Building a LED Firefly Simulator

Craft & Design Raspberry Pi
Building a LED Firefly Simulator

Twin Cities Maker recently participated in a local art festival, bringing with them three projects that had been created by members David Bryan, Riley Harrison, Cali Mastny, and Aaron Prust. Among them was Strange Attractors, a 6×4 panel of addressable RGB LEDs controlled by a Raspberry Pi microcontroller. The matrix is designed to mimic the flashes of fireflies, which tend to synch with other fireflies’ patterns, but also change their patterns based on ambient light. Visitors were invited to shine a flashlight on the matrix to see how the art reacts.

The project’s technical writeup hasn’t been published yet, but the team has posted its Python scripts in Dave’s GitHub Code Repository.

4 thoughts on “Building a LED Firefly Simulator

  1. Jonathan says:

    Is there a video of this anywhere?

  2. Jay Hutfles says:

    I looked through the Python scripts, and I’m not seeing where the external light sources get recognized. I’m curious how they detect the light sources. Also, is all of the logic for synchronizing on the Raspberry Pi, or is the logic for each firefly “individually controlled” like the classic firefly experiments in emergent behavior?

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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