Stroboscope project uses optical drive motor and Arduino

In the quest for a diy laser cutter made from DVD burner parts (that hack’s still in the works) this guy ended up with a junk box full of optical-drive leftovers. He put some of that surplus to good use by building this stroboscope. As the media spins, the white LED just out of focus in the foreground strobes to freeze the little black figure in the same place. The effect, as seen in the video after the break, is a dancing figure created by the optical illusion.

This is the same concept as that amazing 3D rowing skeleton build, but scaled down greatly. Each of the silhouettes seen above are slightly different, showing one pose that makes up a frame of the overall animation. They’re laser cut, but some careful paper-craft could probably accomplish the same thing. Assuming you could keep them from warping when spinning at high speeds.

[via Hacked Gadgets]


  1. Rocz says:

    outstanding :P

  2. YT2095 says:

    neat idea, my daughter would love it!

    I wonder if a synch pulse could be taken from the platter or motor itself and work as a zoetrope, bypassing the arduino entirely?

  3. kanchoblindside says:

    As already seen in a past issue of Nuts N Volts magazine.

  4. Sprite_tm says:

    Am I the only one thinking of the ‘State of the art’ demo now?

  5. Alex says:

    If you had two or three sequences interleaved on a larger disc, you could play different animations by adjusting the timing offset. You’d also have to keep track of the position of the “rest” frame, to keep transitions smooth.

  6. svofski says:

    Awesome! Curious about how it sounds in real life. Naïve BLDC driving in my Strobeshnik turned out to be not very reliable (unable to spinup by itself) and noisy as hell. This project appears to be doing the same, hence the question.

  7. francisco says:

    Seens like the 007 opening. I know from where you take the inspiration! I think from Quantun of Solace.

  8. Kieran says:

    Could use a tad improvement, but it is kit – wothy.

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