Clouds is an interactive installation at the Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. Red Flower Studios contracted me to create a system able to sense the movement of museum guests and use that information to control LEDs contained within cloud sculptures Red Flower designed. There are a total of eight clouds suspended from the ceiling in the main entry way of the museum and each cloud individually responds to visitors passing by with changes in light intensity, color, and pattern.
I chose to use active doppler radar sensors in order to create movement-responsive clouds. This allowed for a detection range over several meters, the ability to hide the sensors within the clouds, and the ability to sense movement speed. Each cloud contains one or two X-Band motion detectors, microcontrollers, power converters, and either 524 or 1006 individually addressable LEDS. As a group, the clouds form an interactive array. Museum guests experience the clouds as a cohesive piece that moves and changes as they pass by. All electronics were built in Boston and shipped to Utah. I was unable to be on-site for installation due to the pandemic, but I remotely debugged and assisted the local team until they were satisfied with the final design.