It may be made of wire and lights, but this tulip blooms like a real flower and glows with life.
Last month, Jiří Praus made a big splash on the freeform-circuitry scene with his Arduinoflake — a snowflake ornament he built from LEDs, brass wire, and an Arduino Nano. Now he’s back with another stunner. This time it’s a freeform circuit tulip sculpture for his wife. Its construction borrows many of the techniques and materials he used in the Arduinoflake, but it’s clear he’s upped his game since then.
— Jiří Praus (@jipraus) February 12, 2019
While the Arduinoflake was basically flat (as snowflakes are), the tulip comes to vibrant life in three dimensions. The stem stretches upward from a simple wooden base, and a single leaf curls gracefully off to one side, but further up the stem is where the real magic happens. Each of the flower’s six petals is attached to the stem through a tiny hinge constructed from brass tubing and wire. The petals are also each connected to a pushrod running down the center of the stem. A hobby servo hidden in the base provides the motive force for opening and closing the petals.
The brain of this flower is again an Arduino Nano, and its capacitive-touch-sensing abilities allow the flower’s owner to send it blooming with a soft caress. Once awoken from its slumber, the petals gently open, and the flower’s RGB LEDs put on a moody light show.
Praus has said he’s not sure if he’ll be making tulips available for purchase, whipping one of these up for your special someone in time for Valentine’s Day would be a stretch to finish, but the design is gorgeous enough that it would make a wonderful gift any time of the year. He’s said he’ll be releasing documentation on the project, so be sure to follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in making your own.
If you’re not quite that handy with bending wire, but you like his aesthetic, stop by his Tindie store, where you can pick up an Arduinoflake, now in PCB form.