Storm Simulator

A scaled kinetic visualization of the most catastrophic natural disasters of our century.
The mission for our project was to create a physical computing prototype that scales and translates storm data, displaying the magnitude of global disasters.
To build the device, we used a 12 volt 4 amp DC motor connected to spindle rod. The rod is connected to a 3D printed vortex turbine that rotates, simulating each storms magnitude through velocity. We used LED pulsating lights to create patterns specific to each storm. We included an LCD screen that displays information of the actual storm in which the machine represents simultaneously.
We began by collecting data from various storms worldwide. Using the specific magnitude of each storm, we created a performance sequence using a percentage of intensity from 0-100, reflecting the lifespan and strength of the disaster from start to finish. The information was mapped through different speeds in both the LED lights and the motor velocity. We used an RGB addressable LED strip controlled through the FastLED library. Here, we mapped out the brightness and colour values for our LEDs according to each specific storm type, looping them at set intervals. Through LiquidCrystal Arduino library we specified the storm name as strings which are then relayed to the LCD screen.
The speed of the motor is controlled by switching the relay on and off, manipulating the pull of the turbine in the water. Earthquakes are defined by red flashing lights and short motor pulses. Tornados are defined by purple lights in a circular sequence, with a consistent motor speed, creating a vortex in the device. Hurricanes are defined by random yellow flashing lights with and gradual intermittent motor bursts. Tsunamis are defined with blue LEDs with ramping brightness and gradual motor velocity.
Storm Simulator is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at MAA01 in 2018/2019
Students: Megan Smylie, Olivia Camille Alvarez Littler, Vinay Khare, Justin Sheinberg, Jitendra Farkade
Faculty: Angel Muñoz and Cristian Rizzuti