Interactive Music Installation
Mushroom Buddy is an interactive moving musical instrument that lights up and lets people create music without physical contact with them. As the name suggests, it befriends anybody who comes near it and generates different melodies and light intensities based on the proximity and the movement of the person.
The idea began with a moving object that could attract attention of people in their running schedule to let them produce musical tones similar to everyday mechanical objects around them.
Since fabrication is a very essential component of the design, I started off by creating a wooden base on which the structure could stand. The next step was the stem of the mushroom that was to rotate with its upper cap carrying weight of not only the structure but the microcontroller and few of the elements inside. I tried different materials and diameters of the tubes to not only hold the structure but light enough to move easily without causing a lot of friction. Finally picked a cardboard tube that complemented the wooden base structure and the appropriate weight required. The cap of the mushroom was a flat wooden base with a Styrofoam dome and this weight was easily managed by the tube.
The major components of this installation include Photoresistors, Ultrasonic Sonar Sensor, Servo, LED matrix and Loud speaker. The moving mushroom detects the presence of people with Sonar sensor and on coming closer, pauses to communicate. There are two photoresistors with each one connected to LED matrix and the speaker. Based on the movement and the relative position of the person, the change in the intensity of the light causes variation in the frequency and the amplitude which are amplified and sent to the loudspeaker.