Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 30, 2010.


The SADbot will be an interactive solar powered drawing machine installed in the window gallery at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center in NYC.

SADbot (Seasonally Affected Drawing Robot) will be a solar powered, interactive drawing machine for the Eyebeam window gallery in New York City. The plan is to use two 18.5'' x 13'' solar panels to power two stepper motors which will allow us to control a pen in two dimensions.

SADbot will also take input from people walking outside, which is really the exciting part of the installation. By using a set of sensors which can tell how much light they're getting (photocells) and putting them up against the inside of the window, SADbot will know if someone is covering up one of the sensors, and can change its drawing behavior accordingly.

The window gallery doesn't get any direct sunlight, so we're going to set up an array of mirrors on the roof of Eyebeam to direct sunlight to a fixed mirror hanging off the roof to reflect light down to the solar cells in the gallery window. The solars cells, in turn, will power the motors to run the drawing machine.

Some of the components and techniques we're using will go into Dustyn's book, Making Things Move, and everything will be documented and made open to the public. We are using open source platforms as much as we can (Arduino, Processing, Sparkfun's EasyDriver motor boards), so anyone that wants to can make their own SADbot.

Although Eyebeam is staging the production of this exhibit, there are no funds available for labor and supplies. The money will go toward paying for all of the components: solar cells, charge controllers, batteries, microcontrollers, mirrors, motors, stepper motor boards, diodes, capacitors, wood, nails, screws, etc. We did the math - it adds up fast.

We really appreciate your support and we invite you all to come see the SADbot in action at Eyebeam (starting June 8th).

Thanks so much, Dustyn & Ben

PS - If you don't know what a mini SADbot is, check out this video!


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