64 Synchronizing Fireflies

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[Alex] of tinkerlog created a set of 64 RGB fireflies that synchronize to blink all at once. We covered the kit earlier, but he has assembled a set of 64. Each firefly is independently controlled by an ATtiny13 that reads a phototransistor and lights up an RGB LED. The fireflies are programmed to blink a certain rate, but blink faster if they detect other blinks. After a few cycles, the fireflies begin to blink in unison. When the fireflies are arranged in different configurations, different patterns emerge. He is selling kits and has instructions for building your own. Videos of the fireflies after the jump.

Related: Jar of fireflies

Comments

  1. faviomj says:

    Pretty nice

  2. animefruit says:

    this is off topic, but MJ you will be missed. this is a pretty cool project also. i tried making something like this years ago in highschool.

  3. Satiagraha says:

    I’ve always seen these in a grid configuration. It’s really cool to watch them as a strip.

    Great, now I want to make some fireflies :)

  4. timour says:

    good, that’s true Cybernetics like defined by Norbert Wiener
    i’ll start mine right now,
    but i will add some audio output on each, like a tone with a frequency dependent on the time error.
    I think also at uploading the firmware with ir through the phototransistor.

  5. cyanide says:

    AHHH SKYNET

  6. jim slipper says:

    this is a repost

  7. bubbaholy says:

    Cool. Now put them on wheels and give them some sort of behaviours that respond to light. :) I want to try that at least.

  8. cyrozap says:

    A shutdown command should be programmed in incase they become sentient. :)

  9. DanAdamKOF says:

    So pretty
    I’d love to see a screensaver like this :)

  10. David says:

    Four billion years of evolution and this is what life on Earth achieved. Sigh…

    Well; back to the round-the-clock coverage of the death of Michael Jackson.

  11. Mono says:

    david, in hopes that your kidding i quote the words of mj from that one southpark episode… “nooooo, thats ignorant. your being ignorant”

    …pottery, shoelaces, food network!
    humans have achieved so much!
    not to mention were currently working on global climate destabilization (which, i might add, we are way ahead of schedule on)

    btw, 4 billion years to become a smart-ass is a long time. you shoulda got in the “created by god” line… you coulda been mockin other peoples hard work and progress in less than a week ;p

    much love

    and about these fireflies, is there anyway to make stoplights sync up this effectively. i mean, as soon as the one im at turns green, the light a block in front of me turns red… damn the government.

  12. Scarhawk says:

    How far apart can the modules be and still synchronize? I’d love to cover a ceiling with these, but $10 per square inch is a bit much. $2 per square foot is more like it.

  13. Bill says:

    Video’s are nice but the project website is down :(

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