Tag Archives: interactive LEDs

Interactive LED Bar

Interactive LED Bar

Alter Itay sent us pictures of a bar he designed with our Interactive LED Panels installed under the glass bar top.

Empty bar

This is a popular use for the panels, but we rarely get to see the end results, as the bars they get installed in are all over the world.

People interacting

As the patrons interact with each other and the bartenders they trigger the sensors and their drinks are illuminated by the LEDs.

Interactivity in action

Thanks very much to Itay for sending us the pictures and letting us share them!

Black & White Bar Picture

Tales from the Auxiliary

The Evil Mad Science Auxiliary is a public group on Flickr for anyone to add photos that are (at least marginally) related to posts and projects from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories.
Lately some fantastic photos and projects have shown up in the group, so we thought that we should stop and round up a few– not all– of the great things that we’ve seen there.

The photos below were taken by their respective owners; click on the individual photos to get the full story.



A dark detector built by cyenobite, using a tiny battery holder.


Joule Thief 1




Beautiful Joule Thief light by Jimmie Rodgers




Rewired 16seg POV display: Shift registers!   

Adam Greig has been having fun with AlphaPOV. (Results here.)


Macro shots with light ring   Bristlebot version IIBristlebot version II   Cheapest bot on Earth

Francesco (Flickr user fdecomite) made this amazing army of BristleBots, photographed with the help of his spiffy LED ring light. He even made some excellent videos of the little guys in action.


LED arrays   Homebrew toy blaster effects

Steve Lodefink has been busy building up this set of electronics for an extra-spiffy handlheld blaster. Based on 555 and 4017 chips, it has some elements in common with our little cylon circuit. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when it’s done!


SP_A0133   SP_A0130SP_A0112

Channon (Flickr user plik the geek) is building up one of our interactive LED kits.

He also decorated his office printer with an overly honest label. (Coincidentally, we also did this to our own office printer.)



Finished circuits!

Speaking of interactive LED kits, A Oli Wood contributed this fabulous time exposure of his completed circuit.

So… If you’ve got pictures or projects that were in some way inspired by our projects, we would as always love to see them in the Auxiliary. And to everyone who has contributed, thanks for your cool pictures!

Last minute Evil Mad Shopping and Projects

Lit up segments spell out the letter M   Segments visible

Time to make some LED Micro-Readerboards as ornaments for your tree this year? Watch the short video introduction to see what they do: display a message one character at a time.

This is one of the open-source holiday electronics projects that we released last year. Our up-to-date build instruction are here, including source code. We also have an FAQ about this project, a page of technical data about it, and a discussion forum if you need help with it. The version 2.0 kits (which are still available at the Make Store) use a seriously awesome ultra-high brightness, deep red 16-segment alphanumeric display for long battery life.

As of today, you can also buy the LED displays alone– just the thing for your own custom microcontroller project, alphapov display, name tag, or ornament.

[Product Page]

Jellybean versus the mechanical mouse
Next, the Interactive LED Panel Kits (as seen in the interactive LED coffee tables that we designed with Because We Can) now come with these beautiful black printed circuit boards. Pictured above, JellyBean combats a mechanical mouse on a table made with a special-order kit that has all green LEDs.

Quite a few of these tables have now been built and there’s even a new instructable from Deadly Computer about the process of building one. During the past month we’ve slowly caught up with the huge waiting list to get a kit, so it’s much easier to get one now. We have even made up some extras of the most popular kit combinations (8 panel with all blue LEDs or blue + white LEDs), which are available in stock to buy right now, shipped to arrive before Christmas to US addresses.

[Product Page]


Finally, we have some new multipurpose stickers for sale. Quite possibly the best gift in the world for the software developer in your life.

“These handy stickers will increase the visual appeal of many different items. If you happen to take them to any big box electronics stores, please bring your camera and post pictures in the Evil Mad Science Auxiliary.” We’re waiting for those action shots.

[Product Page]

Interactive LED Coffee Tables: Update and kits!

PopSci_2007_10 Cool, our interactive LED coffee tables got a mention in the October issue of Popular Science!

What’s an interactive LED coffee table? (Funny you should ask….) It’s a coffee table that has hundreds of LEDs in the top surface that respond to motion above the table. We have (finally) put together a movie to give you a better idea of how they respond to their environment. You can see the movie on YouTube or watch it embedded:

The complete tables are for sale from Because We Can, our partners in design on this project. There are presently two models, The Ripple (left) and The Wave (right):

the ripple   the wave

Since we first showed these off, we have had a lot of inquiries about how you can make your own table like this. We are now producing (very large) electronic soldering kits so that you indeed can make your own.

Our kits include the giant printed circuit boards, components, instructions, LEDs, and all other parts needed to build the electronic portion of the table tops. Constructed, you end up with what essentially amounts to a single extra-ginormous circuit board that can sit underneath the clear or frosted glass (or plastic) top of your own table. Interesting in getting a kit? Click here to read the details!

(Revised 11/16/2007).

Interactive LED coffee tables

BWC's new coffee table

Last year at Maker Faire, we showed off our interactive LED dining table. There, we met the fine folks at Because We Can, who make amazing mostly wooden things with a little help from their robot. We eventually all decided on collaborating to design and build a new series of interactive coffee tables. We’ve just wrapped up the project and are introducing them this weekend at Maker Faire.

Besides what is written about them on this page, you can read more about them on the
Because We Can Blog, and you can also see lots of photos in the product pages for the two different coffee table designs: the wave and the ripple.

The new tables are designed to look really great whether or not you can see the LEDs. The wooden bases are elegant and attractive, and also if you go up to one and touch it, it will respond by pleasantly lighting up in that area. The tables are designed to respond in a subtle and gentle fashion to stimulus provided by human interaction. They are normally dim and constant– the most you’ll see in a dark room is a faint glow of twinkling like the night sky. When you set your glass down on the table, however, the table “sees” the motion that induces a slow ripple starting in that location that spreads out to other areas of the table as it dissipates. The overall effect is a bit like touching a pool of water, in that your local disturbance turns into an overall gentle rippling, and eventually settles down. It is decidedly not a disco floor– there is no blinking, no programmed oscillations, or for that matter, any digital electronics at all– the circuitry is completely analog to improve aesthetics and reduce eyestrain.

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Interactive LED Dining Table

This is our dining table. We built it because we needed a new dining table, and I guess we’re just that kind of people. It has a frosted glass top lit by 448 multicolored LEDs that respond, in a complex and gentle fashion, to input generated by motion above the table while we eat.We showed it off at the Maker Faire. Click on the photo to get to see some other photos of the table construction. Lenore was interviewed about the table at the faire, see Lenore’s CNET inteview.

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