Magnetic Desert

My picture of 
my Phidget goes here

Magnetic Desert is an ambient display where silvery rocks move around the desert to reflect the amount of motion in the immediate surroundings.


The desert is constructed of steel ball bearings, sand, a Plexiglas dish, and a flower. Underneath are several small magnets attached to two rotating platters mounted on servo motors controlled by a PhidgetServo. While we can make any input control the desert, we now use a proximity sensor connected to a PhidgetInterfaceKit. As the motion in the room changes, the motors rotate to a particular position, thus "dragging" the ball bearings through the sand.


see the video

The Creator

Kari Basaraba created this for her short assignment as part a senior-level human computer interaction class at the University of Calgary.


Created in March, 2002

Next exhibit: Marble Mail