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Roel Arits

LED gravity balance

Status: Proposal
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August 8, 2019 , Latest update: August 17, 2019
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This project has no practical use at all, but was initiated as an exercise in implementing physics formulas related to gravity in C-code on an Arduino and to have some fun with LEDs. To make things visible, a neopixel LED-strip with 74 LEDs was used. The effect of the gravitational acceleration on an object is demonstrated by using a MPU-6050 module. This chip contains an 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope chip. The MPU-6050 module is physically attached to the LED-strip, so when the LED-strip is held at a certain angle, the MPU-6050 acceleration data is used to calculate the angle of the LED strip and the Arduino uses this information to update the position of a virtual object as if it was a ball that is balanced on a beam and rolls from one side to the other if the beam is held at an angle. The position of the virtual object is indicated on the LED strip as a single LED that is illuminated. To update the position of a virtual object that is falling to the earth under the influence of gravity, we use the formula : 
y = y0 + (V0 * t) + (0.5 * a * t^2)
 y = travelled distance in meters
 y0 = start distance in meters
 v0 = start velocity in meters/second
 a = acceleration (gravity) in meters/second^2
 t = time in seconds
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