I'm trying to wrap my head around a public art project that I've recently received funding for, and I'm hoping that someone here can help me with a bit of guidance.
The concept I'm working on is a kind of 'digital campfire' that builds and falls in intensity as people approach and depart.
The way I imagine it working is with a 15x15x15 RGB LED cube that plays fire-like animations of varying intensities in response to the presence of nearby people - detected by a 360 degree array of thermal sensors (probably something like Omron D6T sensors, rather than IR movement sensors).
Full disclosure: I'm an Arduino noob. I've tinkered with LEDs and soldering, but even the thought of building a non-responsive 4x4x4 LED cube hurts my brain. That said, I have a couple of months up my sleeve, a bit of cash, and a willingness to forge new neural pathways to get this done.
My main questions at this point are:
- Can an Arduino even handle the processing power required to run a thermal activated 15x15x15 LED cube, even with multiplexing?
- I'm considering 15-cubed because I want the object to have a fairly large physical presence, and have a relatively high definition. Is there any game-changing reason I should seriously consider something smaller? I anticipate being able to connect to a 240v power outlet (I'm in Australia), but running off battery would be ideal.
- How difficult would it be to build a 360 degree thermal sensor array consisting of, say, 8 separate thermal sensors? The programming is clearly beyond me, and I expect to out-source this...
Any help or suggestions would be hugely appreciated. And don't be gentle – if my expectations need to be 're-aligned' to something closer to reality, I'd rather that happen sooner than later.