60 Billion Lights: 2400 RGB LEDs + 120 Motors in Canvas Art Display #Art @McuOnEclipse

Erich Styger has build a colorful LED motion art display. The front is a painted canvas with a wooden frame. The canvas can be easily changed. Using a canvas is both lightweight and makes it a unique piece of art.

I named the project “60 Billion Lights” because the build includes 60 dual shaft stepper motors. Such stepper motors are used in automotive car dashboards, each of them with a resolution of 4350 steps per revolution. Added to each: Forty 24bit RBG LEDs creating more than 60 billion position and light combinations.

If not active, it looks like a ‘normal piece of art’ on the wall

The current firmware supports the following features:

  • 2400 individually addressable RGB LEDs (color, brightness, dimming)
  • 120 individually controllable stepper motors (direction, speed, acceleration/de-acceleration, absolute or relative angles), using automotive dashboard dual-shaft motors to build one of the 60 units
  • 15 controller boards with NXP LPC845 running FreeRTOS, connected by RS-485 protocol
  • Different clock hand modes: dual hand and triple hand mode
  • Two different font sizes for numbers and text
  • Displaying time, temperature, humidity and ambient light level
  • Configurable and extendable demos and intermezzos
  • Showing time in different modes: showing seconds, with/without frame, small/large, intermezzos
  • Four different weather display modes: sunny, cloudy, rainy, icy
  • USB CDC, RS-485 and BLE (Adafruit Bluefruit) and Wi-Fi (Espressif) connectivity
  • Exchangeable front and back skins with quick change canvas system
  • Software has for GNU gcc and Eclipse (NXP MCUXpresso IDE and SDK), running FreeRTOS

See the videos (one, two, three) below and all the details on Erich’s blog. Bravo.


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