIFTER”, a tactile and visually stimulating shapes and colours game

SHAPE SHIFTER sports large shaped illuminated tactile buttons and a big illuminated display. The bright and vibrant colours and playful melodies make this an engaging game for all ages.

Shape Shifter

Shape Shifter

Aimed primarily at the elderly and people with cognitive challenges, the current version of the SHAPE SHIFTER sports five games – “Follow Me” (simple and blink), “Memory Pairs”, and “Memory Sequence” (slow and speedy). Similar to the SIMPLER SIMON, the games are accompanied by musical tones and melodies.

The games of the SHAPE SHIFTER are selected upon start-up by pressing one of the shaped buttons. The details of each game are as follows:

  1. TRIANGLE: “Follow Me (simple)” game encourages the player to press the randomly illuminated button. In this  simplest version of the game, the button to be pressed remains illuminated until pressed
  2. CROSS: “Follow Me (flash)” is a slightly more challenging variant of the game as it just flashes the colour that is to be pressed.
  3. CIRCLE: “Memory Pairs” game shows a sequence of two random buttons, that encourages the user to press the correct buttons in the same sequence.
  4. PLUS: “Memory Sequence (slow)” game encourages the player to replay a random sequence of illuminated buttons. After each successful replay, the sequence is repeated slowly and lengthened by one. This game repeats the sequence slowly allowing plenty of time for the user to see and hear each button of the sequence.
  5. SQUARE: “Memory Sequence (fast)” game is for more advanced Memory Sequence game players, as the speed of the sequence increases with the length of the sequence.

For each of the games, play is accompanied with button tones and action melodies that include initial start-up; game selection, level start, level completion, and player error.

The game to be played is selected after the power-up routine by pressing on one of the five shaped illuminated buttons.

Game play encourages the player to stay engaged through multiple modes of feedback. Successful completion of each game level is accompanied by a rousing melody and the length of the number of rounds in the level is incremented. In addition, the tone of each button is also raised one semitone to indicate that the player is playing a progressively harder round. Successful completion of 10 rounds advances the player to the next SHAPE SHIFTER game.

More images to come…


CORONA TOUCH: Touch activated light display

Introducing the “CORONA TOUCH” interactive light display.

Based on ongoing developments for the elderly and/or people with cognitive challenges, CORONA TOUCH is a touch-activated light machine that creates a wide range of beautifully animated and soothing light patterns that emanate from its core.

Corona Touch

Corona Touch

Here are a few movies (care of Shirley Lee) of the CORONA TOUCH in operation

  1. CoronaTouch-v07
  2. CoronaTouch-v03
  3. CoronaTouch-v04
  4. CoronaTouch-v06
  5. CoronaTouch-v12
  6. CoronaTouch-v09
  7. CoronaTouch-v10
  8. CoronaTouch-v11

According to Wikipedia, “A corona (Latin, ‘crown’) is an aura of plasma that surrounds the sun and other stars… ” noting that “… the high temperature of the Sun’s corona gives it unusual spectral features”.  This is fitting for this little machine, as everyone who has played with CORONA TOUCH has been enthralled and attracted by its vivid colours and animated patterns.

Corona Touch

Corona Touch: the touch-activated light pattern machine

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AirMaze: Maze Game with a twist

AirMaze, a new twist (literally) on the Maze Game


AirMaze: accelerometer / transmitter assembly, receiver display unit and, of course, the original Maze Game


AirMaze: closeup of the accelerometer and 2.4GHz transmitter assembly, repackaged for inserting into stuffed toy


AirMaze: closeup of the display unit showing one of the training mazes

The AirMaze idea started from a conversation with Shirley Lee, a recreation professional who organizes activities and programs for seniors in long-term care.  One of Shirley’s specialties is in multi-sensory stimulation, aka Snoezelen. She expressed the need for interesting and engaging rehabilitation activities for the elderly and stroke victims to help in recovering and/or strengthening hand-eye coordination and was fascinated with the Maze Game.

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