Finding the Right Tools for the Garden

Vibration sensor

Temporary installation of a vibration sensor with electrical tape on the LEDs.

I ran some tests with different sensors and found the vibration sensor affixed to even just one of the plastic rods works great. Being affixed to the plywood board, it also seems able to pick up movement from the other rods as well. I had to play around with the Max 6 code. Right now I’m using a trough object, but I’d prefer something that calculates the rate of change in a given time window.

I’m still developing the sounds for the garden to be making. I’ve got a pitch-shifted bottle pipe sound for the large flower stalks now (but I’m having some problems having both the pitch shift and activation by touch) and hope to develop more wind chime sounds for the grass. The next programming challenge will be getting the lights to fade, rather than just turning off as they do now.

I finished calculating the lengths of wood, aluminum and plastic that I’ll need. The most impressive number is 1250 yards of the plastic rod, which makes the 54 yards of 1×4″ and 2500 LEDs seem rather pale. I’ll be picking up the lumber and supplies and start building the final design this weekend, and then I’ll have plenty more fun pictures and stories to share.

Interactive Garden in Max 6

A snippet of the programming for the interactive garden.

Be sure to read the next post in this series: Priming and Painting the Garden. Or, find the whole journey by following the interactive garden tag and don’t miss all the pictures and videos from the final presentation.


Math lover. Engineering communicator. Mad-lib enthusiast. Total nerd.

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Posted in Projects

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