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The ‘Cage of Thoughts’ project is carried out by students from Fontys. The team consists of six students from the fields of electronic, mechatronic, and mechanical engineering. This gives us the good foundation of technical knowledge needed to realize the project. The project is made available by the ‘Be Creative’ minor of the Fontys.
The Minor ‘Be Creative’ focusses on the creative and entrepreneurial engineer. Within this minor the students will work on a big project for almost a half-year, in which they are encouraged to create their own learning path, discover their talents, and share their knowledge with their fellow students. The goal for the students being to create a new product or concept. For the last couple of years, the Be creative minor from Fontys is responsible for designing and showcasing an artwork at GLOW Eindhoven. GLOW is a light Festival in Eindhoven that attracts more than 700.000 people every year!
The Cage of Thoughts consists of a large metal frame covered in hexagons, shaped as a brain. LED strips, emulating neurons, enter the brain from the stem and diverge to fill the brain with thoughts. These LED strips are accompanied by dynamic lights to add more depth to the experience. Like a lot of brains, it has thoughts of its own, but thoughts can only reach their full potential when shared.
The Cage of Thoughts interacts with the audience and even has a connection to other light installations!
To make those ways of interaction possible we designed 2 different PCBs to control the brain, the ‘Nerve Gear’ and a sensor board.
The Nerve Gear
The Nerve Gear controls all the LEDs and the spots. It’s called ‘Nerve Gear’ because it controls the nerves in the brain. The processors consist out of a teensy and an ESP32. The teensy controls the lights and effects. It also checks the ESP32 and makes effects according to the input of the ESP32. The ESP32 receives information from sensors wirelessly to create an interactive experience.
The Sensor Node
The sensor board is used to control different sensors. It has been designed to be compatible with a wide array of different sensors. When a sensor is plugged in, the sensor data is read by an ESP32, the main chip of the board. This data is then transferred wirelessly into the nerve gear. Using these we can create an immersive experience!