[posted] Wobble Sphere - playful art installation


I just made a video of my new interactive art installation Wobble Sphere! Here it is:

It is an evolution of Wobble Garden and Quantum Garden, which was posted on the blog before!

And here is a blurb of it:
Wobble Sphere is the newest playful hardware installation by Robin Baumgarten. 72 touch-sensitive metal springs and LED rings sit on a large sphere (~50cm diameter), illuminated by various playful interactions and ambient animations. Robin's goal is to eventually open Wobble Sphere up for other artists to make their own playful animations on it as a platform.
Using state-of-the-art hardware, Robin built Wobble Sphere to react extremely fast to touch and boast a frame-rate of over 150fps, delivering an experience that just isn't possible on 'normal' digital platforms. Wobble Sphere was conceived as an evolution of Wobble Garden and was designed during the first months of the 2020 pandemic - astute observers will notice similarities in its shape.

I wrote up a short 'Making Of' on my website here: https://wobblylabs.com/projects/wobblesphere
Feel free to copy the images and text for a blog entry if you'd like.

In particular, I'm using the Teensy 4.0 in it, and Ward's amazing TriantaduoWS2811 parallel LED output library. I'm also using 6 MPR121 touch sensors on two I2C channels, and send touch data over USB to a Python script, which sends the LED RGB data back to the Teensy. I also experimented with Run Length Encoding to compress the LED serial stream to improve the frame-rate, but with the high 480 MBit USB bandwidth it turned out not to be necessary, as I'm still easily able to achieve 150+ frames per second with the uncompressed stream. It'll be good to have for the future though, if/when I build a massive version of this ;)

That is really fascinating. How does all that huge amount of stuff connect to the Teensy?