Syyn Labs uses macetech products at GLOW Santa Monica

Syyn Labs, a group of artists and engineers known for their large scale interactive sculptures and art installations (including OK GO's music video for "This Too Shall Pass"), participated in the Santa Monica GLOW festival on September 25th, 2010. Their project for GLOW was called the DNA Sequencer and included 512 RGB LEDs arranged in a double helix within a 100-foot-long trellis.

The opposing LEDs in the spiral were connected to each other, resulting in 256 RGB channels or 768 individual channels of 12-bit PWM LED control. To achieve such a large number of control channels, Syyn Labs worked with Eliot (of Hackaday fame) and Eric Gradman to specify and acquire the necessary hardware. Eliot and Eric have worked with us before and asked if we had anything suitable. Fortunately we had just released the OctoBrite DEFILIPPI, a board that can control 24 channels of LEDs with independent 12-bit PWM. Interface is a very straightforward 288-bit chainable shift register.

Since 256 channels were required, Syyn Labs used 32 OctoBrite DEFILIPPI boards. Arduinos controlled four chains of eight OctoBrites each, which received commands from a custom program and interface developed by Syyn Labs. Syyn Labs has promised to eventually release more technical details and photos of the frenzied build process, but we imagine they've been taking the week off just to recover from the effort of building this sculpture.

Audience reception was very positive...apparently, so many people crowded around the exhibit that the police felt it was necessary to shut down the exhibit an hour early to tone down the "excitement."

We were out at Maker Faire NYC that weekend, so we didn't get a chance to visit the DNA Sequencer. However, we hear that it will show up other places, and hopefully we'll be able to check it out!


Submitted by Garrett on Mon, 10/04/2010 - 01:13.

Sounds like your celebrity

Sounds like your celebrity LEDs need to travel with bodyguards.