Pill Bottle LED POI

This project is a beginner LED POI that can be built for under $25 for a pair (if you scrounge a few parts).

It uses an RGB LED with ping pong ball for diffuser, 9 volt battery, Arduino pro-mini (or nano) and 3-axis accelerometer board.  It teaches the basics of connecting things to the Arduino, programming the Arduino, both input from the accelerometer and PWM to control the RGB LED.

Pill bottle POI 1 LED Poi spinning 1

Pill bottle poi 2

LED POI with 9-axis IMU and wireless link

More advanced LED POI we are working on include 9-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) (3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyro, 3-axis magnetometer).  We coupled this with a wireless transciever to send data back to a computer while we’re spinning. 

The goal is to use this feedback to show us how the sensors are responding to various motion conditions so we can program better effects.  This project is still in an early phase, we’re still working on understanding the quaternion output of the IMU’s on board data fusion engine and how best to use that data.

Total cost for this POI is still very cheap, Arduino Nano, 9V battery, RGB LED, IMU (about $8), radio ($1).

Here is a video showing wireless data streaming back to a computer http://youtu.be/me-uFxpgRTk


POI wireless demo 1

Raku Pottery

This past fall we built a propane fired Raku kiln, made clay tiles and fired them. It was an ambitious project since we had never done Raku pottery before. Researching this project taught us a lot and brought some great people into our maker community.


The burner is a high-heat model which has been added to a kiln which was formerly an electric kiln. The group modified the kiln so it could be propane fired.