VOLUME by SOFTLAB-100 servos realtime control

The Project

Volume was commissioned by HP for The Lab, an interactive experience combining many bespoke installations by various NYC based artists and curated by Meta, at the Panorama Music Festival in NYC 28-30 July 2017.

The Result

Volume is an interactive cube of responsive mirrors that redirect light and sound to spatialize and reflect the excitement of surrounding festival goers. The paired down details of the installation are meant to foreground the use of light and sound as fundamental building elements of space. The installation redraws the line between what is considered ephemeral vs. physical as the installation remixes space and the character of the festival goers while gazing back at them with empathy and exuberance.


The installation is made of a grid of 100 mirrored panels that each rotate individually. An array of depth cameras above track people as they move around the installation. Using a weighted average of the various people being tracked the mirrors rotate to face the nearest person. Individually addressable LEDs along the sides of the mirrored panels respond to the ambient sound in the space around the installation.

Each mirror is actuated by a ZEUS 14bit SMSV3.0. The ZEUS servos made by ZEROONE are powered by SAVOX technology. The gears and the motor of this specific servo are manufactured by SAVOX and their torque rating is 500ozin (36kgcm) @ 6V. The equipped coreless motor can operate also upto 7.4Volts.

ZEUS-14bit SMSV3.0_0

We cooperated with the excellent team of SOFTLAB to develop a robust RS485 bus over 10 Arduino Mega. Wherever was appropriate, the motors came with 120 Ohm termination resistors.This is done by a solder jumper, consisting a standard in our SMS controller. RS485 bus can be offered to you by default (as well as I2C and legacy PPM). The system is interfaced with a processing code, which is also offering an interactive view of the installation as well as control over crucial installation and motor parameters.

Have a look at the amazing SOFTLAB’s NYC processing interface that controls and tweaks the installation:

This is the interface for Volume, produced for the Lab at Panorama in NYC. The interface is built in Processing. It tiles x,y coordinates of six depth cameras mounted above and visualizes the rotation of a 10 x 10 grid of mirrors based on the weighted average of those composited positions. It also visualizes a series of individually addressed LED strips, which are installed in each mirrored panel. The LEDs respond to sound with various behaviors controlled by the interface. Data for the lights is sent to the installation via DMX and to the 100 motors via OCP and Arduino microcontrollers.


Designboom // SOFTlab’s interactive light installation uses 100 mirrored panels that rotate individually
Cheddar // Inside HP’s Virtual Reality Experience at Panorama Music Festival
Engadget // Softlab transforms ’empty’ space with light and Imirrors
Forbes // This Is The Right Way To Integrate Art And Tech Into A Concert Festival
Rolling Stone // Inside Panorama Fest’s Groundbreaking Virtual-Reality Experience
Engadget // HP brought a trippy tech museum to a music fest
TimeOut // A set of trippy installations by NYC artists will be on display at Panorama Fest
Art Zealous // Art & Tech Marry at Panorama Festival in NYC
Everfest // In Photos: Panorama Music Festival Dazzled New York City
The Queens Gazette // Panorama 2017

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