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Drop Virtual Marbles into a Projection-Mapped Maze

Neil Mendoza took inspiration from Sesame Street to create this "interactive spinny, glowy thing."
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Artist Neil Mendoza has created what he calls an "interactive spinny, glowy thing," a rotating, projection-mapped wheel that gives the illusion of a maze (á la Plinko), complete with the clunking sounds of marbles every time one of its balls collides with its lattice framework. Mendoza, who took inspiration for the piece from both crystals and the Sesame Street pinball machine, generatively designed the 3D wheel known as One Degree of Freedom in openFrameworks.


It was then cut from foam using a CNC machine, painted white, and projection-mapped in real-time. Mendoza used the Box2D engine to simulate the physics of the balls, with each ball being its own light source. The rotation of the wheel is tracked with a rotary encoder attached to a small microcontroller.

Explains Mendoza, "I've been interested in playing with interactive projection mapping for awhile as the ability to touch and interact with an object like this gives the mapping illusion an extra layer of depth." Check out One Degree of Freedom in action below:


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