We did it.   Our Project titled “Bowwave” presented at this years Beakerhead where art meets science went off with a resounding success.
Our team of talented Artists, Engineers, Lighting Experts, Engineers and Musicians brought our concept to fruition.   Our inital goal was to utilize some ancient circuits and button pads from an old science centre exhibit to control a lighting array on a sand rock bar that had formed from the flood in 2013.  When the buttons, which were electric field sensors, were triggered they would play a sound and light up a line of lights.  The idea was that it would take many hands to fully activate both the sound and light components, in this case 10.

To read some more technical details of this project keep reading. Or click to watch a video recap.

We used Arduino’s to read the output from the old sensor boards.  The Arduino’s were running firmata which is a generic firmware for interfacing with other programs.  The Arduino’s were then connected to some Raspberry Pi’s running a patch in puredata that converted the output from the Arduino to OSC (opensoundcontrol) so we could send it over a wireless network to our main computer that was running VDMX.  Utilizing VDMX we triggered various Lighting sequences.  We sent these lighting sequences wirelessly to some LED Pi Lights running OLA that were placed in our structure.  We also needed to send this data across the river over wireless DMX,  unfortunately VDMX doesn’t actually talk DMX only Artnet.  Luckily the OLA  libraries were able to bridge these two protocols.  In reality we used OLA running on the same computer as VDMX to talk to a physical DMX interface an entec pro which was physically sending the DMX to a wireless DMX bridge that was lent to us.
Of course there was lots of other technical details so if you have any questions feel free to ask.