The task set after being introduced to Ecoid’s is to make visualisations for the data that is output. This data will be in real time and contain information such as (GPS, RFID, Light, Humidity, Temperature). Realistically the data that will change the most overall would be the temperature and light due to night and day. So for now, my group will focus on using those two data types from the Ecoid. Lee stressed to us that the visualisation doesn’t have to be a graphical representation, it could be physical. So looking into it we found an incredible liquid - Ferrofluid.
Ferrofluid is a liquid which becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of an magnetic field.
What we have initially thought to do, is to use Ferrofluid influenced by the data we get from the Ecoid. So for example; if the weather is 20 degrees then we will put a charge through an electromagnet that is connected to the Arduino (using the Ecoid RSS feed) so that the charge will assemble the Ferrofluid in a certain way dependent on the data from the Ecoid.
Ferrofluid isn’t cheap. Cheaper than it used to be - but for us students - still a dent out of the pocket. So before we buy some, we are going to check the idea works on the Arduino/Processing sketch over the next few days, and just substitute the Ferrofluid for a LED initially using the FadeIn-FadeOut code to make sure our idea works.
As the target outcome, will have a electromagnet increasing/decreasing in power depending on the data which will make the Ferrofluid more or less spiky. Quite an ambitious plan, but thats why we want to test with an LED first!