The Ommatid Is an Awesome “Thing”

[Jonathan Foote] made a really cool device: the Ommatid spherical display and controller. Part woodworking craft project, part art, and part tremendous hack, the Ommatid is something that we don’t really have a name for. But you can watch it in action, running demo code, in a video below the break.

The sphere design started out with a “20-sided regular polyhedron” with which D&D players should be familiar, and then divided each triangular face into four more triangles. An 80-sided die? Almost. One triangle’s worth was sacrificed for the part that mounts to the base.

Each facet contains an RGB LED and an IR sensor so that it can tell when a hand is nearby. All of this input and output is run through a Raspberry Pi, so both the sensing and display interactions are easily modified. [Jonathan] runs us through the electronics, programming, and interactivity in a separate Instructable. We really like [Jonathan]’s idea of turning this device into an OSC controller / display.

Kudos to [Jonathan] for the craftsmanship — from the work on the wooden parts to what must have been quite some trial-and-error in getting the 3D-printed sphere’s exterior to look just right. Here are some more videos of the Ommatid in development.

Thanks [drnjr31] for the tip.

7 thoughts on “The Ommatid Is an Awesome “Thing”

  1. Too bad pictures don’t show such LED goodness in color as seen. They always look like pastel colors for toddlers. Hence it looks like a baby rattle. I would rather have it as a flat panel.

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