Each of the 13 modules consists of a microcontroller, a stepper motor and a sphere of steel connected to it with a rubber band. A piezo sensor is placed between motor and sphere. So each element could measure and activate its own oscillation through a simple feedback mechanism programmed on each chip. All microcontrollers are based on the physical computing plattform arduino and are custom built for CONNECT. The physical impulse carrier consists of a carbonbar and two magnets. Through the use of its magnetism it has the ability to connect to an element. If attached it behaves like a double pendulum with chaotic motion. There is one simple rule: If the impulse carrier is attached to an element, the stepper starts swinging, as long, as the carrier gets detached by a simple analogue mechanism to another element. If both connected elements start swinging in a disharmonic way, one connection will break because of the forces generated by this coupled spring mechanism. If a module is detached it stops activating its own oscillation. Therefore the physical impulse carrier controls the motion behaviour of the whole sculpture. There is no main program outside of the sculpture and no digital connection between the elements. Each module has its own simple program logic and they just start to react to each other because of the physical connections built.
Hardware / Software
Custom built microcontrollers based on arduino