Thousands of physical pixels turn these walls into a huge display

The scale of this project is daunting. Each of the three white walls seen in the image above is made up of thousands of oblong square blocks. The blocks move independently and turn the room into an undulating 3D display.

If it had only been the demonstration video we might have run this as a “Real or Fake” post, but we’re certain this is real. Each pixel is made of what looks like a foam block mounted on a stepper-motor-driven linear actuator. So basically this must have set the world record for the CNC machine with the most axes. The motors make for very accurate and smooth motion, and the control software lets them draw shapes, words, animated objects, and the like. But the one side effects that we absolutely adore is the sound all of these motors make when running. After the break you can see a demo video and a ‘making of’ clip.

The installation is the work of the Jonpasang art collective and is installed as a Hyundai exhibit at an expo in Korea.

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Turning pixels into LEGO pieces

Looking to spice up his living room with some modular plastic pieces, [Quentin] came up with a way to take digital pixels and convert them to LEGO building plans. The end result is a coffee table top that uses a font complete with anti-aliasing.

The first thing he did was figure out physical dimension and color palettes available from the popular building blocks. His search yielded all of the answers after he spent some time on Brickipedia. Armed with that knowledge he started bargain hunting, settling on a brick size that yielded adequate resolution without breaking the bank (he budgeted 87 Euros or about $125 for materials). From there he used Photoshop, along with a custom color palate that matches the LEGO colors, to generate the design. Image in hand, he finished the planning stage by writing a program to count the pixels, convert them into LEGO bricks, and spit out an order list and build instructions. He’s saving others the trouble of doing the same by releasing his source code.

Of course the project wouldn’t be nearly as fun if he hadn’t made a fast-time build video. We’ve embedded it after the break.

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MeggyCade: when handheld pixel gaming isn’t enough

[Bomber Punk] built his own arcade cabinet, but you won’t find any MAME games here. He made the enclosure to house a Meggy Jr. 8×8 pixel graphics game console. Proper coin-op buttons and a joystick replace the stock tactile switches that come with the kit. [Bomber Punk] has also added a lighted coin slot. A three-cell battery pack powers the beast, with a programming port to one side so that different games can be loaded from a PC. We’d like to see a processor upgrade that would allow multiple games to be stored on a stand-alone system.

Take a look at the video after the break, it’ll bring a smile to your face.

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Make a knitting machine print pixel art

[Becky Stern] shows how to take an old electronic knitting machine and interface it with a computer. After seeing the Brother KH-930E knitting machine in the video after the break it looks like the controls function quite like a CNC milling machine. Patterns can be programmed in and stored on a floppy disk. Since we don’t want to use those anymore (unless they’re hacked as an SD card carriage) it is nice to see that this is how the machine is connected to a computer. Using an altered FTDI cable and a floppy-drive emulator written in Python a blank design file can be saved on the knitting machine, manipulated in the computer to add your own pixel art, then loaded back onto the machine for production. At the very least, it’s interesting to watch the knitting happen, but fans of knitted apparel and geek paraphernalia must be salivating by now.

We’ve never given up our dream to transition from Hack-A-Day to Craft-A-Day, this just fuels the fire for that cause.

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An Arduino Watch you would actually want to wear

Leather work, copper tubing, small easy to use package. Now that is a beautiful Arduino Watch. [Matthew Garten] has retrofitted his old Arduino Watch and given us the details that we crave.

Previously, all we had was a video and a few pictures of a quite uninviting watch. But now we know it has temperature, range finding, and trackball input while displaying time, games, and more with its 128 by 128 pixel OLED 16 bit display. And did we mention the much more enticing steampunk case?

Space Invader button


[Marcus] saw [Alex]’s 64 pixel project and decided it could be implemented in even less space. Pictured above is his Space Invader button with a bicolor LED matrix. The controller board is all SMD and piggybacked on the matrix. An ATmega164P drives the 24 pins via transistors. In addition to animation, the board can do LED sensing too. It’s a very clever project and [Marcus] has some notes about working with such tiny components. You can see a video of it below. Continue reading “Space Invader button”