Updated Final Project (WEEK16)

Electronic Terrarium Prototype

I’m creating an interactive electronic terrarium. Normally, people put plants or plastic plants in terrariums to create a small concentrated nature environment.  I think the interesting point of a terrarium is the glass vase isolates the ordinary objects from the real world and frames the objects for people to take a close look. My idea is to include electronic components into a terrarium for people to appreciate the aesthetic aspects of technology. Also, I also want to express technology is alive in another way.

I’ve been working on creating a base of color changing sand. Everything worked outside the terrarium. But the terrarium I got is too small — the Arduino and the battery already took most of the space. I’m going to get a bigger one this week.


1. Dye the sand

I mixed red thermochromic dye with blue paint to create this purple sand that turns blue when heated.


2. Sew the Flexinol into a pattern

I chose a simple shape of leaf for a clear result. Also, the leaf brings a sense of nature into the project.



3. Capacity sensing terrarium

I soldered several 1M ohm resistors together for capacity sensing. People looking close to the terrarium triggers the effects. I chose peek into the terrarium as the interaction is because it’s a natural respond most people will have without any instructions.


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