Ben Light

Kinetic Sculpture 5

Kinetic Sculpture 5 is composed of five pendulums that the viewer can control. Simply wave your hand over the sensors to "play" the piece.

Introduction to Physical Computing

The sculpture is roughly 3 feet long, 20 inches wide, about 20 inches high, and is suspended from the ceiling. A series of 5 pendulums can be fired from one pole to the other via solenoids and magnets. A user is able to control/play the pendulums by waving their hands over light sensors. The sculpture's movement is designed to be both enjoyable to watch and addictive to use. There is an audio component as well, the releasing and catching of the pendulums creates satisfying mechanical clicks.<br /><br /><br /><br /> The sculpture is composed primarily of ply-wood and precision machined stainless steel. The electrical components (solenoids, magnets, arduino, power supply, etc.) will be hidden from sight.<br /><br /><br /><br /> See the initial tests here:<br /><br />

Originally, I was a mechanical engineer. I worked as a web developer for the last 10 years, and have been designing products and furniture for the last 5. I am a maker at heart.

Just about anyone. Adults and children alike can interact with the sculpture. I hope that there is an addictive quality to it.

User Scenario
The sculpture is suspended from the ceiling. The user is in front of the triggering photo-sensors. The user waves their hands above the sensors creating varied and interesting patterns with the swinging pendulums. The user has a lot of fun with it.

Most of the mechanical parts are made of stainless steel. The base of the piece is plywood. The five pendulums are roughly 12" long and swing independently from each other. The firing sensors will be separated from the suspended piece and can be operated at a safe distance.

You need a pretty meaty solenoid to push the pendulum hard enough to get to the proper swing height. I have gone through 4 prototypes and have learned valuable things on each. Precision counts when it comes to mechanical devices. Lubrication is incredibly important. Order your parts early, because you most likely order the wrong ones the first go around.