Party Like a Sci-Fi Billionaire with the Music-Sensing Light from Ex Machina

Arduino CNC & Machining Craft & Design Digital Fabrication
Party Like a Sci-Fi Billionaire with the Music-Sensing Light from Ex Machina


Most of us lack the finances and resources necessary to recreate the kind of human robots featured in the film Ex Machina, but with some cardboard and LED lights Dan Chen made an affordable replica of the music-synced light fixture featured in the movie. Who wouldn’t want to party like a sci-fi billionaire?

Chen had already been experimenting with ways of making LED lights react to music, when the idea came to him that he could use this method to recreate the set piece from Ex Machina‘s infamous dance scene. To make the LED strip react to sound, he used a sound detection sensor and an Arduino Uno programmed to sink or provide current to the LEDs.

YouTube player

Then it was just a matter of creating the geometric wall art. Chen used a still from the movie to trace the pattern and then used a laser cutter to cut the pattern out of cardboard. He painted the cardboard white and bent it over a cylindrical form to get a nice, consistent curvature.

The LEDs and cardboard are mounted to the wall with a piece of light-diffusing paper sandwiched in between. When Chen turns on some funky tunes, the lights blink and shift with the beat, moving from red to blue. You can get Chen’s pattern files and Arduino code to recreate a sound reactive wall of your own.

Time to start memorizing the dance moves so you can get down Saturday night.

YouTube player
Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

A typical day for Lisa includes: getting up to see the sunrise, bicycling, interning at Make:, reading and writing short stories, and listening to audiobooks and podcasts for hours while working on projects or chores.

View more articles by Lisa Martin


Ready to dive into the realm of hands-on innovation? This collection serves as your passport to an exhilarating journey of cutting-edge tinkering and technological marvels, encompassing 15 indispensable books tailored for budding creators.