Blinky was my first attempt at creating a freeform electronics sculpture.


I designed Blinky to be minimal.

The sculpture is split into 2 main sections, the ‘head’ and ‘body’, joined by a small wire neck. Another wire runs from the base and into the Arduino microcontroller to provide power.


Blinky has 2 states - sleeping, and awake. An MPU6050 module detects changes in force on the sculpture, and when it detects a bump, Blinky will ‘wake up’. It will ‘fall asleep’ again if it’s ignored for a bit.

When he’s awake, Blinky cycles through different expressions. These include blinking, looking around, or whirling his mouth. When he falls asleep, Blinky chooses between a static sleeping expression and a snoring animation.

A moving mean average filters the output from the MPG 6050.

A 75 sample mean determines a rolling average, and then the program takes 2 samples from this.

There is a micro-USB port powering this sculpture, at the back of the wooden base.

The full source code for this project is available here - blinky source code.


Key components of the sculpture are -

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