Arduino research 17/05/2018

Today I’ve been looking at how to build the various Arduino circuits for the Space Rocks, and at some examples of relevant projects.

I made some basic sensor experiments with a Light-dependent resistor, ultimately using this code from the Make: Getting Started with Arduino book.

// Example 06b: Blink LED at a rate specified by the
// value of the analogue input

# define LED 9 // the pin for the LED

int val = 0; // variable used to store the value
 // coming from the sensor

void setup() {
 // put your setup code here, to run once:

pinMode(LED, OUTPUT); // LED is as an output

// note Analogue pins are
 // automatically set as inputs

void loop() {
 // put your main code here, to run repeatedly:

val = analogRead(0); // read the value from the sensor

analogWrite(LED, val/4); // turn the LED on at
 // the brightness set
 // by the sensor

delay(10); // stop the program for some time


And this circuit:

LDR - LED circuit diagram
LDR – LED circuit diagram
LDR - LED circuit
LDR – LED circuit

Also stumbled upon How to Build an Arduino synthesizer with Mozzi library

The Mozzi library looks super-useful for sound generation:

Currently your Arduino can only beep like a microwave oven. Mozzi brings your Arduino to life by allowing it to produce much more complex and interesting growls, sweeps and chorusing atmospherics. These sounds can be quickly and easily constructed from familiar synthesis units like oscillators, delays, filters and envelopes.

You can use Mozzi to generate algorithmic music for an installation or performance, or make interactive sonifications of sensors, on a small, modular and super cheap Arduino, without the need for additional shields, message passing or external synths.

Note to self to also check out the Mozzi examples gallery.


Investigating magnetic levitation to suspend the Space Rock objects for display. The idea is that the objects appear to float in space, enhancing the feeling that they are ‘alien’ / from another planet.

And some examples that may be worth trying:



This week’s research – 06/05/2018

Marco Marchesi – Practical uses of style transfer in the creative industry – I missed this month’s Creative AI Meetup, but the presentation looks interesting. How to use AI style transfer in creative industry projects.

Looking through Arduino projects using audio this week, to ind some techniques that may be useful for the Space Rock interactions:

Inspired by Active Matter, I am looking at materials for the Space Rock (other than the Jesmonite currently planned), including bits of space junk.

And dug out this cult classic as inspiration for the Space Rock audio content and narrative.

I Hear a New World is a studio concept album written and produced by Joe Meek with the Blue Men, partially released as an EP in 1960. The album was Meek’s pet project. He was fascinated by the space programme, and believed that life existed elsewhere in the solar system. This album was his attempt “to create a picture in music of what could be up there in outer space”, he explained. “At first I was going to record it with music that was completely out of this world but realized that it would have very little entertainment value so I kept the construction of the music down to earth”.

This week’s research – 26/04/18

Very inspired by cuneiform following my visit to the British Museum, especially the Neo-Assyrian circular clay tablet with depictions of constellations (planisphere).

Looking at Living Symphonies by James Bulley and Daniel Jones as possible inspiration for the final Space Rocks musical piece.

Reading Science Fiction for Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction by Brian David Johnson, researching how to create a narrative around the final Space Rock objects.

And finally got hold of a copy of Active Matter. Currently watching the intro page move as the sun tries to peep out from behind clouds.

Active Matter inner cover
Active Matter inner cover
Active Matter inner cover
Active Matter inner cover

Got me thinking about the material of the Space Rock objects, and also reminded me of the Massive Attack heat-sensitive packaging.

VRLO, Wed, 25 Apr 2018. Surprisingly small space, and only a few demos there. Still struggling with the VR issue that only one person can share the experience at a time, because each person needs the (expensive) headset. However, really (vicariously) enjoyed the CAD in VR demo from Gravity Sketch. Almost worth getting aheadset for, to draw 3D models in a virtual 3D space.