Chaotic Pendulum with programmable RGB LEDs.

For my bachelor project I have created a technical art installation. The exact course of the project was not a smooth one and I won’t go into the details how we arrived at this prototype, but I will describe what we ended up with.

The device is a double pendulum constructed out of laser cut plywood. A double pendulum exhibits chaotic behavior.

Animated gif of a double pendulum

The device features bearings for smooth rotation and a wireless power transfer system. The wireless power transfer system at the joint makes batteries not required at the end of the pendulum. Batteries would make the pendulum very heavy and swing around much less. The following album shows the design of the power system in the free rotating join.

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The following pictures show the complete construction of the prototype and its components.

The pendulum can be cranked up with a ratchet wheel system. When ready the pendulum is released and swings in a chaotic fashion. The lights on the device are programmable in software on a PC.
With this setup great long exposure pictures can be taken. The chaotic nature of the motion in combination with the fixed patterns creates very interesting images, the following album shows several different patterns being displayed by the device.

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Details of how the RGB leds are programmed are in a seperate post.

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