Game of Life Board
In 2005, the Dropout Design Team, a group of brainy MIT students decided to try something really novel and clever. They wanted to invent an electronics kit that would look cool, be simple to build, and be accessible to everyone.
Now, at the time, some of them were toying around with the idea of "cellular automata." (A cellular automaton is merely a collection of cells on a grid whose color changes according to what's going on in adjacent cells. The prime example of this is British math whiz John Conway's "Game of Life". In the Game of Life, a collection of cells lives, dies or multiplies based on a few mathematical rules.)
"Hey, let's build a huge wall of LEDs that would enact the Conway Game of Life rules," they said one night. "The wall could be split into identical modules, and each freshman could assemble their own module, then add the module to the collective wall."
DDT designed an easy-to-solder kit that is cheap and scalable. Each Game of Life board contains 16 LEDs in a 4x4 grid, a microcontroller, and a communications and power distribution network. Boards can act alone, or can be plugged together, border to border, to create a larger display.
NOT INCLUDED: Power supply, such as a 9V battery and holder.