While it may initially appear to be a shrunken-down replica of the New Year’s Eve ball, the IcosaLEDron is, in fact, an open-source glowing contraption roughly the size of an apple.
This ball, which was first introduced on Instructables and later highlighted on MAKE: Magazine, features 20 tessellated triangled sides each boasting tri-colored LEDs. Created by Maker “Afritlabs,” the Arduino-compatible gizmo is equipped with an ATmega328P, which serves as the brains for the spherical light display, along with 20 RGB NeoPixels that light up each of its faces — all of which are encased inside a custom PCB. This PCB also has a built-in charger for a LiPo battery and six pins for programming via any AVR type connection.
In addition, a three-axis accelerometer allows for the device to illuminate various effects based on accelerations applied to the sphere. In its default mode, the top section continuously stays on, while emitting vibrant rainbow patterns when freefalling. Meanwhile, if no motion is detected, the IcosaLEDron will go to sleep, eradicating any need for a power switch.
Its open-source, Arduino-compatible disposition enables fellow Makers to simply replicate, mod and enhance the design, as well as create new code if more functionality is desired. As Afritlabs notes, the IcosaLEDron can be used in a wide-range of applications ranging from a die that lights a random number of faces when rolled, or a Simon Says-like memory game where you rotate the ball to match a pattern set by the device.
In true Maker fashion, both the frame and translucent sections were 3D-printed, which allowed its creators to easily devise and prototype several iterations of the ball. Interested in creating your own? Head over to its official Instructables page here.