Cubesicle is a modular kit of interactive cubic components that enhance our creative spaces.

The Hardware

The LED's:
This particular RGB LED Strip requires between 9-12V at 5Amps. The strip has 4 cables, one for each color RGB as well as a black common anode. A 12V 5A power supply is supplying the juice. However, we don't want that 12V being supplied to anything else in the circuit so we must use a transistor for each R-G-B cable entering the Digital Pins. We must also hook each cable up to a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) Pin so that we have the ability to fade the color transitions smoothly.

The WiFly
The WiFly module is sitting on a modified XBee Explorer in order to correctly interface with the Arduino. The Explorer has 4 pins.

  • DIN (explorer) -> TX (arduino)
  • DOUT (explorer) -> RX (arduino)
  • 5V -> 5V
  • Ground -> Ground

Now since this whole system won't be connected to the computer, the 12V needs to power the Arduino. Luckily both the Uno and Mega can receive up to 12V as long as we feed it into the VIN pin. We can then use the 5V pin to power the WiFly Module.

Note that I'm using RX1 and TX1… because it's ona Mega, I don't need to use SoftSerial to troubleshoot this process. I can still communicate with Serial while allowing the Arduino to communicate with the WiFly.

Another thing to note is the modification to the explorer board… I've mentioned it below. This was a tip given to me by a classmate who found this hack worked… people have had trouble getting these two components to work otherwise and will often opt for a different unregulated breakout. You can look at the schematic from sparkfun here.

The Cube is simple… 6 1/4" Acrylic panels which create an 18"x18"x18" cube. The top piece is black opaque in my project but feel free to have them all be translucent white. This provided a very awesome finish and afforded it much more use as a table-like surface. I used a polymer adhesive to fuse all panels but the top into one solid objects. I created and fused two small "feet" to the underside of the top panel in order for it to sit neatly and securely in place on top of the cube.