Hackaday Prize Entry: Lose Yourself To Dance

Not every project for The Hackaday Prize needs to solve a pressing concern, save the planet, or help people. Sometimes, it just needs to be cool. [Jeremy]’s project is certainly cool. He’s building a touch-sensitive disco floor for the awesomeness of Saturday Night Fever combined with the technical complexity of the Billy Jean music video.

We’ve seen a few disco floor builds over the years, and for the most part, [Jeremy] isn’t straying too far from a well-tread path. He’s using LED strips to light his build, cutting the frame for the floor out of plywood and translucent squares, and using an ATMega to control each panel. So far, nothing out of the ordinary.

The trick to this build is that every square has a capacitive touch sensor. Underneath each translucent panel is a bit of wire mesh. Because the disco floor has 144 nodes, running the standard capacitive sensor library just wouldn’t work; the delay in measuring each node adds up very fast. By rewriting [Paul Stoffregen]’s capacitive sensor library, [Jeremy] was able to run many panels at once.

Right now [Jeremy] has a single panel that responds equally well to bare feet as it does to motorcycle boots. It’s exactly what you need in an interactive dance floor, and we can’t wait to seen the entire floor running.


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Robotic disco floor is a mobile party

[Chris Williamson] designed the Rave Rover, a mobile disco floor with integrated stripper pole for this year’s DragonCon.

[Chris] started building combat robots back in 2000 for Battlebots and Robot Wars and cofounded the South Eastern Combat Robot league. He’s a lover and not a fighter, so for the DragonCon robotics track [Chris] built his mobile dance party. He put up an Instructable of his build and some of the features are really clever. Whenever the dance floor is being ‘used’, pneumatic cylinders lower the disco floor so it rests directly on the ground. A good idea, especially considering what we imagine happens on the Rave Rover.

For the light-up disco floor, [Chris] cut black ABS sheets on a CNC router and installed RGB LED modules controlled by an Arduino. The floor can display low-res animations, but random patterns look just a cool.

The Rave Rover was designed and built over a one month span to get ready in time for DragonCon. The build was a little hurried but the quality is still there. Check out video of the Rave Rover at DragonCon after the break.

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