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Noisebridge's skylights are boring and dull.

Lets make them shiny shiny!

The Idea

In all of Noisebridge's skylights, a set of RGB LED strips at the base. Each controlled by a standalone microprocessor connected via ZigBee, with the network as a whole controlled by a RaspberryPI base station.

The system should be as Anti-Fragile as possible:

  • If the power goes out, it should come back on and look neat
  • Each skylight can act independently of hardware failure of any other skylight
  • Multiple base station designs can be used to control simultaneously, as long as can speak a protocol over ZigBee
  • Wireless by default, wired if available
  • Use of DNS-SD so you don't have to scan the network to find a damn basestation
  • Replacing parts is really cheap and easy to do
  • Solar powered, so as to not rely on The Grid
  • Some sort of "Sleep Mode" that is launched after a period of inactivity or missing heartbeat

Some really neat uses:

  • Clicking a spot on a map on Infobanana turns the overhead lighting into a magical directional indicator
  • When someone buzzes the door, perhaps a certain pattern could be shown
  • A UI that lets one configure each cell's RGB for an event
  • Automatically turning on/off based on a motion sensor grid in the space

The Software

The Hardware

Skylighting - First Blinkings.jpeg

Currently in the prototype stage, but here's what is allocated:

  • Two XBee radios w/ USB serial boards
  • Two RaspberryPIs with wifi dongles
  • Three LED strips
  • Two solar panels
  • One battery

The Plan

This is being developed by User:Tdfischer using the following milestones. Help is welcome and encouraged :)

  1. Blink some LED lights via Arduino - First prototype
  2. XBee to XBee communications between two linux systems over USB - Establish control environment
  3. XBee to XBee communications over RaspberryPi GPIO pins - Development of gpiotty
  4. XBee to Arduino communications - Wireless control prototype
  5. Skylight power supply - Hardware design
  6. Realtime display update protocol - Development of Graviton/implement pixelpusher
  7. Control interfaces - Providing an API for super neat interactivity

Parts Needed

  • Arduino/ZigBee shields
  • Arduinos
  • The full length of LPD8806 LED Strips for all skylights - 45 meters!
  • RPI/ZigBee shield
  • Microcontroller selection for skylight units
  • ZigBee chips
  • Battery charger/regulator circuit