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Responsive Pixels: Sensor-Based LED Animation

Junior Interaction One, VCUQatar

Faculty leader

Michael Hersrud and Levi Hammett, Assistant Professors

Student participants

Al-Meraikhi, Maryam J.; Peng, Boqin; Geib, Brandon; Anwar, Abdul; Chua, Dana Abdallah B.; Al-Hajri, Jawaher; Al-Buainain, Noof A.; Azzam, Wurood I.; Walker, Michael

’Responsive Pixels; Sensor-Based LED Animation’ is a six-week project that introduced students to the basics of physical computing and procedural thinking. The project began exploring procedural concepts using ‘LittleBits’ to create small interactive devices. In the next phase of the project, students were introduced to creative code using the Processing and Arduino platforms, and specifically with Rainbowduino, an LED micro-controller that can generate low resolution images on an 8x8 pixel LED matrix.

Students explored the design possibilities within the limitations of the Rainbowduino platform to generate concepts and meaning through the creation of procedural patterns, icons, and animations. The final phase of the project introduced students to basic sensors that could be used to control the animations, and connect the user with the device in a direct and physical way. In addition to a range of refined experiments generated throughout the process, the project resulted in a finished installation incorporating an object that encouraged ‘playful’ interaction by allowing the user to drive the animation through direct physical engagement.