Printed Circuit Bird #Art #Electronics @kelly_heaton

Artist Kelly Heaton demonstrates a printed circuit bird. She is entirely analog electronic, with five oscillators (with adjustable resistance) combining to generate different patterns of song.

Printed circuit bird, 2021. I created this work of electronic art to demonstrate the principles by which consciousness originates. The bird’s circuitry is entirely analog electronic, which means that her song is not recorded but *generated* by adjustable vibrations in the circuit that forms her body. She is designed to vibrate when exposed to electricity, and we hear the resulting (audible) waveforms as a bird-like sound. Her circuit contains five analog electronic oscillators that are coupled together with a combination of resistors and capacitors. The vibrations of one oscillator affect the others, thus causing a degree of complexity and unpredictability that we wouldn’t expect from such a simple circuit. It would be difficult to model this analog system because there are so many possible states, as I will attempt to explain below.

In the video, you see me adjusting variable resistors that affect the frequency, amplitude, and symmetry of the oscillations. The resulting changes in vibration are heard as tonal variation and patterns of sound, or “syntax” of the bird’s song. In other words, we can hear the frequency, amplitude, and temporal structure of the waveform as it changes within the bird’s circuit. Residual capacitance adds to the unpredictable nature of cause and effect. It is not only which knob I turn or how much, but *when* I make the adjustment relative to the state of the entire connected circuit. These are the continuous, interconnected, analog principles from which life-like behaviors arise. The late roboticist and neuroscientist William Grey Walter experimented with similar principles, notably demonstrated by his tortoise robots.

She is like us — we are electrical beings, too. The neural activity of a human brain is an aggregate of billions of oscillating neurons affecting each other to form thoughts and feelings. While each individual neuron is very simple, the complexity of the neural system is unfathomable. As Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” These physical laws are the basis of mind and our conscious universe.

See the video above and Kelly’s website

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.