This project took place in cooperation with a local company that asked students to develop interactive exhibits for their upcoming Science Center. The goal was to get young people interested in science in order to support local companies. My final approach was a mechanical eye that interacts with the visitor. By transferring the basic functions of the human eye and showing them in a mechanical way, it makes them more understandable.
Mounted somewhere in the exhibition room, the eye draws the visitor’s attention by spotting him and following his moves. The visitor is able to interact with the exhibit by blinding it with direct light or changing the lighting conditions in the room. The plan was to have two different eyes: one showing the reaction of the iris to light, and another showing the plasticity of the lens that is necessary to focus. At the time, I realised the first of the two as a working prototype.
Controlled by Arduino and a bit of Processing, the eyeball turns on a y- and z-axis using 2 servo motors. A light sensor then measures the incoming light and gives its information to a third servo which controls the movement of mechanical aperture blades to show the iris’ reaction on light.