Spatialized Umbrella


Reader [Joe Saavedra] sent in his latest project: the spatialized umbrella. The base of each umbrella rib features an LED, speaker, and distance sensor. These are connected to an ATMega168 microcontroller running the Arduino environment. The IR sensor triggers a rain drop sound based on proximity. Shorter distances mean more droplets are played. The sounds are generated using a lookup table and the digital pins. You can see the demo video embedded below.

Using the Arduino environment without the associated board is part of another idea that [Joe] is working on. The MapDuino Project uses the standard Arduino hardware for programming, but then transfers the chip to a more barebones circuit in target project. They based their initial work on the ITP breadboard Arduino.

[vimeo 4073522]

20 thoughts on “Spatialized Umbrella

  1. i think i’ll file this under art that i don’t quite understand. don’t take that personally joe, there’s a lot of art I don’t understand. i’m not opposed to hacking random things together to create weird and useless devices. i’m definitely guilty of that.

  2. The second part, “Using the Arduino environment without the associated board” is certainly something I can get behind. the amount of wastage in some art student’s “blinking light in a box” project can be cut down on, at least. Added to my feeds.

    The rainbrella’s an ok proof of concept, and probably fun to walk around in the dark with. Beyond that, eh. Same could be said of an aliens movement sensor though.

  3. This is that straight burning man type of art! I like it. Maybe some dont, but maybe they also dont like other things.. Personally, if neon lights and sound are involved, count me in. Especially at night.

  4. yoooo ive got something to maybe make this more..useful or fun? How about play a sound inside the umbrella every time a raindrop hits, and depending on where it hits a different note is played :) musical rain could be more entertaining while walking around in the stormy weather :)

  5. I first thought this was to detect raindrops too. maybe they could add that function, and have the different segment of the top play different notes. then you could stand under a shower to play it? that would sound good!

    P.S @seanmartin, everytime i read or hear 2010 i think of it being in the distant future, then remember its only 8 months away! the sad part is im only 20! too many sci-fi novels me thinks :)

  6. This website is going downhill in a hurry. Every project h.a.d. posts now involves an Arduino and blinking leds. Can we get some complex projects or at least something useful?

  7. thanks all, for the great comments (even the “constructive” ones), and thanks so much to Eliot for posting this! I love the idea of having actual raindrops determine the attack, frequency and pitch of the sounds, although at the moment I can’t think of the technology that would get that done…

    If I could just make one correction – I did indeed use an ITP post as the basis for the HackDuino project, however, I am an MFA Design and Technology student at Parsons, so Eliot, if you are reading this, do you think you could also tag this post with “parsons” or “parsons MFA DT”. thanks, again.

    Josh is absolutely correct – MapDuino is completely top-down. There was never a question of which came first – the microcontroller or the breakout board. But it’s definitely something that is getting completely overlooked, and along with LadyAda, Freeduino, and others, we hope to continue to encourage this sort of DIY approach to the prototyping process.

    more projects soon, with far better documentation, i promise…

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