05.3 Mini-Project: Dancing Lights [Michelle Spitzer]


Three lit arms are controlled by the users actions. The blue and green arms move based on the users proximity to distance sensors. The red arm reacts to temperature changes.  This creates a bizarre light show that is never the same twice and fascinating sculptures of light and fabric determined by movement and temperature.

The Code: Dancing_Lights

The Video:

Parts (from Adafruit.com and robotshop.com)

  • 3 Hitec HS 311 Servo Motors
  • 2 SHARP IR distance sensors (with cables)
  • 1 Inex Temperature Sensor Board
  • 1 Arduino Duemilanove
  • Hookup wire (solid)
  • 4 100 ohm resistors
  • 2 Green LEDs
  • 3 Red LEDs
  • 2 Blue LEDs
  • 4 Yellow LEDs
  • 2 9 volt batteries
  • 2 battery clips


  • Plywood for base and top
  • Basswood ½” square stick for arms
  • Various pieces of translucent fabric
  • Needle and thread
  • Liquid Welder
  • Electric solder and a soldering iron
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pop tops for positive and ground terminals
  • Mat board for sensor setup

Problems and What I Learned:

One of my problems was figuring out how to connect all of the lines to the positive and negative leads to the appropriate terminals without ending up with a mess of wires. The solutions was to create grooves in the center of the arms to solder the LED leads together in and create a hollow base to connect the battery packs to the positive and negative terminals.  The other major issue was that I needed to connect all of the positive and negative LED leads together in order to reduce the number of power connections. I couldn’t solder them to a penny, but it was possible to solder them to pop-tops (from soda cans) then to cover the connections in hot glue in order to ensure longevity of the connections.  What I learned: how to solder leads together and how to plan out a carpentry design to include electronic components.


~ by Michelle on March 31, 2010.

One Response to “05.3 Mini-Project: Dancing Lights [Michelle Spitzer]”

  1. Love it! Leila would love this thing to death haha. Great job!

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