It's the Independence day weekend in the United States and a time for patriotism and fireworks . My colleague, Ye Cheng wanted to show her patriotism in her own "techie" way. Her idea: Light Paintings of the US flag.
Light paintings use point sources of light to sketch shapes which are captured by a camera at a low shutter speed. Ye used 13 RGB LEDs for her paintings.
The color of the LEDs are controlled by an Arduino Mega 2560, programmed using the Simulink Arduino Support Package and a Simulink model shown below.
The model sequentially switches the colors of a first 8 LEDs at appropriate times to give the desired effect. The hardware set up required is minimal and requires setting up the LEDs in a straight line on a breadboard. Ye plans to attach the circuit to a motor and have a persistence of vision exhibit: A USA flag painted created using 13 LEDs constantly rotating. I am definitely looking forward to getting one of those for myself!