Arduino - Gong

For absolutely no reason other than the fact that I had a crazy idea, I created an interactive installation piece made out of the base of a vintage coat rack.

I used my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine to create masks for spray painting the heavy domed metal disc. It is approximately fourteen inches in diameter and five inches tall.

I cut a circular wooden base to sit under the dome and attached a threaded rod to support the metal dome. I cut the perimeter of the base at a 45 degree angle, sanded it smooth, and coated it with silver enamel paint to ensure the nine RGB LEDs positioned around the edge would reflect out away from the piece.

For the circuitry, I used an Arduino Nano board with Adafruit's Bluefruit board that allows for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communications.

Recently, the LiveCode authoring system introduced the integration of a number of new modules, one of which included the ability to create iPhone applications that communicate via BlueTooth.

In addition to the physical piece pictured above, I also created an iPhone app to control the Arduino. Below, I've provided both a screen shot of the app as well as the circuitry that is hidden under the dome.

Below, I provide a brief demonstration of everything in action. Please note that I'm standing right next to the gong, just so I can get everything in the video. But in practice, I can actually be just about anywhere in my house and still use the app to control the piece.

Once the piece is plugged in and the app is launched, I can drag the "sun" graphic left and right. This sends a wireless signal to the physical piece and changes the colors that shine out from around the perimeter. And when I tap the hand, a signal is sent to the solenoid that causes a rubber-coated metal rod to strike the dome to create a pleasant ringing sound.

Below, I've provided a number of resources for downloading:
  • Arduino source code - most of which comes directly from Adafruit, but also contains hooks I added to receive communication from LiveCode (thanks for your help on this, Cooper). Requires the Arduino IDE application.
  • Livecode file used to create the iPhone app - most of this comes directly from Monte Goulding's example files, but also contains hooks I added to send signals to the Arduino. And thanks, Bernd, for your optimization on the sun moving routine. Requires the Livecode application
  • Schematic file used to create the circuitry image above. Requires the Fritzing application.