Mechanical Mirrors

Are you an artist looking for ways to make your work mobile, interactive, etc.? Are you a techie looking for help in making your project look less 1950s (unless 1950s is your thing...)?
This might be the place to meet up!

Mechanical Mirrors

Postby Kevinlcarlson » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:27 pm

Daniel Rozin has created a number of "mechanical mirrors", in which a live camera image is used to manipulate picture elements to create a sort of pixelated physical image using various materials, such as angled wooden dowels.

These are highly ambitious projects, and probably expensive in terms of effort and materials, but it could be interesting to attempt to duplicate them on a somewhat smaller scale.

How would you make something like the examples in the link below?

http://www.dezeen.com/2014/02/21/mechan ... y-objects/
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Re: Mechanical Mirrors

Postby Scottinger » Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:36 am

Hello.

I have been interested in this project for several years. I'm sure I have a few links, but can't of course find them now.
As I recall, at least one of the projects I have seen used Processing. Yet another interest that I have not have time to explore.
I'd definitely be up for helping out in anyway I can.

-Scott
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Re: Mechanical Mirrors

Postby Kevinlcarlson » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:28 pm

Hello Scott, welcome to the club!

The "Angles Mirror" looks the least complicated, at least technically. The nearly 500 servos will still run about $1000, plus the supporting processors and programming effort.

The full size mirror has 30 servos across at the base, by my count. A more modest project having a base of 10 servos would run about $100 for the motors, more suited to a first effort IMHO. A 15 servos base, half the width of the original, would contain 120 motors at a cost of around $240, perhaps a good balance of cost and visual impact.

Probably several Arduino Mega clones would be needed to provide all the IO pins required. A Raspberry Pi with a video camera and running OpenCV software could provide the real time pixelated image needed to set the servo patterns.

I'll need to research this some more but it definitely seems doable - and possibly more satisfying than the LED cubes that I've been seeing on eBay lately...

"Twisted Strips" is also pretty cool, and even simpler to implement with about 40 servos:

http://www.bitforms.com/rozin/twisted-strips
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Re: Mechanical Mirrors

Postby Kevinlcarlson » Sat Sep 26, 2015 2:20 pm

This $15 driver board from Adafruit can control 16 servos using an I2C connection. Multiple boards can all be controlled using a single Arduino or other microcontroller. This is my pick for interactive art projects involving lots of motors:

https://www.adafruit.com/product/815

eBay also carries these boards from several vendors for about $4 each (if you can wait a few weeks for delivery...)

This many servos probably needs a bit more computing power and memory than an Arduino can handle.
Here's an article on using a Raspberry Pi with the 16-servo driver board:

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-16- ... spberry-pi
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