Post-Wave is the first in a series of sinusoidal-inspired sound projects. Post-Wave is highly based on Reuben Margolin’s Redwood Wave. It served as an introductory study of mechanics and electronic design, in addition to being a assessment of carpentry skills.
The mechanical design is composed of two metal rods intersecting a set of 30 6” circles, each offset by one another.
Then a set of 1” x 30” strips treated with dado cuts beneath sit on a pair of circles. To prevent the wooden strips from slipping off the circles, a rectangular strip of wood is mounted in the middle of the 1” x 30” dado strips, which is then secured between two wood strips perpendicular to its position.
The two rods are then coupled to two separate DC gearhead motors. The two motors are powered and controlled with an Arduino Uno using Polulu’s Dual VNH5019 Motor Driver Shield. A Microsoft Kinect is used via Processing to detect blob depth and position using the SimpleOpenNI library. Depth and X-position data is sent via serial to Arduino. Thus, depth controls the speed of the motors, and X-position determines which motor is being controlled. The result is a surprisingly well executed mechanical acoustic emulation of the sound produced by waves on a body of water. The physical action of the wood strips sliding back and forth on top of the wood circles makes for a soothing hypnotic audible result. The wave moves slowly when a user is not present, yet as soon as a user place his hand on top of the wave, a reaction is immediately identified, engaging the observer to discover his or her ability to control the sculpture.