Super-precise light painting from a delta robot

delta-robot-light-painting

The points of those geometric shapes line up perfectly thanks to the delta robot arm controlling the light source. The source is a simple LED that can be switched on and off as it moves. A camera is set up in a dark room to keep the shutter open while the arm moves. We’re assuming that all of the light for the stationary objects in this image comes from the LED as well.

[Sick Sad] built the delta bot for just for this purpose. Check out the video below to see, and perhaps more importantly hear, the thing in motion. Seriously, the whine of the stepper motors is pretty awesome on this one.

The delta concept uses a central head on three arms angled down from above. If the LED is also pointed down it won’t light up the hardware and that’s why it doesn’t show up in the image. We’ve seen similar accuracy when using this style of machine for 3D printing. But if you don’t want to build a complicated machine you can try this out with a simple string plotter.

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How to find WiFi: carry a big stick and use long exposures

Here’s an artsy way to map out WiFi networks around you; use a big light pole and long exposures to graph them on top of photographs. This capture method is often called light painting, and uses the relative brightness of LEDs to stretch out a still image – moving the stick quickly while the shutter is open.

The four-meter tall rod used in this project plays host to 80 white LEDs. An Arduino along with a WiFi shield detect the relative signal strength of the network surrounding the device. The images that are produced with this method are quite pleasing and you’ll enjoy watching the video after the break. We just wish that there was some kind of Google Street View interface to share this data since someone had to go out pounding the pavement with the rather peculiar looking apparatus in order to gather the data in the first place.

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Lightdrawing Robot

Long exposure “light drawing” photography has become pretty popular lately. We see images pop up all the time that look pretty cool. [Nils] wasn’t feeling particularly artistic himself, so he made a robot to do the hard work for him. he can program patterns in, and it will replay them by changing the color of the light on top while it drives around. Though it may lack a little of the fluidity of the hand made images, it can probably make up for it with complexity. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this style of photography mixed with robotics, though this one seems fairly more flexible. Tune in after the break to see a video of it in action.

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Simple laser projector

laserscanner

[kap4001] built what has to be the simplest laser scanner possible. It’s two servos strapped together with zip ties plus a 5V laser module. They’re connected to a Pololu serial servo controller. The laser is pulsed by switching the DTR line. You could use it to draw images like the one above… except that’s an 85 second exposure.