Sep. 2010 - Feb. 2011
Set of playful interactive building elements developed during the Minor Interactive Environments. Final prototypes have been part of an exposition in the Delft Science Centre.
The FLOX go through multiple states of activity in reaction to presence and activity of users. With these reactions the FLOX communicate, an invitation to come play with them.
They fall asleep when they are not played with.
They are aware of the user, and ready to be played with. In the perceptive state the FLOX start to 'flock'. Flocking is a behaviour where the individual blocks fade through a range of colours around a certain average colour. This average colour is determined and communicated between the individual blocks, making the entire group part of this behaviour.
Only one of the segments lights up depending on how the block is oriented. The light can be moved through the block by rotating it.
A strong contrasting colours appears beneath the user when they sit on the blocks for a longer period of time.
Throughout the process we've created many different types of prototypes, getting more advanced as we progressed. Our knowledge was limited, so there was a lot of trial and error. The pre-final prototype was used to test the prototype with children in the DOK Library in Delft. We were situated there for 4 days, testing and adjusting the prototype.
For the FLOX we developed our own circuit board based on the Arduino platform. It consists of an Atmega chip combined with a TI TLC5940NT to control LED's. Each element is furthermore equipped with an accelerometer (motion), proximity (capacitive, user presence), and an XBee (for wireless communication between elements).