Blog Posts

Solar Powered Chairoplane

Michael Diesing (forum user Joegi) built a solar powered chairoplane model.

Inspired by a chairoplane model  he already owned that only worked on bright summer days, Michael made this improved version that works even in winter.  He did this by creating a circuit where two solar cells charge 2 5F, 3V super capacitors.

Infinity Portal

Freeside, a hackersapce in Atlanta, built a 10-foot tall infinity mirror.

They did a great job documenting the build in this video.

This impressive build features a 7 x 4 ft infinity mirror mounted in a 10 ft tall archway.  They used WS2812 addressable LEDs driven by a Teensy to create the infinity effect.

Merlin Armor

Alex Glow made some pretty cool light up Merlin Armor.

This carbon-fiber armor has an LED underbelly.  It uses NeoPixel LED strips to run light animations.  The armor pieces can be made to mix and match.  All pieces hook up to a battery back and micro-controller – both of which Alex made some 3-D printed holders to wear on a belt.

The LEDs are mounted so they face towards the skin to create an under-lit effect.

Code for the project, as well as the plans for the 3-D printed utility pockets, can be found on Hackster.IO Project page.


LeoneLabs created PixelBrite, a study in pixels.  This amazing build is more than a light table.  It’s a digital Lite-Brite, minimalist light sculpture, a disco light, a sound reactive light show all rolled into one.

With batteries and a slot for and SD card to stream patterns without a computer, PixelBrite can act as a standalone light.  You can also plug it into a MIDI controller and have a interactive light show.

The Instructible page on the project is well worth reading.  It’s incredibly detailed and contains not only build details (like a complete bill of materials spreadsheet) but some information on color theory and display science as well.

The project is open source with the code available on GitHub.

WoodWind MIDI Instrument

Johan Berglund created this MIDI wind instrument that’s lightweight and fun to play.

It pressure sensor, capacitive touch keys, and pitch bend joystick to make a very expressive instrument.

More information can be found on this Tindie page where is was sold for some time, this project page (with lots of info and videos), and on the Tindie blog.

TeensyWI MIDI Woodwind

The project’s source code and documentation is on github.

Trees of Life Art Installation

Rick Van Melis created Trees of Life, a beautiful and interactive art installation that allows visitors to connect with the 2 trees and bring them to life.

The art installation features over 9,000 LEDs controlled by 8 Teensy boards using the Fast LED library. Each tree is a separate system. It has 6 hands and 12 ‘arteries'(LED-Strips) 2 out of each hand. These start at 1m50 and go 5 – 7,5m high.  Basically when untouched the tree and its arteries are in a restful idle animation. Users however were able to wake up the tree by placing their hands on the “hands of the tree” (hand shaped touch pads), when this happens the 2 arteries connected to the corresponding hand will start pulsating with ‘energy’.