Connect with Renewable Energy is a solar energy-based, interactive sculpture that gets people in touch with big ideas in renewable energy.
For my capstone project, I created an interactive sculpture meant to help people connect with renewable energy on a human level.
Built around a 9W solar panel, the sculpture implements a Sparkfun Sunny Buddy charger to harness solar energy and store it in a battery. When a user interacts with any metal element along the arm, the capacitive touch triggers the LED circuit via an Arduino Uno microprocessor.
The sculpture itself is built mostly from recycled plastic bottles, aluminum wire and cotton. Forming the structural skeleton of the piece, the wiring also serves as the conductive medium. Inside the shell of repurposed plastic, LED strips, cotton wadding and electronics are housed and mounted to a solar panel. Suspended by strong suction hooks attached to a window pane, the solar cells face outwards to collect sustainable energy... ultimately powering the user experience itself.