Star Catcher – Cooperative Physical VR Game

Adelle Lin and Matt Pinner built Star Catcher, a  cooperative virtual reality game, installed at Play NYC.


Players with nets move around the universe catching falling stars from the glowing ceiling. With each star caught, a new star is added to a constellation in our sky. These luminous Falling Stars have a romantic relationship with us on earth. Catching them has fun, playful, hopeful, and energetic effects.

The stars are suspended from the ceiling from strips of LEDs, each with a traveling light that represents a falling star.  Players hold a net with a location tracker installed that they use to catch the falling stars.  A projector is used to project a galaxy on the wall which is slowly filled with constellations as stars are caught.

Ornament & Crime Synthesizer Module

Ornament & Crime (Patrick Dowling (aka pld), Max Stadler (aka mxmxmx) and Tim Churches (aka bennelong.bicyclist)) developed an open-source polymorphic CV generator.

This module is packed with both hardware and software features. The Ornament & Crime web site has great information on how to build your own as well as documentation on the firmware available.  You can find the software and hardware details on GitHub.

While you can’t buy a completed module, you can get a kit from SynthCube.

This video, published by Synth DIY Guy, gives a great review on building the module himself.

In this video Voltage Control Lab you can see the module in action.


Moe’s Phone

Eric Betts was inspired to help decorate a Simpson’s inspired drink station at his office so he created Moe’s Phone – a modified 90’s (or maybe 80’s) era phone that plays Bart Simpson’s prank calls each time the receiver is lifted.

Picking up the receiver plays a dial tone, followed by the dialing of the phone number for Moe’s (it sounds like someone hit the ‘redial’ button). Finally, a random clip starts playing. You can hang up at any time to stop the clip, and the line goes dead when the clip finishes. Small touches like that added a lot to the experience.

You can find the code for the project on GitHub.

SeaGrass Art Installation

Mauricio Bustos was part of a team that built seaGrass, an interactive LED sculpture.

This beautiful, interactive sculpture has 30 30′ illuminated towers.  Each platform structure has a Teensy that is used to read capacitive touch elements that were used as inputs to change the light patterns.  There are 50 addressable LEDs in each tower structure surrounded by a diffusion shroud to make the lights appear as a continuous light band


This video shows seaGrass at BurningMan.

The electronics that create the magic of seaGrass.

You can follow the project on the LumenEssence Facebook page.

Ultrasonic Anemometer

Antiath built his own ultrasonic anemometer.

This DIY project is based based on a Teensy 3.6. The teensy generates 40 kHz packets  and uses it’s own ADC ( after a two stage amplification) to measure the received packets and their time of flight between two ultrasonic transducers. The wind speed is directly deduced from the measured speed of sound.

Falling Up Robot

Forum user EVL has built a 6-foot tall self balancing inverted pendulum bot as part of an effort to practice feedback control systems.

A PID control system achieves tilt stability. Tilt angle is calculated from sensor fusion of LSM6DS3 accel/gyro readings passed through an Extended Kalman Filter. Propulsion is done with 3A stepper motors with CUI AMT10 encoders for wheel position and velocity. Steppers were used for their high torque at low RPM and zero backlash, so near flawless stand-still response is achieved. The Kalman filter, LSM6DS3 anti-alias filters, and in-code butterworth filters mitigate the mechanical vibration effects of the steppers.

This test video demonstrates near perfect stand-still response.

The second test video demonstrates motion control while maintaining balance.

In addition to the the PJRC Forum, information on the project can also be found on Hackster.IO and this robotics forum.


Digital Setting Circles for Dobsonian Telescope

Aaron Turner built his own digital setting circles (DSCs) to add to his 12″ Dobsonian telescope after finding the commercial options were pricey and lacking in a good user interface.

DCSs show you where to point your telescope to locate your astronomical target.  They are particularly useful in areas of high light pollution.  You can read more about them here.

Powered by a Teensy 3.1, Aaron’s digital setting circles allow connecting
your computer, iPad or Android device to your telescope via WiFi to
more easily find any object in the night sky.

More information on the project can be found on the Teensy-DSC Wiki.  The code for the project can be at TeensyDSC on GitHub.