What is a HypKnowTree?
|A HypKnowTree is a 2-axis HypKnowTron mounted on a 10 foot
fashioned to resemble a surrealistic tree, similar to the Trufula trees
of "The Lorax" fame. The roots of a HypKnowTree are
constructed of steel, patina finished a bronze brown, hammer shaped
into root shapes that serve as support legs. A translucent
plastic covered trunk interactively responds to human touch with LED
lighting pulses from inside that travel in sequence up the trunk.
Reaching the top, the light sequences transform and amplify onto the
rapidly spinning propellor-like LED light blades to form a swirling 3-D
orb of dancing lights. The resulting effect is an interactive
light and motion experience controlled by the participants touch and
What do they do?
|The rapidly spinning HypKnowTron LED blades will easily
all eyes from
away drawing participants in for a custom interactive
experience.. Using networked capacitive touch sensors
embedded in the "bark", it is possible to make various sections on the
trunk respond to human touch. By placing these sensors paired
with RGB LEDs, a direct action-reaction is effected, limited only by
the amount of trunk a participant can reach around. All the
sensors are connected back to a single control computer allowing a
synchronized interaction between the trees and participants.
Variations of "simon" or "pong" are possible requiring group
cooperation and participation with the Grove Option: a "grove" of
three HypKnowTrees that communicate wirelessly.
What is a HypKnowTron?
|A HypKnowTron, or
"tron" for short, is a
custom rotating LED display perfected by
and Scott Gasparian in 2000. Normal techniques for modulating RGB
LED color displays use a pulsing method that do not remain true mixed
colors when moved fast. The L2K/L3K technology developed by Tim
Black uses a digital current modulation method that allows true
10bit color that remains pure tones no matter how fast they are moved
through space. Using this L2K/L3K technology allowed for the
development of the kinetic sculptures The HypKnowTrons and The
ChakraTron. The last large HypKnowTron still remains the only
true-color large scale rotational LED display. video of HypKnowTron
from 2000, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOTUc6OSK14
So what is a 2-axis tron?
|All of the 7 original HypKnowTrons are single axis hrizontal
meaning, they only spin around in one plane like a household fan. A
2-axis HypKnowTron is a regular single-axis tron, but the entire 1st
axis mount is also rotated on a veritcal axis, much like a
"oscillating" house fan that rotates which way it is pointing, except
continous instead of back-and-forth. The resulting persitance of
vision effect is a swirling 3D sphere of chasing lights that is unique
in all the known universe. The engineering design challenges have
all been addressed in The ChakraTron, and a large scale 2-axis Tron is
now possible. Video of 2-axis inside The ChakraTron, turn volume
down, and skip to 1:39 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11RcZZJB47Q.
also shows capacitive touch sensors in the hand in action.
HypKnowTrees are made of what?
|To appease any sort of engineering inspection, the main trunk
HypKnowTree is a single standard Rohn 25G 10 foot self supporting tower
section. This metal tubular tower section is rated to 130mph
winds at 35', and provides a minimum EIA rating equivalent for local
inspectors. The base is sectional steel units that are
bolted together onsite to form a 4 leg cantilever base. Addition
of water ballast in the legs reaches an equivalent of 500lbs ballast
weight should the unit need to be displayed in winds greater than
Atop the tower is the actual HypKnowTron assembly constructed from welded steel and automotive sized bearings. The axial rotation is provided by two 1/8HP DC Gearhead motors translated through v-belt pulley, which are driven by computer controlled PWM units with vibration detection and emergency shutdown circuits. Power is delivered to the rotating blades through custom contactors and custom dc/dc converters, with control data applied through mercotac sliprings.
|The outer bark of the tree is a metal framed
translucent plastic construction that attaches in sections after the
tree is erected and tested. Capacitive touch sensors behind the
plastic react to the touch of participants and input to the main
control unit in the base. The whole unit once powered will run
automatically with "screen saver" type patterns to attract
participants, and then enter into a full interactive mode once lured in.
And the Cost ?
most esoteric part of the HypKnowTrees are the LED
PCBoards that go
in the spinning blades. These are already made and need only to
be assembled with the LED's and L2K components, thus not part of the
total cost. The largest single part of the budget is the
pre-manufactured tower sections so to avoid need for separate
engineering documents, with the raw steel needed for the base and roots
close behind. In order to provide trouble free continuous
operation, the rotation bearings, motors, power commutators, and data
couplers are all of the automotive variety and oversized to operate
without intervention. Microcontrollers, motor controls, touch
sensors, and addressable LED striplites for the trunk will all be
sourced new. The welding of the base stands must be performed to
accepted standards thus a line item for welding is included.
Custom software programming for dozens of touch sensors controlling
thousands of LEDs is also listed to insure robust non-crashing
Illustrations Link Page
|Transport, Power, Safety.
|The entire sculpture is designed
to be assembled on site, with no single part longer than the 10 foot
main tower section. The root pieces are angled to nest
alongside each other, the bark, head and tron blades nest in custom
road cases. Footprint is flat, suitable for non intrusive
standard pedsetrian surfaces, and does not require any guy wires,
anchors, or modifications to the surface. Suitable wooden mats
can be constructed for turf or gravel surfaces. Uneven grades
will require onsite custom earthworks and framing.
Power is estimated to be average 300VA, with peaks to 500VA during heavy interaction, per tree. For max load whole installation calculations, reference 1.5kW 60Hz VAC. A single 2kW Honda inverter generator or similar should be sufficient for remote installation, or a single 20A circuit of 110VAC grid will suffice. All power supplies are UL listed and frame bonded, so grid must be properly earthed for safe operation.
The HypKnowTrees are engineered and weighted to operate (spinning) in up to 50mph winds, and remain standing non operating (non-spinning) up to 130mph wind at the 15' top of sculpture. Minimum distance from ground to rotating parts is 9 feet, with the plastic bark being very dificult to climb. No sensors will be placed above the 6 foot mark to discourage climbing or trying to interact with the tree above normal standing height. The rotation motor controllers are of the fail-off type, with vibration, over-temp, and emergency shutdown procedure. Telemetry from the trees is continuously transmitted wirelessly to the operator, the "Ent", who watches the trees during operation.. The "Ent" will notify Site Security of miscreants, and it is Security who will be the responsible for climbers, kite flyers, throwing of objects into the blades, etc, and really really really tall people.