Space Cadet Desk

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This is a project that I worked with artist Peter Blunt on will be in One Spark. Inspired by the Jetsons and old Star Trek, we made a Retro-Future Desk (Peter calls it the Space Cadet Desk, but I have standards) It has lots of blinking lights and buttons to push and a psuedo-theremin using an IR distance sensor. Peter is a master craftsman in wood working and he did all of the construction, while I worked on the electronics.

Google+ Pictures here:

Or on my wiki:


  • 1 Arduino Mega
  • 1 Adafruit Boarduino (Decimila clone)
  • 3 8x8 Bi-color matrices (with SPI)
  • 2 24 LED PWM boards
  • 7 Adafruit Neopixels(RGB LEDs with built in controller chips)
  • 1 unused mp3 decoder board (conflicted with PWM boards :-( plus power issues)
  • 1 Servo
  • 1 IR sensor
  • 1 Joystick

By default the Bicolor matrices run the Conway's Life cellular automata simulator, and a pitch indicator when the theremin is active. About 2500 lines of C code went into making it all function together, LEDs & Matrices & IR sensor & joystick, in 8k of working memory.

It is housed at the Southlight Gallery, near Hemming Plaza, on Hogan Street between Adams and Monroe.

For One Spark , we are in the Art category, titled "Art of Furniture" Project #20942 Give us a vote or two if you like the project.

Our project page is here:

Peter plans to continue to make more themed art desks in the coming year. This was just the first of many.