Wireless accelerometer controlled RGB LED

[Andlier] sent us this cool little project.  He has built a wireless accelerometer controlled RGB LED lighting system. Based on what a mouth full that is, it sounds complicated right? The end result looks fairly intuitive. Simply pick up the controller and tilt your hand to change the color of the light.

The controller consists of an Atmel AVR168 microcontroller. He doesn’t specify what transceiver he is using, but if you look in the comments, he notes that he added an antenna to it to extend the range. The part that controls the LED is based off of an Atmel AVR169 microcontroller hooked to some shiftbright LED modules.

The range on it is around 20 meters. The transition between colors is very smooth, as you can see in the video below.

Comments

  1. speedphreak says:

    Now put it (the controller) in a hamster ball and roll it around. Looks like the controller has to be kept in a certain position to maintain a color. Am I right or wrong there?

  2. macegr says:

    This is a really good example of the Lego-style building approach. So many modules are available to perform various tasks, and something like an Arduino is the perfect way to glue them together. These modules could be rearranged into other formations for a completely different function. If you had a kit of about 50 different functional modules, you’d be able to whip up nearly any complex function in an hour.

  3. Andlier says:

    Guess I forgot to mention the wireless chip vendor. It’s a Nordic Semiconductor RF24L01. Really easy with these modules, and yes, I’ve played alot with Lego too:)

  4. Pieter says:

    sparkfun Wee? Nice work!

  5. Eric says:

    I am less excited about the cookie cutter approach to designing at home. It makes projects a little easier, but it takes away a lot of the fun for me. Usually I like to know I can build and understand my project down to the simplest elements instead of relying on “Product X” from “xyz.com” available for $29.99. Instead of buying my modules, I often build my own that I can reuse or duplicate for other projects.

    This is pretty cool though, and I don’t mean to detract from your hard work, andlier! Even I would like to try using one of those wireless modules. :)

  6. Andlier says:

    Even if you buy modules like I did for this project, you still have to figure out the communication and software part, lots of fun there. I didn’t want to mess with impedance-matched high frequency pcb-design. But I agree it’s more fun to do my own pcb’s and not rely on sparkfun or other suppliers. Unfortunately I don’t have as much time as I would like to play with fun electronic projects.

  7. macegr says:

    I just see it as a natural progression. Electronics hobbyists used to wind their own coils, cut their own crystals, even make their own batteries. Then they took advantage of vacuum tubes with integrated functions such as rectification and amplification. Transistors and ready-made things like coils, capacitors, and resistors became commonly available. And then we have integrated circuits, which combine thousands or millions of discrete components into a ready-to-use functional block. Now look forward another 100 years from now…I would hope hobbyists are not too far behind industry, we won’t be soldering DIPs together with wires. We’ll roll sophisticated functions into elements that can be combined the way we now use integrated circuits, or discrete components. Hobbyists might be gluing complex optical function blocks to a substrate and linking them with lasers or optical fibers.

  8. Dosbomber says:

    I agree with eric to some extent. While everyone will tell you that you’re wasting your time “re-inventing the wheel” when you could buy a module that does a major function of your product, it’s also a good idea to know how to build a “wheel”, and how it works. That being said, the unfortunate side effect of rebuilding that wheel is it often makes development time 10x longer.

  9. Carl says:

    There’s nothing wrong with the cookie cutter approach. It’s just like the copy paste programming approach, which is all you can do at the start.

    Like I found with copy paste programming when I started 10 years ago, I find Arduino and other ‘off the shelf’ purchases a gateway drug to a deeper understand of ‘whats going on’.

    Keeping sticking the cookies together and you’ll create or learn something cool Andlier.

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