SOME STUDENTS have used a Raspberry Pi computer to build a floating holographic Star Wars Death Star that can be controlled by devices running iOS.
Called the Interactive Persistence of Vision [POV] globe, the Death Star hologram was built by students at Leeds University and introduced on Twitter by Craig Evans, a teacher at the university.
Our Engineering students have developed an amazing spherical persistence of vision display. Check it out at http://t.co/o71izuVkxC— Coming to Leeds (@comingtoleeds) August 12, 2013
"After seeing Dara O'Briain's Science Club feature Raspberry Pi projects, we sent him a tweet with a picture of the POV Globe displaying an image of the Death Star from Star Wars to which he replied (to his 1.5 million followers) saying 'Oh, I want one'," Evans wrote in a post on the POV globe website.
"Cue timeline pandemonium! There was a heck of a lot of interest and new followers. Many people were asking for more information and so we have brought this site online sooner than we originally planned!"
The information on the website includes pictures, videos and a tutorial for anyone who wants to build their own planet-destroying, moon-shaped death machine.
In videos the globe is shown displaying a map, and running a game of Nintendo stalwart Mario World. Its Applications webpage says that the globe can be used to play other games, including Asteroids.
The globe has a Raspberry Pi at its centre and a circle of boards stuffed with RGB LEDs that spin at 300RPM. By spinning around, the globe is able to produce a screen resolution of 360x168.
"Due to this high-speed and the phenomenon of persistence of vision (POV), our brains interprets this moving ring of light as a solid, spherical surface," says the webpage.
"By changing the colours of the LEDs very quickly, we can display images on this spherical surface... the POV Glove is essentially a display for the RasPi mounted inside and any applications that run on the RasPi will appear on the globe." µ
Or so says the rumour mill ...
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