Painting with light (and a Raspberry Pi)

Our friends at Adafruit just mailed me something remarkably cool. Click the picture to visit their project pages and learn how to do this yourself.

A ring of fire

Sing along: "And it burns, burns, burns..."

The picture you see above is the result of a Raspberry Pi persistance of vision (POV) project similar to the Magic Wand we featured here a few weeks back, where moving lights are photographed at a slow shutter speed to produce a still image. This one’s more sophisticated and requires a bit more kit (a 3-colour LED rope, hula hoop and bicycle in particular – you can buy all the electronics you’ll need to make your own, including the LED rope, from Adafruit, but you’re on your own for the hula hoop and the bike) – and the results are outstanding. There are instructions and code at Adafruit’s project pages, along with some more pictures.

light python

A python drawn using Python

Phillip Burgess, who put the whole thing together, says: “Total project time, starting from zero Python experience to having a working demo, photographs and a tutorial, was about two days.” Brilliant stuff.

On a related note, Limor “LadyAda” Fried, the founder of Adafruit, is currently up for Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. Please head over and vote for her; she’s doing simply amazing things for electronics, hacker and maker education, and we’re very proud to know her.

15 comments

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c00L!!!!!!!!!!!!! HerE nothing T0 saY

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Such as shame that awsome companies like Adafruit can’t stock the Raspberry Pi.

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I agree, Adafruit and Sparkfun are missing as Raspberry Pi distributors.

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Tron Lightcycle is very cool :)

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Such a shame that it requires a Facebook account to vote. I intentionally don’t have one, and would have voted for Limor Fried in a heartbeat. :-( She has indeed done wonderful things and thoroughly deserves her success

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Same here. I would have voted for Limor but the facebook account requirement is just stupid. Can’t they code a normal login form ?

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Very nice. Cool pics, easy to do. Voted :)

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Anyone else here find themselves chanting, “Sacred fire, sacred flame” in their heads on that first photo? Or am I one of the few who saw Tom Baker when he was Doctor Who?

BTW, these pics are awesome! Amazing what you can do with this. Perhaps a neat crossover class project with compsci and science?

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These things give a whole new meaning to “air banner”

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there one thing that i dont understand here……can this be seen with naked eyes or does it need a camera???an answer would be really appreciated ….tnx in advance :)

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@ neo sam: not at typical bicycle speeds. But if you can whip the LEDs around faster…or alternately, keep the LEDs stationary but get a person’s eyes to dash across then…one can totally do naked eye images. Google around for “Bill Bell POV”.

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But don’t blink too frequently!

Phillip Torrone

Update! No Facebook required now! – Text 170116 to 22333 to vote for Limor “Ladyada” Fried for Entrepreneur of 2012

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Great project. How many LED’s did you use in this project ? Is it just 1 meter or more ?

KR,
Rudy

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Does anyone have any idea where you can order the materials to make this project in the uk or Ireland?
Thanks

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