First, I used the Leap Motion to track the user's palm position. The Leap Motion is kind of like a mini Kinect, but it isolates hands and fingers using IR cameras. Depending on where the user's palm is along the x, y or z axis, a Python script sends a color value (0-255) for the red, green and blue LEDs to the Arduino via a serial connection.
While at the conference, I got my project mostly working with just one RGB LED, since I would need to order the weatherproof RGB LED strips to go on my house. While stuck at Jacksonville airport due to Storm Dion, I put some finishing touches on the code and went home to wait for Amazon to deliver my LEDS.
It turns out that powering four strips (1200 LEDs total) was a bit more complicated than just the one LED. So with benchtop powerboard kit I borrowed from Timball and a circuit example from Make, I was able to wire up the full circuit to a 300 Watt desktop computer power supply.
Can you believe it? I wired that thing up right the first time.
Once I got that working, I started soldering things together. The lights I got had random connectors on the end (some all male, some all female) and they didn't quite match up, so I ended up cutting off the connectors and soldering them together. I also inserted a bunch of wire to extend the connection to the LED strip so it could start at my roofline. Here's a diagram of the overall setup:
|What an artist!|
Once that was all set it was a matter of setting up a station at the street so my neighbors could play with it. For housing I used a big plastic locking case that my Makita drill came in. I used my jigsaw to cut a hole in the top and gorilla glued a piece of plexiglass over the hole. Then I drilled some holes for cords and nestled the whole netbook-arduino-leapmotion assembly in the case. Once I was sure everything worked, I taped the leap motion up against the plexiglass so it could see out.
|Plexiglass over the leap motion|
|Admiring my own work|
|the guts of the thing|
For that I made a jig to set it on out of scrap wood and screwed it to the big red maple by the street (sorry red maple!). I also screwed the inside of the case to another scrap piece of stud, making sure to leave enough room behind the hinge so I could still open the case. Lastly I topped it off with a small key lock because you don't want anyone to spoil the fun.
Oh and I also put a sign up to explain the whole thing. I'll post more pics if I can catch anyone interacting with it.