Roaming Eyes
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Roaming Eyes

Automata, Kinetic Sculpture
About This Project

A while ago I picked up a test tube and Michael’s, thinking that I might be able to use it someday. I didn’t know what I might use it for until I had spark in one of my daydream sessions. What if there were little eyeballs wandering back and forth in the tube?

I painted wooden beads and connected them to thin aluminum stalks. I pushed the stalks onto cell phone motors, which I programmed via Arduino to move randomly. I power the piece from a USB battery.

The biggest challenge was finding aluminum rods that would fit the shafts of the motors. The shafts are thin aluminum and are easily bent or crushed.

The other challenge was to find the right timing for turning the motors on and off. I didn’t want the eyes to spin, just to turn left and right. I discovered that I only need to turn on the motors for 5ms at a time which was much shorter than I expected.